Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Darren Has a Taste for Curry; Civil Servant Vies for the Taster's Crown Inside Patak's Kitchen

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Darren Has a Taste for Curry; Civil Servant Vies for the Taster's Crown Inside Patak's Kitchen

Article excerpt

HE has travelled the globe sampling the best Indian cuisine, now Darren McKenzie is hoping to become the number one curry connoisseur. The 45-year-old is in the running to become Patak's official curry taster, a dream job for the Gateshead curry fanatic.

Darren, of Dunston, has beaten off more than 600 candidates from around the world and will now go head-to-head with the final five for the curry crown.

No salary comes with being a curry taster, just lots of poppadoms, kormas, bhunas and bhajis.

Darren, who eats at least two curries each week and is in the process of completing the alphabet of curry houses, said: "I have got a good palate and my friends say I'm quite a good cook, so hopefully I'll be the man for the job.

"I have a keen interest in it and everywhere I go I have to drop into Indian or Asian supermarkets. It's great that I've got down to the final six, it's really exciting. I love curry and I will give anything a go."

If he wins, civil servant Darren will visit Patak's kitchen, where he will try dozens of new dishes and have a say in the creation of new products.

Batches of curries will also be sent to Darren's doorstep throughout the year for him to taste and offer his expert opinion.

He will also get to meet the grand-daughter of the Pathak family Anjali, who will hold an Indian cooking masterclass at his home.

Darren said: "It's a dream job. I love curry and I have it at least a couple of times a week and a lot of the time I cook it in the house.

"My girlfriend and I love to try somewhere different. We were in Leeds at the weekend and we had to try a curry.

"It's a massive part of my social life. My favourite pastime is sharing a curry with my friends and colleagues."

Darren's love of curry encouraged him to create a page on social networking site called Adventures in Curry Land, which allows him to share recipe ideas and photos with other curry fans.

The page also includes his A to Z list of the curry houses visited so far. …

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