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Stratford chef who's teaching how to make Indian meals at home

CHEF Uttam Rawat has started a new venture intended to give people the skills to create their own authentic Indian meals.

Rama Food and Cookery Club was set up last year by the former development chef for a range of supermarkets – while he was on furlough.

“I was a development chef in London and you would have seen my meals in national supermarket chains,” said Uttam, from Stratford. “But at the start of the pandemic I was placed on furlough and, as a way to give back to the community and also keep myself busy, I started doing cookery classes online for free. It was appreciated a lot at a time when there was not much available to do due to lockdown.

“I had been doing the courses at a community centre in my spare time, but when I was made redundant, I thought I could turn it into an actual business.”

Uttam sought the advice of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. He was given a mentor and also signed on to a range of online courses covering marketing, forming a business plan and social media.

Uttam added: “Working with the chamber was a huge help. It provided me with so much information and confidence, which was extremely beneficial along the way.

“My mentor was there all the time offering advice and the online courses were incredibly useful, which was a huge help when applying for my start-up loan.

“Now I have already expanded the business and, as well as the cookery classes – which will be back to being in person as soon as we can – we are now doing food delivery.”

Working from home, Uttam has been creating chilled bespoke meals for two which include reheating instructions that are delivered to the door to homes in Stratford and surrounding villages.

Uttam is hoping that, once the country has come out of lockdown, he can start to look for his own business premises and create some jobs.

Hardeep Sandhu, from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Uttam’s business has been a real success story and it is great to see that it has already expanded and there are major plans for the future as well.

“He has put a huge amount of work into the business and has taken a great deal from all the resources that the chamber has to offer. He is the perfect example of what you can get out of them if you put the work in.”

For more information about the chamber’s workshops – or to book – visit https://tinyurl.com/57mr5s7e.

For more details about Rama Food and Cookery Club, visit https://ramafoodsuk.com.

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