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Asma Khan at Montalto

‘I started researching about the history of food purely so that I learned to appreciate all those people who came on my land, who lived here and who were othered and who are now dismissed for lots of reasons. And I just think food is the great unifier’ – Asma Khan.

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As the owner of Darjeeling Express, British restaurateur Asma Khan astounds diners with sumptuous Indian cuisine and inspires as an advocate for social change. The Darjeeling Express kitchen is proudly run by an all-women team, and has been recognised as one of London’s best restaurants by the Evening Standard. Khan herself has starred in Netflix’s award-winning series Chef’s Table and is the UN World Food Programme’s Chef Advocate for the United Kingdom.

Visiting Victoria for the Wheeler Centre’s international writers series, World of Words, Khan sits down for a long lunch at award-winning winery and restaurant Montalto. With writer and editor Bhakthi Puvanenthiran, she recounts the twists and turns of her culinary career, discusses her new cookbook Ammu, and shares her philosophy of food as a conversation about our universal similarities, connecting and uniting us across the globe.


Presented in partnership with Montalto.

The bookseller for this event was Antipodes Bookshop and Gallery.

The event was recorded on Thursday 25 May 2023 at Montalto.

Featured music is ‘They Dream By Day’ by Krotos.

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.