Shaheen Peerbhai, AKA Purple Foodie

FYI, she was the consulting food editor for BBC Good Food Magazine, India

She’s a chef, both pastry and cuisine, with an affinity for the sweet stuff, was classically trained at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and currently pursuing her Diploma in Superior Culinary Arts at Alain Ducasse Education in Argenteuil, France. Gained a lot of food wisdom by working at restaurants in London and Paris, the most recent being 1 Michelin-starred Lyle’s in Shoreditch. She conducts baking classes and writes. She was the consulting food editor for BBC Good Food Magazine, India.  She also co-founded the Paris-based pop-up Friday Lunches and London-based pop-up Atelier Quinzième. She talks to us about food, breaking norms and what she will never ever eat.

Q1. How did it all start, the passion for cooking? 

Shaheen: I was born and brought up in Bombay, studied business at college only to realise that I love to bake. All through grad school I harboured the dream of studying baking from the best chefs in France and wearing crisp whites in the kitchen. While I was working as the food editor for BBC Good Food Magazine, I applied for scholarships to study at Le Cordon Bleu and Alain Ducasse, that turned my dream into a reality. I’m currently in India teaching my baking classes (classes.purplefoodie.com) and working on the first cookbook slated for a Spring ’18 release with Barnes and Noble.

Q2. What is food for you?

Shaheen: Food isn’t just about subsistence. If I wanted that, I’d just eat carrot sticks with hummus. In our home, we like to celebrate food and take the time to prepare a good meal that comes together with market fresh ingredients. Luckily for me, it’s easy to find high-quality ingredients from all over the world in London. We cook food from all parts of the world based on our travels and our time from living in France.

Q3. Do you believe in organic food?

Shaheen: I try and shop for organic and biodynamic produce at my weekly market as far as I can although I’m not super strict about it.
 

Q4. How important are ingredients?

Shaheen: Ingredients are most important. I always begin my classes by impressing upon my students the importance of quality ingredients. One should never compromise on quality because whatever you put into your recipe will be reflected in the end result. Quality ingredients matched with good technique brings you closer to perfection.
 

Q5. One thing you will never eat?

Shaheen: Snails.

Q6. Any #Norm you have broken lately?
Shaheen: I’m guilty of eating dessert for breakfast.

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