Anita book signing

Spice up your life!

21 June 2016

Author of "Life of Spice", Anita Sharma-James

This year, we at Nexus Fostering, have been running a social and educational enrichment programme of cookery sessions in conjunction with the Harborne Food School, for young people aged 12-18 years old. The cookery classes have given a group of children the opportunity to work in a professional kitchen under expert guidance, learn new skills, and try out new diverse recipes and ingredients.  The Harborne Food School offers exciting events that challenge young people with recipes that would equally suit a class of adults. Robert Smith from Harborne Food School said,” At Harborne Food School we believe that healthy and nutritious cooking is easy, fun and inexpensive. The young people are a pleasure to teach – their cooking skills have come on in leaps and bounds. Hopefully, these skills will hold them in good stead as they become independent”.

Last week, the session led by Indian chef and author, Anita Sharma-James who is a chef tutor at Harborne Food School. Interestingly, Anita grew up in Harborne and was a former primary pupil at the Clock Tower building back in the early 1970s.  The main kitchen in the Food School used to be the assembly hall, and Anita told the young people she remembered sitting on the floor as a 4 year old. Life is strange sometimes!  

A former medical research scientist, Anita is also the author of a recipe book, “A life of Spice” which charts the life of her mother from pre-Independence India to modern day Britain. Anita said, “I’m so proud of the kids today, they rose to challenge of cooking cauliflower kofta curry, fresh chapattis and basmati rice.  It was an ambitious menu, but they enjoyed themselves and worked hard to create some amazing authentic flavours. Cooking really brings out the best in terms of teamwork and communication and this group showed these skills in abundance. Well done to everyone involved!”

The children are now quite knowledgeable about Indian herbs and spices having sampled several during the day! Sandra Ashley from Nexus Fostering has booked one more session with the Food School and it looks like homemade pasta is going to be the focus of the young people’s efforts next time.  The Harborne Food School runs a range of courses for all ages and aptitudes.  Nexus Fostering have greatly appreciated their support and input into helping their young people develop confidence and essential skills for life.”

Sandra Ashley

Follow us: @NexusFostering

Follow Anita: @asianfoodhub

Follow Harborne Food School: @HarborneFS


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