Western Living Magazine, March 2015 ‘Top 10 Foodies of the Year’. Photo Credit: Andrew Querner
Apparently that’s me. ‘Self-taught’ is probably the best way to describe me (I pretty make things up as I go along). My name is Aman, which means ‘peace’ – but don’t get me confused with Malala, she won a Noble Peace Prize and is also brown (sorry, I couldn’t help myself). I’m an ex-footballer, ex-anti-racism ambassador, marketer, BSc (honours) graduate (2:1), former Nike UK employee, BSKYB marketing graduate scheme recipient, middle child, Western Living Magazine’s Top 10 ‘Foodies of the Year’ 2015, Virgo, planner, food geek, people watcher, feminist, supporter of slow food, not your conventional brown person, storyteller, and just weird enough to be interesting. Oh, and I say the word ‘fuck’ a lot (sorry, it’s because I’m English). There’s a lot of the word ‘ex’ used to describe myself and the truth is that I’m trying to figure out who I am, rather than what I was. So I guess ‘work in progress’ is a good start. What better way than to meet new people and cook across the world.
Recently I closed the doors to my farm-to-table Indian restaurant (I’ll go into this in the next blog piece). Just because we’ve closed the restaurant doesn’t mean my job is done. I want to show you that Indian food is more than Butter Chicken, more than diced meat in a bowl, more than just one region, and deserves more than to be branded as ‘cheap food’. But this blog isn’t solely about Indian or Indian-inspired food.
I’m using whatever savings I have to travel around the world for the next 8 months: to scout out local life, figure out how I can get a taste of it, and tell stories about how food connects us. I want to plant a seed about where you buy your food, why you should support independent or family-run restaurants and businesses, why food education is so important, why healthy homemade food should be part of the school, hospital and prison systems, and share cool food stories and tips (plus lots of random thoughts) from my edible adventures across the globe.
I’m hoping to cook with lots of locals and learn about old school ways of food preparation. No time constraints, no fancy equipment, no running – just slow, honest food. I want to take us back to a time where we had time – a time where everyone sat around the dining table or mingled in the kitchen, with no iPads or phones. I want to bring back family dinners with good food, good conversation, no rushing, and most of all, having the chance to create memories. Sounds nice hey? I want to learn about different food cultures around the world, do some good deeds along the way, try and make farm-to-table cooking more accessible to everyone, and hopefully host some cool Indian-inspired pop up dinners using local ingredients for the people I meet and food based charities. I want to make a difference, no matter how small.
So, let the discovery begin. I’m off to New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Thailand, Cambodia, Athens, Copenhagen, London, Italy and New York. It’s time to think, dream, grow and create, and to literally eat the world.