To read more articles like this, download Halal Gems Magazine here.

Inventor of Townie and Duffin. Founder, Bea’s of Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury’s UAE, and Stax Diner. Stax Diner serves halal organic free range food.

If you yourself were a food dish, what would you be and why?

I would be Apple Pie à la Mode. Just Classic, Warm Apples with Cold Vanilla Ice Cream, with the flaky crust texture. Looks simple on the outside but actually just a lot of different textures and temperatures! Like me!

Describe your relationship with food in three words.

Fattening. Comforting. Warming.

What do you think is the culinary capital of the world and why?

This one is a toughie but I will have to say New York City, although I do find their Indian/South Asian scene lacking compared to London, just the sheer love of food at all price levels is astounding.

Name us one food that you cannot stomach.

Durian – that fruit that smells awful and is banned in many hotels and airlines. The ban alone should explain why!

Talk us through your relationship with food – how did you fall in
love?

I grew up in a family that used food as love manifested – if you weren’t fed, you weren’t loved. And growing up in a very diverse neighbourhood I was exposed to a lot of love from a lot of friends’ families. It was when I went to university in a city that was by all means a culinary wasteland that I recognised how much good food was important to me.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be doing?

I’d be a lawyer – I majored in pre-law/biomedical ethics in Uni. Probably work for a soulless pharmaceutical company.

What is your go-to comfort meal – the one meal that feels like its enveloping you in a motherly hug?

Vietnamese Pho. It’s the soup my mother gave me when I was sick and also we would go out for Pho every Sunday morning. It’s the equivalent of my Sunday Roast/Brunch as a child!

What would be your ’last supper’ or your last meal on earth if you could pick it?

Dim Sum – I would get 100 different kinds before I went.

What are your culinary pet hates?

I hate pre-mixes and those ready to eat meals in the fridge section of supermarkets.

Who would you love to cook for (past or present) and what would you
make them?

I think cooking for Albert Einstein would be a hoot. I would probably make him Chicken and Waffles. Something that’s familiar but confusing at the same time to him.