Romy Gill

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Romy Gill
Born
Culinary career
Cooking styleIndian cuisine
Websitewww.romyskitchen.co.uk

Romy Gill MBE is a British/Indian chef and cookery teacher, based in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire. She is the owner and head chef at Romy's Kitchen, Restaurant which opened in September 2013 on Castle Street, Thornbury. She is one of the few female Indian chef/owners on the UK restaurant scene, and was appointed an MBE in the Queen's 90th birthday honours list in 2016. Romy is currently writing her first cookery book, which will be published in 2018.

Early life and inspirations[edit]

Gill grew up in Burnpur, West Bengal, India, where she learned to cook from her mother.

When Gill moved to the UK, she began hosting dinner parties for friends, later running cookery classes, which led to her launching her own range of sauces, pickles, chutneys and spice mixes.

She gave cookery demonstrations both in England and further afield, and in September 2013 she opened her first restaurant, Romy's Kitchen.

Style of cooking[edit]

Gill's style of Indian cooking is very different from that found at the majority of Indian restaurants in the UK. She avoids the use of unnatural food colourings, and is a fan of combining Indian and British cuisine.

She combines spices and flavours that she grew up with in India with ingredients that she was only introduced to when she moved to the UK, creating dishes such as gurnard cooked in coconut milk, tomatoes, tomato puree, ginger, garlic and her own spice blend; and monkfish marinated in turmeric and lemon juice, then cooked with onions, ginger, garlic, mustard seeds, 5 spice mix paste and her own spices.

Restaurant[edit]

Gill opened her first restaurant, Romy's Kitchen, in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire in September 2013.[1]

In order to open her restaurant, Gill applied to a number of banks for a loan, but was turned down by every one apart from NatWest,[2] providing her with the business loan that she needed to get her restaurant underway, leading her to be featured on the BBC News in a segment about the struggles that entrepreneurs face when trying to raise the necessary funds to start a new, local business.

Awards and achievements[edit]

In 2014, Romy was shortlisted for the 15th Asian Women of Achievement Awards (AWA),[3] which celebrate women who make an “outstanding contribution to our culture and economy”. In the same year, her restaurant, Romy's Kitchen, was shortlisted as "Best Newcomer" in the British Curry Awards.[4]

Gill was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to the hospitality industry.[5]

Cookery demonstrations and other events[edit]

Gill demonstrates her cooking at festivals both in the UK and abroad. In the UK, she has given demonstrations at the Foodies Festival, Grand Designs exhibitions and at food and cultural festivals in Abu Dhabi, New York City and other locations.

In addition, she gives talks and cookery demonstrations in schools where she discusses how food is cultivated, the importance of eating with the seasons and the impact of food on the environment.

Gill, along with two other female Indian chefs and Atul Kochhar, gave a demonstration at Kochhar's restaurant, Benares, in November 2012 to raise money for charity,[6] and is an avid fundraiser for charity Frank Water.[7]

Gill has also appeared on BBC Radio Bristol with Laura Rawlings,[8] and has appeared in a video where she taught rugby star Olly Barkley how to cook Indian food.[9]

In May 2014, Romy was heavily involved with the Bristol Food Connections festival: a citywide celebration of local food and drink. Along with other top chefs such as Martin Blunos, Tom Kerridge and Ken Hom, Romy took to the BBC Stars' Kitchen[10] to give live demos of some of her popular recipes.[11] During the Bristol Food Connections festival, Romy was also a guest on Saturday Live,[12] alongside Jay Rayner and others.

In 2016, Romy was a guest chef at Carousel London,[13] and returned for another stint a year later.[14]

In 2017, Romy gave demonstrations at a range of festivals, including the BBC Good Food Show, the Abergavenny Food Festival, the Big Feastival, Dartmouth Food Festival and the Padstow Christmas Festival.[15]

Food writing[edit]

Romy contributes regularly to food publications such as Crumbs, Olive,[16] Delicious,[17] Saveur[18] and Food52,[19] and has featured in The Guardian,[20] where she had a residency in April 2016, The Observer, The Telegraph & The Independent[3] newspapers.

In 2017, Romy travelled to India with Suitcase Magazine, where she explored and wrote articles on Ladakh[21] and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.[22]

She has been signed by a publisher and is working on her first cookbook, which is set to be published in 2018.

Television appearances[edit]

Romy appeared as a guest judge on Celebrity MasterChef 2016,[23] and also cooked alongside The Hairy Bikers in their Comfort Food series.[24] She has featured as the subject of a film short on "Family Dinners" on Food Network UK,[25] with more BBC and ITV appearances in the pipeline.

Personal life[edit]

Gill lives in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire with her husband and two daughters. She is an active runner.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chef Romy Gill to open her very first restaurant in Thornbury". Thornbury Gazette. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  2. ^ "Top chef gets cooking with NatWest loan". RBS News. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b "'Inspirational' Asian women are named for awards".
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "No. 61608". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2016. p. B18.
  6. ^ "Romy Gill cooks at Benares for charity". Benares. November 2013.
  7. ^ "Romy Gill's rice and coconut balls/". FrankWater. January 2014. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014.
  8. ^ "Romy featured on BBC Radio Bristol". BBC Radio Bristol. 29 November 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  9. ^ "Romy teaches Olly Barkley to cook Indian food". YouTube. 11 December 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  10. ^ BBC Stars Kitchen "BBC Recipes - Bristol Food Connections Stars' Kitchen", BBC, May 2014. Retrieved May 2014.
  11. ^ BBC Recipes "BBC Recipes - Romy Gill", BBC, May 2014. Retrieved May 2014.
  12. ^ BBC Radio 4 "BBC Radio 4 - Romy Gill on Saturday Live", BBC, May 2014. Retrieved May 2014.
  13. ^ Carousel London (29 January 2016). "Carousel Presents Romy Gill's 'Spice Trail'" – via YouTube.
  14. ^ "Romy Gill, Guest Chef at Carousel, Marylebone, London. - Romy's Kitchen Restaurant". romyskitchen.co.uk.
  15. ^ "Featured Chefs - Padstow Christmas Festival".
  16. ^ "olive magazine podcast ep27 - Romy Gill on Diwali, horse sushi and Carribean [sic] street food".
  17. ^ "How to make sattu parathas - delicious. magazine". 22 February 2017.
  18. ^ "The Indian Chef Whose Food is so Good the Queen of England is Giving Her a Medal".
  19. ^ "Meet the Chef Changing What "Indian Food" Means in the U.K." 3 May 2017.
  20. ^ Gill, Romy (7 April 2016). "Romy Gill's recipes reinvent classic West Bengali cuisine". the Guardian.
  21. ^ Magazine, SUITCASE. "Introducing Volume 20: The Homelands Issue - SUITCASE Magazine".
  22. ^ Magazine, SUITCASE. "Introducing Volume 21: The Islands Issue - SUITCASE Magazine".
  23. ^ "Episode 12, Series 11, Celebrity MasterChef - BBC One". BBC.
  24. ^ "Romy Gill sweet and sour chicken wings on The Hairy Bikers Comfort Food". 13 January 2017.
  25. ^ Original Concept - Creative Agency (27 October 2017). "Family Dinners: Featuring Romy Gill, MBE" – via YouTube.

External links[edit]