Sunday, April 23rd, 2017
Many of you may be thinking, I have been quiet for a while, huge apologies to those of you who have been waiting with baited breath for my next blog along with all the excitement that my tasty little snippets bring!
There has been lots of planning going on, so glad of my previous life as an accountant, I have set up all sorts of spreadsheets analysing interesting pieces of data, it’s been helpful to make decisions and get organised.
It can be quiet for many foodie businesses, in the new year, not for me, it was a valuable time to review and refresh my skills and I started with food hygiene training, it’s an area that you can’t take risks, you wouldn’t expect me to cut corners, would you? I treat my business as if it’s home, washing ingredients, roasting spices, storing refrigerated items just as Indian mums do in their homes and in temples, Indian mums have their own ways of doing things, habits we are all raised with which form daily habits. I know that Sam, our son who is now at university has picked up these habits.
The actual hygiene and cleaning side of my business is fine, for peace of mind and to set my standards as I get busier, I have been creating documents that Tori Davies, my friend from Saracens Solutions, specialising in food hygiene helped me to develop, a personalised form that relates to my business and keeps all the information per booking in one place, rather than having to search for details, should the health and safety officer visit. It’s such an important and valuable document that traces the ingredients from store to dining table.
This year, so far, I have cooked with 128 people, many were place at workshops, bought for loved ones as Christmas vouchers, a huge thank you to those who have left lovely reviews on social media and my feedback forms have brought a tear to my eye on many occasions, thank you again, to those of you thoughtful enough to do so, you cannot imagine what a difference your thoughts and suggestions make to my journey.
It is possible to plan your cooking event to fit in with times, from novice cooks to professional chefs, to the can’t cooks, the won’t cooks and everybody in between. This week, in particular, has been so fabulous, we had a two-year-old make a raita and bhajes, he ate far too many of them and I am so glad that changing nappies isn’t part of my business!
There have been many events this year, with the repeat clients and lots of planning going on with a festival of curry which will celebrate curry and raise funds for Kipbag, the project that provides sleeping bags to the homeless.
We have had team buildings, the last one was so much fun, the teams were split into groups and themed by a professional chef or cook, the individual teams cooked Indian dishes from the celebrity chefs’ cookbooks, had props to tie in with their teams and naturally, Ramsay’s team had a swear box. It was an idea from the organiser, which grew to a team building event with lots of delicious, tasty dishes, so much fun to deliver.
We have cooked the most delicious dishes on fields, under a gazebo, on camping stoves and I even bring the kitchen sink, not one as you’d recognise, but a teal unit which is a professional hand washing sink.
In May, I have six live demos planned, two of which are in London and four live in Shropshire. What would you like to learn to cook with me? Please get in touch and I shall try my best to do a live cooking demonstration, with your favourite dishes in mind.
Lajina Leal, Founder, Lajina Masala
Lajina had a Corporate Career as an Accountant for many years and whilst discussing an impending redundancy in an Indian restaurant with her friends, they persuaded her to set up an Indian Cooking School.
The fun started in October 2013 and the business has grown from strength to strength.