Madhur Jaffrey brings a taste of India to Brookes

Monday, 02 March 2009

Climbing mango trees, and picnics in the the Himalayas - some of the memories Madhur Jaffrey will be recalling at a public lecture on March 3.

Climbing mango trees armed with chillies and cumin and elaborate picnics in the foothills of the Himalayas - some of the memories Madhur Jaffrey will be recalling at a public lecture at Oxford Brookes University on March 3.

She has been dubbed Queen of Curry through her best selling recipe books including The Curry Bible and popular BBC TV series Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking, which made her a household name. Madhur Jaffrey will reflect on her personal life and varied career. A well known actress in TV, film and radio, she is also a respected food writer and now author of her successful memoir Climbing the Mango Tree from which she will read extracts in the lecture.

Madhur Jaffrey has increased our appreciation of curry, long recognised as the nation's favourite dish. She explored fusion food before it was fashionable showing how Indian cuisine has influenced and been influenced by cooking in South East Asia, Africa and the West Indies, as well as here in the UK and in the USA.

She brings with her four decades of culinary experience and the clear and simple approach of someone who taught herself to cook. She knows the possible pitfalls of home cooking and learned through necessity when, as a twenty year old student at RADA, she desperately missed Indian home-cooked food. She virtually learned by correspondence - with her mother.

Donald Sloan, Head of Department of Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Management at Oxford Brookes, says "We are delighted that Madhur Jaffrey is delivering this lecture. She has helped change our perceptions of Indian cooking and her lecture is very timely as people are realizing how fine Indian cuisine can be. Restaurants such as Cafe Spice are now highly fashionable and places like Aziz here in Oxford are attracting awards."

Madhur Jaffrey is the guest speaker at the Martin Radcliffe Fellowship Lecture in connection with Brookes' Oxford Gastronomica, the UK's first dedicated centre for the study of food, drink and culture. She is a founding Patron of Oxford Gastronomica along with other stars of the food world such as Raymond Blanc OBE, Pru Leith OBE and Ken Hom. The centre works with leaders in the food and drinks world and academics from several universities to improve society's relationship with food and drink for better health, environmental sustainability and social cohesion.