Arguably one of the best dressed chefs in the country, former fashion journalist and professional stylist Ravinder Bhogal has made her mark on the UK’s food scene with her cookbooks, television appearances and standalone restaurant, Jikoni.
Bhogal was born in Nairobi in Kenya, but moved to London as a small child and grew up there. She first came to prominence in 2005 when she won a television cooking competition to find the new Fanny Craddock, led by well-known chefs Angela Hartnett and Gordon Ramsay as part of the latter’s television series The F Word.
Bhogal capitalised on her new-found fame by releasing her debut cookbook in 2009, Cook in Boots. The book was well received and was even awarded the title of the UK’s Best First Cookbook at the 2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award, facing competition from around 26,000 titles across 136 different countries.
Following this, Bhogal embarked on a television career, appearing alongside restaurant critic Jay Rayner on Channel 4’s "Food: What's in your Basket", which investigated farming practices around the UK. She also hosted her own cooking show on TLC called ‘Ravinder’s Kitchen’, which debuted in 2013.
In September 2016, Bhogal launched her highly anticipated debut restaurant in Marylebone, called Jikoni. The restaurant serves Asian comfort food, but gives its dishes a series of international twists, inspired by Britain, Africa and the Middle East. The restaurant describes itself as a kitchen without borders, which explains why you will find hybrid dishes on the menu, such as a prawn toast Scotch egg served alongside banana ketchup.
When she’s not rustling up internationally inspired dishes in the kitchen, Bhogal writes a monthly column for FT Weekend and has also penned a second cookbook, called "Jikoni: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchen", which was released in the summer of 2020.