Promoting Indian vegan cooking in Bishop's Stortford
Rekha Joshi, a vegan chef and owner of RM Local on North Street, hosted a spice and food taster evening at the convenience store on Thursday, September 28.
At the event, Rekha, 43, introduced local people to top up their knowledge of cooking with spices, and showed them how to make delicious homemade meals with just a few ingredients.
The Mayor of Bishop’s Stortford, Colin Woodward, teamed up with Rekha for the occasion, which marked the first time the duo had joined forces.
Several local businesses donated prizes for a raffle, which was held to raise funds for one of Cllr Woodward’s chosen mayoral charities – the Portland Child Contact Centre in Portland Road.
This Stortford centre is run by a team of trained volunteers, who have the aim to offer a safe space for children to meet family members with whom they have lost contact.
Rekha, who is originally from Mumbai, opened RM Local with her husband in April last year, and she has loved sharing her culture with Bishop’s Stortford. “I feel that it’s something special I’m bringing over,” she said.
Her business has been very warmly welcomed by the community. Rekha commented: “I’ve never felt not loved in Bishop’s Stortford.”
But as the store is situated towards the end of North Street, it doesn’t see as much passing trade as it would if it were more in the centre of town, so Rekha wanted to organise the spice evening to let people know where they are in the town, and introduce them to the products that they sell.
The event was a resounding success, and in addition to funds being raised for a good cause, lots of people who called in to try Rekha’s food and most of them asked for the recipes and bought the ingredients.
A scout leader, Cormac O’Prey, who attended the event with his daughter, enjoyed Rekha’s tutorials so much that he asked her to go to a future scout session, to teach the kids about Diwali and Indian cooking.
Teaching kids to cook is something Rekha is immensely passionate about. She taught her own children to cook from a young age, and she believes that this has instilled in them lifelong healthy eating habits. She said that she would really like to teach schoolchildren in Bishop’s Stortford the same lesson.