The Escapist: cookbook writer Vicky Bhogal
Cookbook writer Vicky Bhogal talks to us about giving up advertising to pen cult recipe book, Cooking Like Mummyji
In 2002 I was working in advertising. Having learned how to cook from my Punjabi mother since I was tiny, friends and colleagues always marvelled at how different it was from Indian restaurant food and begged for the recipes. But there weren't any, and there weren't any measurements, either.
This was our true home food, and it was worlds away from what you'd find at the local curry house. Techniques were verbally passed down through years spent in the kitchen. But those methods were dying out, and so I wrote my cookbook, Cooking Like Mummyji, to preserve these precious recipes for future generations. I got a book deal in days, and it received great critical acclaim and public affection upon its release in 2003.
Fast-forward to 2009, and I had written three more cookery books and created a range of products, Just Like Mummyji's, which became a £3.2m brand within six months.
When the financial crisis hit, I was advised to undertake profile-boosting TV projects that were highly commercial, however I felt like they were taking me far away from what I cared about.
Instead, I took time out from the industry entirely, got back to cooking for pleasure and devoted the next seven years to getting Cooking Like Mummyji – which had fallen prematurely out of print in 2005 – republished, following an unexpected groundswell of public demand, all by word of mouth.
It is now finally back on the shelves in a beautiful new edition with stunning food photography, and I am back in the food industry sharing the dishes I love.
To learn more about Vicky, including where to buy her books, go to vickybhogal.com; Cooking Like Mummyji is out now (Grub Street, £25).