Becoming a finalist on the BBC1 TV show Best Home Cook was the catalyst to pursue the life of my dreams. It’s only when you are challenged, and pushed to your limits, that you discover what those limits are and with that experience comes growth and you develop greater limits. I’ve always had a love affair with food throughout my life, and that achievement gave me the confidence to take the plunge – not only to gain professional training and qualifications but to make food my career and lifelong vocation.
I was born into a food obsessed family, and was always very greedy so the passion to learn was very natural. I was taught at the elbow of two exceptional cooks, my mother and my paternal grandmother. We were brought up by our grandparents, who came to Britain – the West Midlands – in the early 60s from the Punjab in India; when my dad was 12 years old. The way they did things had a huge influence, they grew their own fruit and vegetables, and what they didn’t grow they’d get from friends; I remember taking delivery of a massive bunch of rhubarb from one such acquaintance as a little girl.