Chef and owner of Darjeeling Express Asma Khan will be discussing her divine new book Ammu, a tribute to the simple home-cooking from her kitchen in Calcutta. Part cookbook and part memoir, Ammu (a term used in South Asian Muslim homes for mother) is a delicious collection of childhood recipes that celebrate the power of home and cooking. These are the foods she cooks for her family every day, meals to comfort, restore and nourish. 

The discussion will explore what it takes to run a successful restaurant, where the cooks are not traditional chefs but learnt the recipes from their grandmothers, Asma’s ancestral heritage and her life now in London. 

About The Author

Asma Khan

Asma Khan is the chef and owner of Darjeeling Express. She moved to Cambridge from Calcutta in 1991. Now residing in London with her husband and two boys, she comes from a royal background – Rajput on her father’s side and Bengali on her mother’s. After studying law, Asma went on to do a PhD in British Constitutional Law at King’s College London.

Cooking was always her passion and she began her food career in 2012 as a supper club in her home. In 2015, she opened a pop-up in a Soho pub to much acclaim, and Darjeeling Express the restaurant opened its doors in June 2017. A year later, her debut cookbook Asma’s Indian Kitchen was published. The book was the winner in the U.K.

category for food publishing in Indian cuisine at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

Asma is the first British chef to feature in Netflix’s Emmy nominated Chef’s Table. Her episode also received a 2020 James Beard Award nomination. Business Insidernamed her number 1 on their list of “100 Coolest People in Food and Drink”, and The Evening Standard listed her in The Progress 1000 as one of London’s most influential people 2019. She has been included in the eighth edition of the GG2 Power List – profiling Britain’s 101 most influential Asians and she is now the first chef to be featured on Vogue’s list of 25 most influential women of the year for 2020.

In 2021 Asma was shortlisted by GQ Food & Drink Awards in the Veuve Clicquot Innovator category.