An award-winning curry chef will mark a hat-trick of prestigious food festivals when he takes his revered cuisine to new palates in Slovenia this month.

Kaysar Ahmed, from the Zeera curry restaurant in Barnet Road, Potters Bar, has been selected for the third time to take part in an international food festival organised by trade magazine Curry Life.

The publication selects just six of the best chefs from across the country to take part and Mr Ahmed is celebrating being picked again after a previous trip to India and last year’s festival in Slovenia.

Zeera owner Mahbub Alam held a celebration dinner at the restaurant on Tuesday, attended by Hertsmere MP James Clappison, to mark his chef’s achievement.

Mr Ahmed, a 32-year-old father-of-three, said: “It is a great experience. Cooking is my passion – my father was a chef and I learned a lot from him.

“It was a dream come true to be selected for this festival again. It feels very good and I’m quite proud of myself.”

The regular festival is organised to take the curry to parts of the world where it is not often found.

Curry Life editor Syed Ahmed said: “We want to expand the market across Europe. It is taking off and we have had a fantastic response in countries like Slovenia that would not normally eat curries.

“We can only take so many chefs and there is a strict criteria, including innovation, presentation and of course the food, and Kaysar excelled in all of them.”