Representing Diverse Food Cultures in Retail – Join our free panel session at Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2023

Speciality & Fine Food Fair, the UK’s leading showcase of artisanal food and drink, is returning from the 11th – 12th of September at Olympia, London. It’s a free industry event, designed as a food festival. Our co-founder, Mecca Ibrahim, is delighted to be chairing a session in the Trends Theatre on 11th September called Representing Diverse Food Cultures in Retail. Read on to find out about the esteemed women in the food industry on the panel and what you will takeaway from the panel and the event.

“International” food is one of fastest growing areas in the food industry, with new “must-have” dishes & ingredients being discovered every week. The “world food” shelves in supermarkets, delis and specialist food shops are usually the most vibrant and colourful, but are the ingredients and dishes on display a true representation of the countries they originally hail from?

We’ve brought together a panel of esteemed women in the food industry as they discuss what the public expect of “international food”, how international ingredients, ready meals and recipe kits can be created with respect to origins and how to create an authentic portfolio of international products that sell & encourage return visits.

Who’s on our panel:

Lorna Nanda Gangotra – Founder & Owner Lorna’s Indian Kitchen

Lorna  escaped the corporate world of Telecoms over a decade ago and turned her passion for food into a business. She is a self-taught award-winning chef, Founder and Owner of Lorna’s Indian Kitchen & Cookery School.

Lorna’s ethos is locally sourced and free-range produce and she is a huge advocate on the provenance of food. She holds numerous Great Taste awards and is a Great Taste Producer with the Guild of Fine Food.

Lorna won the BBC’s launch series of The Big Family Cooking Showdown with the show extending its reach to a global audience on Netflix.

Lorna curates supper clubs/pop-ups, private dining experiences and regularly attends Farmers Markets and Food, Drink & Music festivals.

Lorna holds an MBA in International Business from Birmingham University, a BA in Business Studies from Greenwich University and lives in Surrey with her husband, three children and their tropical fish.

Regina Anthony – Senior Marketing and Communications Manager, Foundervine

Foundervine’s mission is to remove the social barriers to entrepreneurship and build the greatest network of digitally-enabled businesses in the world. They do this by helping diverse founders globally startup from scratch. In her role Regina is exposed to multiple marketing strategies employed by these start up founders.

When not working at Foundervine, her side hustle is to take care of her partner’s brand @HungryGourmet  and she is “the general cleaner/ sous chef/photographer for all his chef events”.

Reiko Hashimoto – Founder, Hashi Japanese Cooking

Reiko was born in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. She grew up in a traditional Japanese family with a food-fanatic mother who has shaped her love of Japanese cooking today.

20 years ago, Reiko set up Hashi Cooking, becoming the first person in the UK to teach the art of sushi. Today, she has set thousands of students on the path to creative and accessible Japanese cooking, coaching a range of talent from raw beginners to professional chefs.

In 2011, Reiko released her first cookbook – ‘Hashi, A Japanese Cookery Course’ – with Absolute, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Pls and it was such a success amongst beginners and professional chefs alike that she has published a second book ‘Cook Japan, Stay Slim, Live Longer’. Published by Bloomsbury in 2017, this book has been motivated by Reiko’s recognition that the Japanese diet is one of the healthiest and yet most delicious in the world – offering a sustainable life-long way of eating healthily.

Reiko’s third book has published during first lock-down in April 2020. This is a Japanese Vegetarian book taking a part of Bloomsbury’s World Vegetarian series. Reiko, Japan was chosen as one of the launch books of this entire series.

Nidhi Verma – Head of Food & Co-Founder, The Cookaway World Food Recipe Kits

Nidhi created Meri Rasoi (which means My Kitchen) in 2011 to demystify Indian cuisine and share her love for authentic Indian food. Her addiction to this wonderful aroma began with savouring home cooked food in her homeland of India.

After a career in marketing with PwC in the UK, she decided to give up her day job to follow her passion for food by setting up a cookery school called Meri Rasoi. Since 2011, She has taught over a thousand people from more than 10 countries. She teaches small groups and private classes from her home kitchen as well as hosts workshops for larger groups and corporates in teaching kitchens.

It quickly became clear that while people loved the food they learnt to cook, it was hard to source authentic ingredients to recreate these recipes at home (they call it the Cookbook problem) and so in 2018, she decided to start Cookaway, to allow people to access her creations easily. Cookaway is an at home cooking experience built to encourage people to embrace the joy of cooking, while bringing them on a global culinary adventure.

Elainea Emmott, Food Writer, Chef and Food Photographer & Founder of Our Seat, Our  Table Ltd

Elainea was featured in Channel Four’s show Crazy Delicious with high accolades from Heston Blumenthal. The show is currently on Netflix UK. With her personalised page of Caribbean recipes on the BBC website Elainea also contributes to many publications. Her Supper Club called Our Seat, Our Table is about everyone having a seat and conversations of love, loss and revolutions made over the kitchen table. Elainea is a world renowned protest and portrait photographer working on projects highlighting women and girls portraying grief, strength and compassion with awards and accolades of her work.

Elainea works as a Food Writer, Chef and Food Photographer and does various stages at restaurants in between cooking at her supper clubs in London. She loves to push the boundaries of sweet savoury producing beautiful plates of inventive and food using ingredients with a Caribbean edge combining satisfying homecooked flavours with a contemporary edge.

Our panel takes place on  Monday 11 September from 15:45 – 16:30 at the Trends Theatre at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2023.

You can register for free for both the fair and the panel here.

About the Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2023

Whether it’s unearthing innovative and inspiring products from 200 new-to-market companies in the Start-Up Village, or debating the latest trends on the seminar stage, Speciality & Fine Food Fair will allow you to experience the finest products in food & drink in a way that simply cannot be done from sitting behind your desk.

Taking place annually at Olympia London, the Fair is a hub of inspiration for the artisan food & drink world and is a fantastic opportunity to hear and learn from top retail specialists, industry disruptors and entrepreneurs. Condense a year’s worth of product sourcing into an inspiring journey of discovery.

Join us there by securing your spot now! Click this link to register for free.

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