Inspirational head chef and owner of Romy's Kitchen, Romy Gill, has just been selected as one of four finalists for the BBC Radio Bristol's Food Hero award. Part of the national BBC Food and Farming Awards 2015, the winner will be announced on Thursday 30th April at the Bristol Food Connections Festival.
It was a welcomed surprise to Romy to be nominated by her customers for this prestigious award. Commenting on her nomination, Romy said: “I was absolutely delighted to find out I had been shortlisted as a finalist out of dozens of entries to this award.” She continues: “To know that I have made a difference to people's lives through my cooking is humbling, and I will continue to do so for as long I can.”
The BBC Food Hero Award celebrates a personality from the West who has made a difference to the food in people's lives. Romy is a highly active and admired member of her local community of Thornbury, Bristol. All of the staff at Romy's Kitchen are young people from the town and she uses fresh local ingredients wherever she can, many of which are grown in the Gill's very own vegetable garden.
Romy was brought up in West Bengal, Calcutta and after she emigrated to the UK it was the flavours of her childhood she hungered for which led her to develop a love for cooking. Starting off her culinary career cooking dinner parties for friends, and later running successful cookery classes, she then opened Romy's Kitchen in September 2013. Romy is the first and only female Indian chef-owner in the country and prides herself on cooking traditional Indian food, dishes you are unlikely to find in any curry house.
The winner of the BBC Food Hero award will be announced at the BBC's Food and Farming Awards' ceremony at the Bristol Food Connections Festival on Thursday 30th April. The decision is made by an expert panel of judges including: Laura Rawlings, BBC Radio Bristol's Breakfast Co-Presenter, Adrian Kirikmaa, who manages the catering restaurants and curriculum at City of Bristol College, Elizabeth Carruthers, Executive Head of Redcliffe Nursery School Children's Centre and winner of last year's award.
Romy is amongst four other strong contestants for the award including Michael Nelson of Charlton Farm, Steve Griffiths, head gardener of Let's Grow Community Allotment Gardens, and Hattie Parke, Co-ordinator of Bristol FoodCycle.