Chef Dipna Anand works her magic in the Refettorio Felix kitchen!

Celebrity chef specialising in Punjabi cuisine creates a fabulous lunch for our guests and shares her experience working with surplus food

Dipna Anand is a restauranteur, cookery teacher, author, and TV chef specialising in North Indian Punjabi cuisine – there’s not much in the restaurant and food media world that she doesn’t have experience in! She works with Restaurant Associates, a food service provider who support Refettorio Felix by sending volunteer chefs to our kitchen, in charge of developing their Indian food offering. Last week, we were lucky enough to have Dipna in our kitchen cooking up an exciting menu of different curries for our guests!

 

 

Like so many of the chefs who work in our kitchen, Dipna was taken aback by the high standard of the delivery we received from The Felix Project. Whilst the phrase ‘food waste’ circulates in our discourse so prevalently, this doesn’t do justice to the quality of ingredients that are being thrown out every day – food that is delicious, nutritious, and often just coming into perfect ripeness as the supermarkets and shops take it off the shelves. With the morning delivery, Dipna and the team created a resourceful and imaginative menu of sausage, mange tout keema masala; mushroom, kale and pepper in jalfrezi sauce; and a side of roasted potatoes and cauliflower. Watching the homemade papadams bloom and crisp in the hot oil added an element of kitchen theatricality that got everyone at the centre excited for the meal.

Whilst Dipna’s achievements in the food world are truly remarkable, she told us that cooking for our guests was one of the most rewarding experiences she’s had, making her re-evaluate how we might take the pleasures of eating at restaurants for granted. Dipna revealed that working with Refettorio Felix has encouraged her to think again about her own treatment of surplus food in her own award-winning restaurant, Brilliant. Brilliant already shares their surplus meals with local temples in Southall but Dipna’s determined to do more to reduce waste from the restaurant, potentially even delivering extra food to Refettorio Felix in the future. We’re all hoping we’ll see her again soon – especially Louise, our support worker, who said the vegetarian curry was the best she’d ever had!