Founder of Darjeeling Express. An immigrant & a proud Londoner. 1st British Chef to feature on Netflix Chef’s Table
Khan opened the Darjeeling Express restaurant in June 2017 after five years hosting supper clubs across London, including what is now seen as a restaurant pilot with a residency at Soho’s Sun & 13 Cantons pub.
The empowering restaurateur is set to be profiled on season 6 in the award winning Netflix show, Chefs Table. Set to air in Spring 2019 Asma will be the first UK restaurateur to be featured on the show.
The Darjeeling Express is proudly staffed by an all-female brigade of nine friends who used to help Khan with her supper clubs. Many of them previously worked as nannies – none have been trained in professional kitchens. Many of Khan’s recipes are inspired by food that would have been passed down through the families that cooked for royalty, an oral tradition that came to and end when the nation gained independence in 1947. Khan is trying to collect and preserve these recipes
“I know what it is to not have a level playing field – I was born a girl and from that moment I was never good enough.” Asma appeared on the list of the 100 most influential people in food in the UK. More recently she has launched Second Daughters Fund to encourage the celebration of second daughters in India, who can be seen as a burden to their families. On Sundays, when the restaurant is closed, Khan runs the Women in Food supper club, an event which gives would-be female restaurateurs and chefs the chance to cook for the paying public.
She points out that many of the hospitality industry’s female success stories are about individuals – she would like to see more groups of women succeeding together.
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