From Science to Cookery: Anita Sharma-James, PhD

Win a signed cookbook from Anita Sharma-James! Read closely to find the answer to the following question:

Anita’s book ‘A life of Spice’ is like having a *what* in your own kitchen?

Details on how to enter can be found at the bottom of this post…


Forget molecular gastronomy, Indian chef and author Anita Sharm-James really does have a PhD!

We spoke to Anita about her move from the laboratory to the kitchen, and what visitors can expect from her Interactive Workshops and Talk & Taste Theatre sessions at this year’s Food Festival.


What made you want to leave your old job as a research scientist in 2002 and start up your own cookery business in 2007?

I enjoyed almost ten years of working within a University setting as a medical research scientist, helping students and conducting medical research but my passion and outlet for creativity has always been food. I was born in India in 1966, and grew up in Britain immersed in Indian food and culture as well being very much part of the British way of life. 

After my daughter was born in 2002 I decided to turn that passion together with my medical and health knowledge, into a unique kind of cookery school. My aim was to provide  positive Indian food and cultural experiences in a relaxed, creative atmosphere.

 What can visitors expect from you at this year’s Food Festival?

I believe that powerful new food experiences can be life changing and send you on an amazing journey of discovery.With this in mind I’ll be demonstrating the incredible art of blending spices from scratch and turning them into fabulous aromatic curries. Foodies coming to my events can expect valuable insights into both the art (Indian culture, authentic recipes and techniques) and science (health benefits of food, herbs and spices) of Indian food. 


 What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Food Festival? 

Food is about constantly reconnecting ourselves with each other and the local growing landscape. The festival will enable us to celebrate a shared local food experience and to express that creative sense of community and caring. I can’t wait to sample the amazing new ranges from local producers and retailers and share ideas with fellow chefs.

 Are you bringing any surprises that’s visitors should look out for? 

I’ll be sharing lots of Indian family secrets from my new recipe book ‘A Life of Spice’ and offering completely unique approach to Indian food which not only tastes heavenly but is like having a pharmacy in your own kitchen !




Competition entry details:

To be in with a chance of winning a copy of Anita Sharma-James’ book, ‘A Life of Spice’, answer the question correctly by….

TWITTER – Posting it in a tweet, tagging @foodfest2013


FACEBOOK – Sharing the Stratford Food Festival competition post and page with your friends. Please use the ‘share’ button above the post, otherwise we can’t see whether you’ve done it or not!


Not on Social Media, that’s fine. Send your answer to to be in with a chance of winning.