Old Girl Anjali Pathak's Life in Food
Friday, 02 December 2011
Anjali Pathak of the Indian food giants, Pataks, was back at Bolton School to deliver a captivating cookery demonstration. Anjali, who is Brand Ambassador for the family business, Pataks, was delighted to return to her former school where she met up with her former classmate, Natalie James (nee Whittle), who is now part of the Food Technology Department, which organised the lunchtime seminar.
The packed audience of students and staff were engrossed and inspired as Anjali explained about her family business and how her grandmother and grandfather grew the business in London after arriving on these shores in 1957 with just £5 in their pocket. The company is now the largest producer of Indian food in the world. Her parents moved north to Bolton where the wetter climate suited the spices more.
Anjali spoke about her life in food and how after leaving Bolton School she became a qualified chef in London; she said she now travels the world getting to 'demystify spices and Indian food' whilst eating in some of the very best restaurants. She regularly appears on television and leading media channels and talked about her great love of food, telling the girls her current favourite tv programme is Saturday Morning Kitchen. She advised girls that if they ever go on a foodie holiday then Kerala in South-West India is the place they ought to visit where 90% of Indian spices are grown. Anjali told the audience that they should keep their spices in tins but if they had time they really should grind their own spices as this releases essential oils and there is nothing better than freshly ground spices.
Anjali went on to explain how her parents had come to recognise how time poor we all are in this country and that is what had made them develop the Pataks' range of curry cooking sauces. She then treated the audience to a demonstration of how to cook perfect onion bhajis.
After the demonstration Anajli, who left in 1999, caught up with her former classmate and there was much hilarity as they reviewed their Leavers' Yearbook. Two of Anajli's brother also attended Bolton School, one of them now works for the company in Dubai and the other is an actor.