Captain Cafe’s health-aware award winning chef
When I designed my business and put it into play, my concept was using the freshest and the best ingredients to produce a high quality standard of cooking for the public
Captain Cafe is a fully Halal eatery in the West Midlands that holds the distinction of being the first business in Sandwell to be awarded the ‘Eat Out Eat Well’ certificate for providing customers with healthier choices when eating out.
The cafe won the award in May this year, but chef and owner, Abbas Abbas, proudly received the award from councillor Elaine Costigan at West Bromwich town hall on Monday.
Speaking with FtL, Abbas described his first impressions as “a great achievement for my business” and one which he hoped would be the start of “insha’allah many more awards and achievements to come”.
For a place that has limited seating and has barely been open a year, it’s done remarkably well.
Abbas reveals that in order to apply for the ‘Eat Out Eat Well’ award, he firstly had to work towards acquiring at least a 3-star hygiene rating from the Food Standards Agency.
He did two better earlier this year in March by gaining the full 5-stars prompting Sandwell council to ask if he would be interested in applying for the inaugral competition.
“As it is a new scheme, I wanted to be the first to gain this award as nothing of this sort was available in our community. As a chef, it is very important to eat right and eat well.”
“For me as an individual, it is an award not just to put inside of my cafe, but it also represents that I am practicing what I preach.”
Whilst the cafe isn’t Halal certified, Abbas says that all his meat is sourced from an HMC-approved supplier, whose certificate is available “inside the cafe to show the public” if required.
And with the health-approach in mind, it ought to come as no surprise that Captain Cafe does not sell pork or alcohol.
“When I designed my business and put it into play, my concept was using the freshest and the best ingredients to produce a high quality standard of cooking for the public.”
Ultimately, however, Abbas puts his success down to one thing and one thing alone: “Islam; it is the core of my soul. I always use my religion to promote how to keep fit and healthy by looking at our great Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him).
“I have naturally practiced healthy eating from a young age where I was very passionate about food until I went to catering school and later started my culinary journey.”
In fact, Chef Abbas has actually worked at Gordon Ramsey’s The Savoy Grill, as well as the Mariott.
“As a classically trained chef, I have worked and surrounded myself with the freshest ingredients for over 20 years. Knowing that my passion and love for food drives me to cook and deliver great and healthy food is a bonus.”
And a quick browse of Captain Cafe’s Facebook page gives a glimpse of this chef’s culinary background.
Describing itself as an “Authentic House of Mediterranean and Modern European Cuisine’, the cafe certainly produces some very attractive and modern-looking dishes.
“All my customers are aware that I serve food that isn’t on anyone’s day-to-day repertoire [sic],” he says.
And one customer who has tried Chef Abbas’ food and swears by it is Black Country local and Halal blogger, Blakbeard Eats, who has called Captain Cafe “a gem in Cradley Heath”.
“I would recommend this place – definitely worth a go. There isn’t much seating available and you might be confused when you walk in, but honestly, once you have eaten the grub, you will thank me.”
It’s also obvious that Abbas’ reputation is beginning to proceed him. Not only did he kickstart his first Supper Club in August, which he says allows him to “unleash my passion and love for food at a Michelin level”, but also decided on adding Masterclass demonstrations to his list of extracurricular activities.
Regarding his first Supper Club though, Blakbeard Eats, described the “sensationally executed” 6-course dinner as a “Masterclass” in itself before concluding: “We are truly fortunate for finding a chef with the skill and knowledge as Chef Abbas and wish him all the best in his future endeavours [sic].”
And so as his popularity and demand grows, Chef Abbas is currently looking and hoping “to relocate to a bigger venue”.
215 Halesowen Road, Cradley Heath,
Birmingham B64 6HE.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 9:00-22:00