“When it comes to authentic flavours and consistency, home cooking comes first for many of us”, it’s a popular old sentiment from majority people of the past generation. However, mother’s cooking remained at home and countless new cooking ideas came out in commercial kitchens as a result of persistent nostalgia, people tried and argued about re-creating Mother’s taste in restaurants, many stories were told to convince people who had craving for wonderful memories of dishes from home.
We don’t have too many women chefs anywhere in the world, there are definite reasons why they don’t choose this profession. Besides, people have come to terms with new food styles and nobody expects home as the benchmark. Even so the industry is wide open for young girls to come and prove their talent and make a fortune as many people have done in the past. One thing comes to mind, cooking and taste making comes naturally and effortlessly to women and many people still believe, men have to foster it as part of a job.
Parween Warsi’s amongst the notable names who made great success in the 1980s, from a small business of making finger snacks at home, she had set up one of the largest food business in England and supplied frozen snacks like samosas to many super market chains. Some more names followed as Indian food industry cemented its presence in the market and consolidated comfortably at the top.
Meeting Mrs. Baby Seelan at the south Indian hub of East end brings a fresh hope for home cooking in London, she makes fantastic Kerala food from home and supplies to local community functions and to her regular customers. Just like famous Italian Chef Rose Gray, Baby started a cooking career in her late 50s, after her husband’s death few years ago and retirement from her profession as a nursery nurse. Munching her delicious, fluffy unniappam (sweet snack made with jaggary and ghee) and listening to her recipe, you could easily make out her effort and commitment to source best ingredients for making quality food.
Running around with great energy and self- motivation, Baby goes around auspiciously making flower garlands for her favourite temple at Eastham during her breaks away from cooking for big parties, she has been doing this voluntary work for the past 25 years. She believes all her social works like this keep her happy and helps her food taste better.in addition to her traditional feast dishes, she thinks, regular customers prefer her lamb curry to many other sublime flavours she encapsulates from home.
Baby’s warm approach and readiness to take up challenges won her many friends and became an inspiration to many women in the area. Women chefs like her come at the right time when people are almost tired of the factory made, super market foods all over the world. Home-cooking and a competitive environment can only help people realise good taste and eat less junk food around, especially when people like Baby’s priority is quality as supposed to merely making money.
In a world where we learn more about women entrepreneurs and their power as you see them spring up from many corners, yet there’s long way to go to make every woman realise her natural potential and involve seriously in a very demanding modern society. Many women have ideas and profound imagination but sometimes lacks support from their families to achieve their dreams and make a mark in this world. Baby runs her small food business for keeping herself active in life and she feels a purpose make her better human being and overcomes age thoughts and solitude.
Considering the abundance of women talent already exist, amount of success is much limited to the rare individuals with strong mind, in fact they could lead the way for millions of women who need help.