Mehak Kansal – From self taught cook to successful restaurateur
Mehak Kansal is the founder of Indian restaurant Bindas Eatery in Shepherd’s Bush, Westfield White City. A self taught cook, Mehak realised her passion for food from a young age. Raised in a family who did not know how to cook, Mehak decided that in order to eat well, she was going to have to teach herself! She therefore spent time travelling around India to learn more about its rich cuisine. Observing street vendors and experiencing the flavours and ingredients from the different regions of the country inspired her to develop her own skills.
Moving from a career in property development, Mehak ran supper clubs before opening a pop-up restaurant in London’s Mayfair and now has a restaurant in Westfield’s huge shopping centre in West London. We caught up with her to find out more about her story. The full piece is published in our latest online magazine.
Why did you decide to change direction and move from property development into food?
Food and cooking has always been a source of therapy for me and a passion. I studied Law, went into property development and always felt like something was missing in my life. I have been fortunate enough to have travelled extensively which has allowed me to learn different cuisine and cooking methods. I have been told for years that I should open a bakery or a restaurant as I love food. I had seen this competition advertised on hot dinners in 2018 and I decided to take a huge leap of faith and apply.
Which region of India do you find the most inspiring for food?
I mainly draw inspiration from Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan & Mumbai. I am Punjabi and grew up with North Indian flavours which influences a lot of my Indian cooking.
After the launch of a supper club, you were awarded the 2018 Westfield Food Entrepreneur Award. The prize was mentorship from renowned Spanish chef Omar Allibhoy of Tapas Revolution and a pop-up eatery at a flagship site in Shepherd’s Bush. What were the most valuable things you learnt from your mentorship with Allibhoy?
Omar helped me enormously during my mentorship with him. He allowed me to see the cooking processes, explained to me how I would need to scale my recipes up for service. Omar put me in touch with his suppliers to help me get off the ground and went through my business model with me. He gave me actual insight into life as a restaurateur.
You can read the full feature in our FREE Winter 2022/3 Magazine