From kitchen hand to eponymous restaurateur: Mahmud Zaman opens his own restaurant

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Restaurant

Mahmud Zaman started work at the restaurant at The Sportsman casino as a kitchen hand but is now preparing to re-open the site as his own eponymous venture
Mahmud Zaman started work at the restaurant at The Sportsman casino as a kitchen hand but is now preparing to re-open the site as his own eponymous venture
After starting work at the restaurant within The Sportsman casino in London's West End as a kitchen hand, Mahmud Zaman is this week planning to re-open the restaurant under his own name. 

Zaman will open on 19 June and will feature a menu designed by the Bangladesh-born chef featuring European and Middle Eastern fusion cuisine.

After arriving in England in 1992 from a small village in North East Bangladesh, Zaman got a job as a kitchen-hand at The Sportsman. However his career soon took off as the team at the restaurant noticed his artistic style and passion for experimental cooking.

Dream realised

While working his way up the ranks to head chef, Zaman developed a new international gourmet menu incorporating a number of cuisines.

This earned the restaurant a number of awards and accolades and led the team at the London Clubs International-owned casino to give Zaman a chance to run the restaurant on Old Quebec Street in Paddington under his own name.

"I am incredibly proud to have realised my dream," Mahmud Zaman said. "There’s no limit or boundary to what you can do with food, you can always take a new approach or use a new technique or add a new flavour. I’m extremely excited to be launching Zaman at The Sportsman and can’t wait to show off my menu."

Staff retention

London Clubs International runs a number of fine-dining restaurants at its various casinos including The Leeds Kitchen at Alea in Leeds run by Saturday Kitchen presenter and chef James Martin.

Neil Howells, casino director at The Sportsman, said although Zaman was not a celebrity chef like Martin the team believed he had brand potential. "We knew we had something bigger and better in Zaman; a chef that is so unique and who has such a vibrant take on food. His genuine enthusiasm for what he does proves that he rightly deserves his own brand at The Sportsman," he said.

Pan-fried fillet of salmon with crab croquettes, razor clam and lemon emulsion and milky chocolate cheesecake with banana ice cream all feature on the new menu at Zaman.

BigHospitality recently investigated the latest trends on recruitment and retaining staff. To read all parts of the Special Feature, including how to train and develop employees and keep staff retention rates high, click here​.

Related topics: Business, People, Restaurants, Venues

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