An evening of cooking to celebrate publication of The Waiter by Ajay Chowdhury

Though many of us may be zoomed out, one good thing that has come from all of these remote meetings is that book events have opened up to those people who can’t always get to London. There have been some inventive ways of launching books and yesterday evening I was invited along to the launch of The Waiter by Ajay Chowdhury which involved a cook along in conjunction with Migrateful.

On Monday a box of ingredients arrived and a recipe list, which told me we were going to make vegetarian Pakoras and Chanachur.

Our chef, Nahida, took us through the steps to making both dishes, explaining how Pakoras featured heavily in her Eid celebrations and how Chanachur was a staple street food when she was growing up.

Of course we were there to celebrate the publication of Ajay’s debut novel and we heard more about the book from Ajay and how he came to win the first Harvill Secker and Bloody Scotland writing competition.

How did my Pakoras and Chanachur turn out? Well I won’t be winning any culinary awards and they certainly aren’t Instagram ready but for a first try I can’t complain. It’s definitely encouraged me to try to cook more and I’ll be looking to see what other classes Migrateful have on offer.

About the Book

Kamil Rahman, disgraced detective, turned waiter, is about to find himself embroiled in a case that might just change his life…for better or for worse.

Ex-detective Kamil Rahman moves from Kolkata to London to start afresh as a waiter in an Indian restaurant. But the day he caters an extravagant party for his boss’s rich and powerful friend, the peace of his simple new life is shattered. The event is a success, the food is delicious, but later that evening the host, Rakesh, is found dead in his swimming pool.

Suspicion falls on Rakesh’s young and glamorous new wife, Neha, and Kamil is called to investigate for the family, with the help of his boss’s daughter Anjoli. Kamil and Anjoli prove a winning team – but as the investigation progresses, and their relationship grows, Kamil struggles to keep memories of the case that destroyed his career in Kolkata at bay. Little does he know that his past will soon catch up with him in some very unexpected ways.

About the Author

Ajay Chowdhury is the winner of the inaugural Harvill Secker and Bloody Scotland competition. He is a tech entrepreneur and theatre director who lived the first third of his life in India and then moved to London, where he cooks experimental meals for his wife and daughters. His first children’s book, Ayesha and the Firefish, was published in 2016 and The Waiter is his debut crime thriller.

More about Migrateful

Migrateful runs cookery classes led by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who are struggling to integrate and access employment. The classes help in learning English and building confidence, and also promote contact and cultural exchange with the wider community

Due to legal, linguistic and social barriers, finding work can be extremely difficult for many migrants. Being unable to provide for themselves and their families has significant negative effects on self-esteem and mental health.

Migrateful’s mission is to empower and celebrate refugees and vulnerable migrants on their journey to integration, by supporting them to run their own cookery classes.

They host both on line and in person cookery classes. Online classes are priced at £20 for the household plus a £2.15 booking fee. Ingredients are sent to your home prior to the class so there’s no need to worry about shopping before hand. In person classes are £80 for 2 people including a meal (current Covid restrictions apply).

Each chef will teach traditional recipes from their native country and offer a variety of dishes including many vegetarian and vegan meals.

You can find out more about Migrateful and their cookery classes here.

*I did not receive any payment for taking part in the Migrateful/Ajay Chowdhury event. I did receive the ingredients box and a copy of The Waiter*


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds like a fab way to spend an evening! And the food looks excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      It was great, such a unique way of launching a book and a great initiative from Migrateful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. JacquiWine says:

    Love the sound of the cookery classes. I shall take a look!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      I hope you find one that appeals 🙂


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