5 Minutes With... Bini Ludlow

Who are you and what do you do?

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My name is Bini Ludlow and I run Sweet Cumin Indian cookery school and Bini Fine Foods Ltd in Somerset. I teach people of all ages to cook authentic Indian food, mainly from the Gujarat - the region my family originate from. Traditional techniques and recipes are the ones that my Mum and Auntie taught me from the age of 8 (to prepare me for marriage!) so it's real Indian home cooking. It's all about loving the ingredients and not rushing the process.

I've recently expanded into producing a range of home cooked ready-meals, which have already won several national food awards.  They're really taking off so that's a very exciting development for me.

 

What makes you different?

I trained, originally, in textiles and visual design, so I love fine art and fashion and use the same creative flair in my cooking. I love spices, and creating flavorful food with simple ingredients... and I believe in using the best. I think it's essential to support local businesses, and I try to source everything locally, although these days I am growing my own vegetables and herbs to 'grow my own curry' from scratch. I know it's going to be a challenge however I want to see what can and can't grow. There is nothing better than picking my own vegetables to use in my cookery school.

Personally I'm very positive and passionate, so when I set a goal I really go for it! I always see the good in other people too, as well as in life, and I enjoy seeing others succeed.

 

If you could visit any time and place in history where/when would you go?

Leonardo Da Vinci fascinated me as a child; he was so inventive, creative and artistic, and hugely influential in so many of the arts and sciences. I'd love to go back to fifteenth century Italy and work alongside him as his apprentice.

 

What's your superpower?

I am the invisible woman. I can go to places without being seen. I'm a petite person anyway, which helps...

 

What's the best piece of advice you have been given?

I think the best piece of personal advice I've ever had was that your school days are the best days of your life, so you should enjoy them.As far as my business goes though, the best advice has been to plan all of my days and have a detailed to do list; crossing items off as I go along. Completing that makes me feel really fulfilled.

 

What book would you recommend and why?

Long road to freedom by Nelson Mandela. It's a really inspiring book, which reminds us that we should be strong and stand up for our beliefs.