By Harry Rose,2015-04-10 23:08
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    Speaker biographies

Suzanne Natelson (Making Local Food Work for London)

    Suzanne Natelson works with London partners in the Making Local Food Work project for three days a week, and the rest of her brain space is used in studying for an MSc in Social and Political Theory at Birkbeck College. Since completing her first degree in archaeology, she lived for a year in Australia where she experienced the outback as a cook on a cattle station and as a cherry picker. Suzanne then moved to Belgium for 3 years and worked at WWF European Policy Office on a campaign for an EU regulation on chemicals during which time she coordinated various campaign initiatives including biomonitoring families and Environment ministers. Before joining Sustain she coordinated a project at Consumers International on competition policy with 14 consumer organisations in Europe.

Hannah Williams (Well London, Buywell project)

    Hannah Williams is the Buywell Officer for the Well London Programme, working with communities to develop food access initiatives across 10 disadvantaged areas in London.

    Previously she worked for Westminster Primary Care Trust running the North Paddington Food Project and has coordinated and developed a range of community food initiatives. Before this she worked on the Young Cooperatives Project at Sustain providing guidance to schools and manufactures on how to adapt Fairtrade tuck shops to provide healthy products under the new nutrition standards for schools. She has also worked on the Children's Food Campaign and developed health education resources for Bristol North and Bristol South & West PCT. She has a Masters in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Public Health and is a registered nutritionist. She has an excellent understanding of the challenges communities face relating to diet and nutrition and a strong interest in health inequalities and community development.

Afsheen Rashid, (Well London Coordinator, London Sustainability Exchange)

    Afsheen coordinates projects to encourage take-up of sustainable behaviours including pro-environmental living and healthy eating, physical activities and mental health. She currently takes lead responsibility for coordinating a variety of partners and actors as part of the ?9.6million Big Lottery Funded Well London programme. This programme is working in 20 areas of London, investing in local community-led projects, promoting mental health and well-being, improving healthy eating choices, and promoting access to open spaces and increasing physical activity.

    Prior to this, Afsheen delivered the Diverse London project, a Defra funded sustainable consumption and production project focused on Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and businesses. This included

    convening and supporting a project advisory group, providing business support to BAME-led creative sector SMEs, supporting the Sustainability Champions Network and identifying events to ensure a growing membership, co-ordinating events to encourage BAME businesses and communities to follow sustainable lifestyles, managing and delivering a Faith project around water efficiency funded by Thames Water.

    Afsheen joined LSx in August 2006. She worked for two years in Local Authorities to facilitate and promote recycling services in Coventry and Luton. Afsheen is an Associate member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment and has a Masters in Environmental Studies.

Claire Pritchard, Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency

    Claire Pritchard works for Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency.

    She has a BSC in Institutional Catering and 18 years experience in the catering industry. Since 1996 she has been working and established community food projects, first as Volunteer Co-ordinator, then Project Manager of a food growing and box scheme project in Lambeth - Green Adventure, then as Project Co-ordinator for an organic food growing and box scheme project in Stoke Newington - Growing Communities. Here, she also led on the initial development of an organic farmers' market and application for organic status for the food growing element of the project.

    She currently manages the Good Food Training for London Project which GCDA runs in partnership with Sustain - the Alliance for Better Food and Farming. This project provides free practical integrated training to increase the levels of healthy and sustainable food provided by public sector caterers. In 2006 she was awarded the Caroline Walker Trust Individual Campaigner Award for her work supporting community food initiatives. She has worked on various management committees for the voluntary sector since 1987 including Lewisham Music Workshop Group, The Fordham Park Group responsible for the organisation of the Deptford Urban Free Festival, Harry Arts and NFA Cabaret.

Cyrus Todiwala MBE

    Cyrus Todiwala is Proprietor and Executive Chef of the Café Spice Namasté restaurant group (Cafe Spice Namaste & The Parsee), renowned for its innovative and fresh approach to Indian cuisine.

    In 2000, Cyrus was awarded an MBE in recognition of his extensive knowledge, skill, commitment and expertise to the restaurant and catering industry. In 1998 Cyrus decided to create a collection of his most interesting recipes and launched a phenomenally successful book - Café Spice Namasté.

    Born and brought up in Bombay, India, he graduated from Bombay’s Catering College and trained as a chef with the famous Taj Group in India. He left India for Europe in 1991, where he developed his hallmark style of blending traditional Indian culinary techniques and flavours with more unexpected ingredients. Being a keen environmentalist, Cyrus cooks with organic products wherever possible.

    He has received countless awards for the consistently high standards in his cuisine. Recently he was honoured with 'Outstanding Contribution' award at Tio Pepe ITV London Restaurant Award 2004. He has been voted Best Indian Chef in the UK, awarded a Culinary Honour of Merit Award from the World Chef

    Society and Café Spice Namasté is one of the only Indian Restaurants to win the BIB Gourmand Award from the Michelin Guide.

    Cyrus regularly appears on BBC Food and Drink, BBC UK Today, BBC Saturday Kitchen, Channel 4’s Big Breakfast, BBC World Service, Channel 4’s Light Lunch, BBC’s Money Matters, BBC Educational programmes as well as regular slots on National radio stations such as Radio 4, Radio 5 Live, BBC World Service and Talk Radio.

    Cyrus has also been a member of the National Advisory Counsel for Education and Training Targets since 1999. His role there includes working closely with the Government and key partners on a National Strategy for promoting the importance of learning throughout life and monitoring progress towards Learning Targets, advising Government and its partners at every level on the barriers to their attainment.

    Besides setting up an initiative for accessing NVQ & SVQ for Asian Restaurants with QCA and working on training programmes for his staff at Café Spice and at the Parsee, Cyrus has also worked with two other restaurant owners and London East TEC to establish an Asian and Oriental School of Catering with support from the Skills Development Fund and SRB. The Asian and Oriental School of Catering currently involves programmes such as Assessor Awards and Basic Food and Hygiene. As part of the school, Cyrus helped to set up Zen Satori, a highly successful Asian and Oriental restaurant that provides onsite training for all students.

What the media has to say about Cyrus:

    '……bastion of Bombay-born master chef and culinary showman Cyrus Toiwala’s restaurant is an essential

    destination for those who enjoy their food served with more than a twist of originality.' Time Out Eating & Drinking Guide

Cyrus’ menus read like an encyclopaedia of good Indian food. It is innovative and exciting.'

    Good Curry Restaurant Guide

    'His lively restaurant, Café Spice Namasté, has become a popular City institution - well known by curry lovers.'

    Daily Express

‘Chef of Genius’

    Harpers and Queens

‘If there is a God, the canteen in heaven will be run by Cyrus Todiwala’

    Time Out

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