Freda Shafi

I’m a passionate home cook, food writer, demonstrator/teacher and food stylist who loves to creating traditional Indian food with a modern twist. Born and raised in Yorkshire to parents from the Indian subcontinent in the 1970’s, I learnt to cook a variety of regional Indian dishes from an early age in my mums kitchen. To this day, I recreate and share the dishes she taught me back then. I learnt a lot about spices from a young age; not just their flavours but also their specific health benefits and for this reason, I call my spice box “nature’s medicine cabinet” Nowadays, I love to experiment with different ingredients adding a modern twist to age old traditional recipes. Having gained a first class honours degree in fine art, I have also had a successful career in the creative industries. In 2008, a life changing move to live in Melbourne Australia, also bought a change in career. My new Australian friends were intrigued by my Indian food, cooking and use of spices many of which they’d never heard of and they encouraged me to start a food blog, which I did, for fun. I started my social media journey for “Spice it up” , a blog and Instagram account over 8 years ago, which grew over several platforms and I’ve never looked back since. Social media is extremely important to me as a food stylist and recipe developer. I spend a lot of time creating recipes to share on social with my followers daily. Having returned to my beloved Yorkshire a few years ago from Australia, my culinary journey gained even more traction. Amongst my varied work in the food industry, I’ve delivered guest chef supper clubs at venues which have included Harvey Nichols, cookery classes and demonstrations at Leeds Cookery School and demonstrations at food festivals and more. I write for several online publications which include The Feedfeed, The Capsule and more recently, I have been given my own monthly food column in The Yorkshire Business Woman Magazine. I am passionate about community engagement and bringing together people from all backgrounds and levels of ability through food. I’m also committed to supporting venues engage with more culturally diverse audiences through my “fusion-style” supper clubs. I strongly believe that creating and sharing food is a natural conduit to connect people of all backgrounds and cultures, as well as a way of inspiring the chef in everyone. My daily recipes shared on social are accessible, affordable and encourage my audience to create healthy balanced meals from scratch, advocating using fresh, seasonal, ethically sourced and sustainable produce wherever possible, as well as supporting local farmers and producers. I try to embody these principles in all of the work I do in the food industry.

Special subjects

Indian / Asian sub continent food Use of spices for health and well-being Healthy living and lifestyle

Languages spoken

English Urdu Punjabi French All fluently

Regular work

Column at The Yorkshire Business Women Magazine Cookery teacher at the Leeds Cookery School Food stylist for various brands paid and unpaid (unpaid done to support ethical brands with low budgets)

Advisory boards / Awards

Food Entrepreneur award 2019

Freda  Shafi