Guests at BR6 Restaurant experienced an authentic taste of India last night at a special charity event supported by inspirational Chef and Restaurateur Asma Khan.
Asma features on the Netflix show ‘Chef's Table’ - the only British chef ever to do so - and is author of brilliant best-selling cookery book ‘Asma’s Indian Kitchen’.
The student-led restaurant in Orpington’s town centre was transformed into an Indian ‘supper club’ for the evening – with guests seated at long tables and given the opportunity to sample many Indian dishes ranging from Bihari Beef Kebabs, Beetroot Raita, Baingan Aloo (aubergine with potatoes) and Gajjar Ka Halwa (dessert).
All the dishes were inspired by Asma, many of which feature in her book. The food was created and served by hospitality students from London South East Colleges’ Orpington and Greenwich campuses, with the preparation overseen by Asma herself.
Earlier in the day, students also had the opportunity to attend a Q&A session with Asma, at which she spoke about her journey to success and passion for food.
All money raised from the event is being donated to two charities - The Maypole Project and the Dorothy House Hospice. These are the chosen charities of two staff members, who will be running the London Marathon this Sunday (28 April).
Asma, who moved to Cambridge from Calcutta in 1991 is passionate about food and opened her restaurant – the Darjeeling Express – in London’s Soho in 2017. She says: “I am delighted to support tonight’s event. The students I have met today are highly talented, committed to working hard and absolutely passionate about food. I hope I have helped to further inspire them to pursue a career in this exciting industry.
“Women are particularly under-represented in the hospitality industry so seeing such a strong female team here today is hugely encouraging.
“Learning about different foods and experimenting with ingredients, flavours and spices is a crucial part of becoming a good chef – and I have shared lots of my experience with students today. I hope guests enjoyed the supper club experience - it’s a wonderful way to raise money for two very worthwhile causes.”
Head of London South East Colleges’ Hospitality, Food and Enterprise Career College, Tania Sumner, says: “Tonight we have brought something entirely different to Orpington, giving guests the opportunity to sample some delicious, authentic Indian dishes. The ‘Supper Club’ concept is fantastic, bringing a truly sociable element to the enjoyment of good food and all our guests had a wonderful evening.
“Not only has this event raised over £2000 for charity, it has given our students the opportunity to learn from a true expert. Asma is not only a talented chef, but she is truly passionate about her craft and the importance of food within communities.
“We are extremely grateful to Asma for her support. I would also like to thank our students who worked so hard this evening and to all our guests for coming along. We very much hope to run similar events in the future, giving people who live locally the chance to sample a wide range of dishes from all parts of the world.”
Gurvinder Kanth, 45, from Bexleyheath, is a Catering Level 2 student from the College's Greenwich Campus and has joined the Orpington team after receiving a special invite from her tutor Lillian. She says: "For me, today is a dream come true. I am a huge fan of Asma and regularly use her recipes when cooking for my family. To meet her in person today and work alongside her means so much to me. She is one of the chefs that have inspired me over the years and to learn even more from her has given me a major boost in confidence and morale."
If you think you have what it takes to become a professional chef/front of house specialist and build a successful career in the hospitality and catering industries, London South East Colleges has a great range of courses to get you started.