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Aktar Islam started his culinary journey when he was 13, helping his father at his Indian restaurant in Solihull.

Inspired by the home-cooking of his mother, Aktar developed a passion for ingredients, the harnessing of modern techniques for traditional dishes, and the pursuit of flavour.

In a 25-year career, he was the culinary driving force of the Lasan Group in Birmingham, winning Gordon Ramsay’s “The F Word” on Channel 4 and BBC-2’s “Great British Menu.” Personal career highlights include being honoured by the Prime Minister and the Queen for services to the British Hospitality Industry.

Aktar’s is launching his first solo restaurant venture with Opheem, in Birmingham, and is relishing the opportunity to exercise complete creative freedom to develop the concept. At the heart of Opheem will be Aktar’s distinctive take on grand Indian dining, showcasing the progressive cooking championed by chefs to the historic empires as far back as the 13th century.

The 70-cover restaurant, which features a private dining room for 14, will celebrate seasonal ingredients, premium produce and some family favourites including Aktar’s signature Hyderabadi goat biryani.