Sumayya Usmani

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Sumayya Usmani is a food writer and cookery teacher who grew up in Pakistan, she moved to London in 2006, where she lived for ten years. Sumayya quit her twelve year City law career to follow her passion for sharing the flavours of her homeland with a view to highlighting Pakistani cuisine as a distinct one. The author of two award-winning and multi award-nominated cookbooks: Summers Under The Tamarind Tree (Frances Lincoln 2016) and Mountain Berries and Dessert Spice (Frances Lincoln 2017), her writing reminisces about food and memories growing up in Pakistan and Sumayya advocates cooking by “andaza”, (sensory and estimation cooking), which is how she learnt to cook from her mother and grandmothers; from a very young age.

Sumayya has worked with some of the biggest names in the food world, including Madhur Jaffrey, Sophie Grigson, Rachel Allen and Vivek Singh. She appeared in many print magazines like Delicious, Olive, BBC Good Food (naming her the go-to expert in Pakistani food), Saveur, New York Times,  Food 52, Telegraph and has also done a residency for four weeks for The Guardian Cook supplement. Sumayya has been on Good Food Channel (with Madhur Jaffrey), BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Saturday Live, as well as BBC Radio 2, BBC Asian Network and BBC Worldwide. Sumayya appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Kitchen Cabinet panel with Jay Rayner in April 2018. Sumayya has appeared in some of the world’s top literary festivals as well as Ballymaloe, River Cottage and done demos at Borough Market. Sumayya also hosts many pop-up events and supper clubs and has worked with top restaurants in the UK.

Sumayya is an experienced cookery teacher who has been teaching for over five years at Divertimenti London, Demuths Bath, Oxford’s Jericho Kitchen, Sophie Grigson’s, Edinburgh New Town Cookery School and many others. Sumayya is now settled in Glasgow, and co-presents BBC Kitchen Cafe weekly, on BBC Radio Scotland and as well writes a weekly food column in Scotland’s Sunday Herald. Sumayya is about to set up Kaleyard: Cook-Eat-Share, in Glasgow, a social enterprise cook school project that aims to bring people together irrespective of who they are and get them cooking good food from scratch while sharing stories, recipes and celebrating the power of togetherness that food is all about.



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