A recent ‘BBC Food Personality of the Year’, Bombay-born Parsee chef Cyrus Todiwala has been called all manner of good things, but the Chef Patron of Cafe Spice Namaste, Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen, Assado by Cyrus Todiwala, The Park Café in Victoria Park East and the River Restaurant at the Acron Waterfront Resort in Goa still has his feet very much on the ground, combining flavours, spices and ingredients in ways no other Indian chef has done before.
His ‘worst kept secret’ Khaadraas Club Dinners, held at Café Spice Namaste every 4-5 weeks, feature heirloom recipes from his mother and aunts in Bombay and India. They’ve become coveted rituals, introducing his rich Parsee culinary heritage to a wider audience.
Very much a hands-on chef, he appears regularly on BBC Saturday Kitchen, as both a guest chef and guest presenter, and is one half of the ‘Incredible Spicemen’ duo in the hit BBC cookery series.
Cyrus is the author of 6 books: ‘International Cuisine: India’, ‘Cafe Spice Namaste: New Wave Indian Cuisine’, ‘Indian Summer’, as well as ‘The Incredible Spicemen’ with Tony Singh, nominated for a 2013 Specsavers National Book Award, and ‘Mr Todiwala’s Bombay: Recipes and Memories from India’, published by Hardie Grant and nominated for a 2013 World Food Awards Cookbook of the Year. In 2016, he published a new book showcasing his ingenuity with spices, ‘Mr Todiwala’s Spice Box’. He has been a featured speaker at the Blenheim Palace Literary Festival and works closely with Oxford Gastronomica.
His hand-made line of gluten-free pickles and chutneys, Mr Todiwala’s Splendidly Spicy Pickles and Chutneys, are food festival favourites.
A passionate campaigner for sustainability and buying British, Café Spice Namaste’s list of green awards includes the Sustainable Food Award from the Corporation of London and a ‘Special Achievement Award’ for his commitment to the environment from the Footprint Forum.
Cyrus sits on a number of boards including the London Food Board, under the Mayor’s office, and the Hospitality Guild. He is a member of the Asian Restaurant Skills Board, which aims to raise the prestige and profile of the Asian cuisine industry as a career choice. In 2013, Cyrus launched The Asian Junior Chefs Challenge (since re-launched as Zest Quest Asia), a first of its kind, with the Master Chefs of Great Britain, to help introduce Asian cookery to a new generation of ‘homegrown’ talent. He is a Founding Member of the Guild of Entrepreneurs and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Cooks, the Society Patron of the British Lop Pig Society and an Ambassador of the CLINK Charity and Springboard UK.
Cyrus was awarded an MBE by HM The Queen for services to education & training and an OBE for his contribution to the hospitality industry. He is a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London. In 2012, he cooked the very first luncheon for HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Tour, featuring his now famous ‘Country Captain’.