Celebrity Chef Dipna Anand Launches First Cookbook
We at Bhangra News were luckily enough to catch up with Dipna Anand this week, blessed with the opportunity to talk all things food, literature and influences.
Dipna is a well-established celebrity chef, best known for her family-run restaurant, the Brilliant in Southall. This spectacular dining establishment is a constant reminder of just how much of a solid connection we in Britain have with Indian food, naming Dipna as the Queen of Punjabi cuisine.
Having co-owned the Brilliant restaurant Dipna has inevitably begun to experiment with new tastes, trends and flavours, launching her first cookery book, Beyond Brilliant as a result of this.
We were very eager to learn all about her and how she came to become the cookery expert that she is today.
When did you first realise you could cook?
I used to like helping mum in the kitchen as a child. In fact when I was about 3-4 years old she tells me I used to empty out all the pots and pans from the cupboards, so I think my passion for cooking developed very early on in my life. When I was in school I used to love food technology and took it on for GCSE and A level.
What is your inspiration for creating new and innovative dishes?
Inspiration is when I see a new ingredient not really associated with Indian foo. It boosts me to try it out and incorporate it into a new dish. I try to incorporate different spices into a new dish so that its as full of flavour as should be. Mum is also my inspiration because when I see her experimenting new dishes, it makes me want to do the same.
What would you say the pinnacle point of your career has been so far?
When my award for inspirational woman was announced by the Prime Minister at The British Curry Awards and launching my first cookbook Beyond Brilliant.
Do you feel that the perception of Indian food has changed over the years?
Yes people used to think Indian food is greasy and always floating in fat. However, now people know good healthy food from unhealthy options. People today love our healthy options and customers who want a healthy curry can now have exactly that. The perception that Indian food is hard to cook still remains in some people’s head but my goal is to change that and prove Indian food can be made within minutes.
What is so different about your cooking style to other chefs?
Gordon Ramsey left our restaurant saying ‘…this is proper authentic food and its great to see as it comes from the heart’. That’s why my cooking is different, it comes from the HEART and plus I make it look real simple because it is!!!
What other celebrity chefs do you admire?
There are many, John Torode is great. Heston is a culinary genius. Gordon is also a great chef. We trained him on how to use the clay oven for one of his channel 4 programmes and by the end he was almost an expert.
What made you want to start a career as a cookery book author?
My dad has wanted me to write a book and he always pushed me. Then after winning the inspiration award I decided to take the step of finally putting my head down and focus on writing. It took me five and a half months to write after signings with the publishers.
What can readers expect from your new Beyond Brilliant?
Lots of knowledge, expertise and my story. One thing I can vouch for is that each recipe works so readers can be assured recipes will look exactly as they do in the pictures.
What response have you had from the book so far?
Immense response. The book sold 450 copes by the third week. It is only available from Amazon and from the restaurant also.
What are the next steps for Dipna?
I am working on a cookery TV series that will teach the nation to cook real Indian food.
It is safe to say that Dipna is set to break records with this book, a glossary of beautiful recipes that will change your cooking techniques indefinitely. Visit Amazon and get your copy today!