BONUS EPISODE: Comfort Cooking and Joyful Food with Ravinder Bhogal

29 Jan 2024

One of the best experiences I had in a restaurant was when I sat at a table in Marylebone (London), decorated with floral cloths and comfy pillows. Nestling into my seat I was struck by beautiful spicy notes, warming ginger that mirrored the welcome from the maître d’. Perusing the menu, almost everything was a blend of cultures, cuisines and flavours. Dishes that are so unfamiliar, yet deserve to have a home. This restaurant and cooking style, which is proudly inauthentic, feels deeply authentic and full of love, and you can understand why when you learn about the experience of its founder, Ravinder Bhogal.

Ravinder is a journalist, chef and restaurateur, who was born in Kenya to Indian parents. She’s a monthly food columnist for the FT Weekend magazine and The Guardian’s Feast magazine, a contributing editor at Harper’s Bazaar, and regularly writes for The Observer Magazine and Vogue online. Basically one of the most influential women in food.

Jikoni is one of my favourite restaurants and now ‘Comfort and Joy’ (Ravinder’s 3rd book) is one of my new favourites too! It’s one of those cookbooks to read, but also one that deserves to have its pages stained and spattered. Ravinder’s commitment to lavish vegetables with the same joy and creativity you’d bring to a steak or a chop has resulted in a globally-inspired collection of recipes.

There are fragrant and fortifying curries and stews including a mango and golden coin curry; hefty salads packed with fistfuls of good things such as heritage tomato salad with lime leaf dressing, ginger and chilli. 

Basically this is the kind of food I want to eat all the time. I ask Ravinder about how she conjures recipes and why cooking is the ultimate expression of love. I think you’ll love this chat.

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GUEST: Ravinder Bhogal

Ravinder is a journalist, chef and restaurateur, who was born in Kenya to Indian parents. Her debut restaurant, Jikoni, was ranked 56th in the UK by the National Restaurant Awards within seven months of opening and was listed in the Michelin Guide in the same year.
In 2017, she launched a four-month vegan pop-up at the W London hotel, which was voted the best vegan restaurant in the country by Harper’s Bazaar within a few weeks of opening.
Her debut book Cook in Boots, and its follow up, Jikoni: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchen, have both won awards, while her new book, Comfort & Joy: Irresistible Pleasures from a Vegetarian Kitchen, was released in May.
In 2020, Ravinder launched a sustainable vegetarian home delivery brand Comfort & Joy, a sister brand to Jikoni. She’s a monthly food columnist for the FT Weekend magazine and The Guardian’s Feast magazine, a contributing editor at Harper’s Bazaar, and regularly writes for The Observer Magazine and Vogue online. On TV she reports for Channel 4’s magazine show Food: What Goes in your Basket? and has also presented a special two-part documentary, The Great British Curry Trail, for BBC2. Other UK television credits include appearances on Sunday Brunch, James Martin’s Saturday Morning, MasterChef and This Morning.
She’s also been on prime-time Indian television with her own 22-part series, Ravinder’s Kitchen (BBC Worldwide), which has been sold across Asia and the Middle East.
​​​​​​​In 2019 and 2021 Code Hospitality named her one of the most influential women in food.

with Ravinder Bhogal
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