Blue Sky Kitchen is a community collective of chefs who cater to Shanghai with safely-sourced foods, and Chef Payal Thakurani is the woman behind the curries. You can learn how to make chef Payal’s recipes for yourself at her community class, Curries for the Soul, or buy them in, freshly-made and frozen, to warm-up at home. All of Payal’s curries, naans, cookie doughs, cupcakes and Montreal bagels are available at Kate & Kimi. We had a quick chat with her to find out where her cooking comes from.
Hi Payal, thanks for taking some time out to talk with us. What inspired you to begin cooking?
My mum and dad are both fabulous cooks and I started cooking with them at the age of 14. My grandmother would encourage me a lot; she always had wonderful things to say about my cooking. When we first came to Shanghai, my friends encouraged me to start cooking classes and that’s how Kate & Kimi discovered me.
What is your cooking style?
I am spontaneous and love cooking to suit my taste buds rather than following recipes. I cook with my heart.
How has living in China influenced you?
I always tell people I found myself in China. I cook with passion and my customers tell me they can taste it in my food. We started with 6 curries on Kate and Kimi in 2012 and today have about 20 different products, plus naan breads.
We have just launched our new baking brand ‘Buttercup’. Using traditional recipes we now also make homestyle frozen cookie doughs, cupcakes and the best and only Montreal bagels in Shanghai, all at very affordable prices.
What recommendations do you have for home chefs?
Cooking is easy and simple. Using quality ingredients is the key to creating a good meal. And always remember to use fresh seasonal produce. If you love a particular cuisine, learn it from a native chef. Get the basics right and you will soon be a master.
If you could try any food in the world, what would it be and why?
I am a hummus snob. My dream is to travel all over the Middle East and try every good authentic hummus there is.
Kate & Kimi offers free delivery for orders of 200 RMB or more across Shanghai 7-days per week. Call 021-61671620 or email [email protected] to ask for more information.