Romy Gill is one of the few female Indian chef/owners in the UK, having opened Romy’s Kitchen Restaurant in September 2013 in Thornbury. She has since been nominated as a BBC Bristol Food Hero, shortlisted for an Asian Women of Achievement Award, was one of five women listed in the inaugural Bristol and Bath Business Awards in the ‘Woman of the Year’ category, was nominated in three categories in the Bristol Good Food Awards, and as ‘Best Newcomer’ in The British Curry Awards 2014. Tom Parker Bowles listed Romy among his top ‘fabulous female chefs in the UK’ in the Daily Mail and this year she has become an ambassador for Bristol 2015 European Green Capital.
Romy developed her passion for cooking after emigrating to the UK and pining for proper home cooking. Born in Burnpur, West Bengal, Romy’s menu reflects on her childhood; her father worked in a steel plant and many different people visited their home, bringing their food and culture with them. Romy was inspired by the varied cooking styles she encountered, and loves to experiment with local ingredients.
Starting with dinner parties, then hosting cookery classes, Romy eventually started her own range of chutneys, sauces, pickles and spice mixes, which she still sells in her restaurant. She is passionate about health and natural, local ingredients, using rapeseed oil in the place of ghee where possible, and avoiding the use of unnatural food colourings. Her dishes combine the spices and flavours that she grew up with in India with ingredients that she was only introduced to when she moved to the UK: a blend of Indian flavours and ingredients produced locally to her Thornbury restaurant. Local press including Bristol Bites have said ‘Romy’s Kitchen is somewhere you go to enjoy an authentic Indian meal.’ Romy’s Kitchen Restaurant has been named as one of the top five places to eat in Bristol and the South-West in Trade–Its’ ‘The Ultimate Guide to Bristol’.
Romy demonstrates her cooking at festivals both in the UK and abroad, including the Foodies, Abergavenny and Dartmouth Food Festivals, Grand Designs exhibitions and at food and cultural festivals in Abu Dhabi, the Varli Food Festival New York and elsewhere. She cooked at a charity event hosted by Atul Kochhar in 2013, and in May 2014 was heavily involved with the Bristol Food Connections Festival. Along with other top chefs such as Martin Blunos, Tom Kerridge and Ken Hom, Romy took to the BBC Stars’ Kitchen to give live demos of some of her popular recipes. During the Bristol Food Connections Festival, Romy was also a guest on Saturday Live alongside Jay Rayner and others.