Curry for change
One in eight people around the world will go to bed hungry tonight for the want of some basic grains and vegetables. The ‘Curry for Change’ campaign raises money to transform the lives of very poor families by asking chefs to indulge in one of the UK’s greatest loves – preparing and sharing a curry. The person who raises the most money will enjoy a free masterclass with Michelin Starred chef Atul Kochhar.
The ‘Curry for Change’ campaign is led by UK charity, Find Your Feet, which helps vulnerable rural families in Asia and Africa to grow enough food so they don’t go hungry, to earn enough money so they can ‘find their feet’ and to strengthen their voices so they can speak out against injustice. Many of these people live in very remote areas, without the means or opportunity to change their situation for the better. With a pittance, they face heart-breaking decisions every day – such as whether to buy food for the whole family or vital medicines for one sick child.
Support from top chefs
Patron of Find Your Feet is twice Michelin Starred chef Atul Kochhar who, in 2001, was the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin Star while working as head chef at Tamarind. Since then, Atul has gone on to create the world-renowned Benares Restaurant in London, where he won his second Michelin Star in 2007.
“I’ve been a supporter of Find Your Feet’s work for many years,” says Atul. “In India I’ve seen first-hand the charity’s passion and commitment to its work and the impact it has on the lives of poor people.”.
Atul Kochhar is not the only top chef to put his skills to good use for Curry for Change. Cyrus Todiwala OBE, BBC Food Personality of the Year 2014, is one of Britain’s most successful Indian chefs known for his refined, elegantly spiced and sophisticated cooking. Cyrus – who has a real passion for “everyone to buy British, find comfort and joy in the kitchen, and learn all they can, and more, about great Indian food” – has raised thousands for the campaign.
Indian-raised Dhruv Baker was winner of TV’s MasterChef 2010 and has spent time in some of the best kitchens in the UK and Europe, working with Michel Roux Jr at Le Gavroche and at De Librije in Holland. Together with Vivek Singh, founding chef of The Cinnamon Club and its sister restaurants, Dhruv hosted a big event for the charity when he cooked his Malaba Prawn Curry, based on the traditional flavours of South India, where coconuts and seafood are abundant. His inspiration for this dish was to “remind people that Indian food is more than heat, it can also deal in subtlety.”
Do your bit and dine with Atul “Come and join us so that families don’t have to go hungry, let’s make a difference this year with Curry for Change,” urges Atul who is offering a free masterclass to the chef, amateur or professional, who is the most successful supporter of the ‘Curry for Change’ campaign this Autumn. The campaign is encouraging people to host a special money-raising Indian culinary event before 31st October. The chef who raises the most money from their guests or customers will win a class with Atul in the kitchen of his celebrated Mayfair restaurant, Benares. If you win, your day will start with a small breakfast of tea, coffee and pastries before entering the Benares kitchen with Atul. You will have the opportunity to watch, learn and ask questions while Atul demonstrates a selection of his signature seasonal dishes and talks through his recipes. You’ll then taste all the dishes at lunch and receive a signed copy of Atul’s book to inspire your own recipes.
Money raised by the charity helps to change the lives of women such as Kamlesh in Uttar Pradesh, India. “I have learnt how to make natural compost for my vegetables and how to boost the quality, timing and production of my crops,” says Kamlesh. “Now my pumpkins have grown and improved and I can sell them on. When we earn a little more money we can spend it on education for my children.’