Hi, I’m Zarina, and welcome to my little corner of the internet! I’m a freelance recipe developer, food stylist, and busy mum of three. Nothing makes me happier than sharing my love of cooking with others and I hope that, through my recipes I can dish up some family food inspiration from my kitchen to yours!
Today, I live in the beautiful, leafy suburb of Pinner, in North London, but my food inspirations and experience come from my global background and heritage. I am a Parsi Indian who was born and raised in one of the foodie capitals of the world, Hong Kong. Growing up in such a multinational community where Asian and Western influences are melded together, I was exposed to an enormous variety of cuisines. The passion for trying new tastes that I have developed as a child has never left me!
After leaving school, I studied Global Hospitality Management at Les Roches University in Switzerland, which gave me a strong background in all areas of hotel service, kitchen, and management. On graduating, I moved to the US, working at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta in Events and Convention Sales Management. This involved organizing conferences and events for 2000+ guests for major international companies, including Coca-Cola and CNN. In 2002, I moved to the UK to work at Le Méridien Piccadilly Hotel in London, and later the Café Royal Banqueting Rooms.
My career in events and catering took a backseat in 2006, when I married my amazing husband Raman, a Sikh Punjabi, and devoted myself to becoming a full-time wife and mama to our three beautiful children. I have loved spending the last decade sharing my love of food and cooking with my family and friends and last year, during the lockdown, I decided I finally had the time to share it with a wider community. That is how Zar’s Kitchen was born!
All the recipes you will find on these pages have been created by me according to my own personal set of food principles, based on my 4 beliefs of what all good home cooking should be:
My blog has something for everyone! It’s filled with delicious recipes that can be recreated in your home kitchen, without any special equipment required. As a mum myself, I know how important it is to be able to create recipes that the whole family will devour, and that don’t need a professional level of skill to recreate. While I admit I am a sucker for fresh ingredients, you’ll also find many recipes that use pantry staples and store-bought “cheat” options too!
Being Full of Flavour
You will find all the flavours of my childhood in these recipes; Parsi, Indian, Asian, and European. I always try to find ways to inject some extra flavour into the simplest of dishes, tantalising the tastebuds! I try and use fresh herbs and spices wherever I can, and love sharing my discoveries of new flavours and taste combinations. As well as creating exciting, modern dishes, I also share several of my “secret” family recipes on these pages, passed down through my family for generations.
Whenever I can, I try to use ingredients that are sustainably and ethically sourced. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the reader has to do the same, the recipe will always work. But I feel from personal experience that happy, ethically raised farm animals produce tastier and healthier meat, and pesticide-free, organic farm production methods will leave our children a cleaner, brighter future. I also find myself spending more and more time experimenting with vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-free recipes, and my family is loving the results!
Spreading the Love
Food is more than fuel for the body. For me, it is shared love made edible! It is nourishment for the body and the soul, a way of bringing people together and spreading happiness. When I cook a meal for someone, it is an expression of my affection for them. The friends and connections I have made through Zar’s Kitchen helped me stay positive and focused during the Lockdowns, and I hope the recipes and ideas that I share here will inspire you as they have done me!