Thai restaurant chef cooks up success with awards win

Maratree Melross was presented the award for National Best Thai Chef 2021, supported by Royston boss Safwaan Choudhury 

Maratree Melross was presented the award for National Best Thai Chef 2021, supported by Royston boss Safwaan Choudhury - Credit: Safwaan Choudhury 

A Royston Thai restaurant chef has brought home a top gong from the Asian & Oriental Chef Awards, held at the House of Lords.

Maratree Melross - executive chef of Royston’s newest Thai restaurant, The Guard House - was presented the award for National Best Thai Chef 2021.

Maratree Melross presented the award for National Best Thai Chef 2021, supported by boss Safwaan Choudhury 

- Credit: Safwaan Choudhury

The competition was fierce, with other chefs of award-winning backgrounds participating in the two-hour cook-off held at the University of West London.

Judges were won over by the Royston eatery’s best selling dish: lamb shank massaman – a meltingly tender lamb shank simmered in Silk Road spices, coconut milk, chunks of carrot, baby potatoes and fried onion.

Chef Maratree was joined by owner of The Guard House, Safwaan Choudhury, in receiving her coveted accolade.

The prestigious awards event was presented by international news anchor Samantha Simmons at the Palace of Westminster.

Royston restaurateur Safwaan launched The Guard House in January during lockdown running as a takeaway and home delivery service while the restaurant was being refurbished.

Chef Maratree preparing the lamb shank massaman, The Guard House Royston's most popular dish. 

Chef Maratree preparing the lamb shank massaman, The Guard House Royston's most popular dish. - Credit: Safwaan Choudhury

Most Read

He said “I’m really proud of Chef Maratree for her achievement at the Asian & Oriental Chef Awards.

"The Guard House team has been working really hard trialling our take on royal Thai cuisine.

“With a national award-winning chef at the helm, a wonderful historic building and a carefully planned décor, we are very excited to announce our restaurant will be opening soon for dining service!”

The Guard House is based in Kneesworth Street, located a few footsteps away from Royston town centre. The restaurant building once belonged to royalty - a blue plaque outsides reads ‘The Guard House - quarters of the bodyguard of King James I’.

Entrepreneur Safwaan opened his first venture at 18, Royston Tandoori, which he left to reopen the British Raj Express.

The takeaway follows in the footsteps of his grandfather's original British Raj restaurant in Royston. The British Raj Express won the Best Takeaway During the Pandemic. category at the prestigious British Curry Awards. 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter