Interested in working with food?  Maybe becoming a chef, restaurant or cookery school owner?

Well you could. Bini Ludlow took the step to becoming a professional later in life, but it is one that anyone can take at any time. And there no time like the present.  

This is Bini’s story and the answers to a few questions we posed her.

Bini Ludlow, is the founder and owner of Sweet Cumin, specialist Indian food company that runs a cookery school and produces delicious Indian ready meals that are sold in over 30 specialist outlets.

Binixa (Bini) grew up in Bradford, West Yorkshire. She learnt traditional Gujarati cooking from her mother and aunties at the tender age of eight (to prepare her for married life), and then took over the running of the family kitchen aged thirteen. Bini’s passion for traditional Indian cooking stemmed from being surrounded by experienced home cooks at the heart of Bradford’s diverse culture, and an array of Indian shops full of unusual, exotic ingredients.

ask the expert - Bini Ludlow - Catering

Is the opening of both your cookery and your range of award winning ready meals a reflection of the British palette becoming more sophisticated?

Yes, people are tuning into more homemade food. Or food from their travels of India. The more exotic the better. They like to experience something new and want to have a change from the norm. I know both the school offers new recipes ideas and techniques and the ready meals are authentic and homely.

You are known for your Indian dishes, but what is your favourite British dish?  Why?

Humm, I like good old fish and chips with mushy peas plenty of salt and vinegar and ketchup (tomato of course). The fish with a light batter are cooked perfectly and chips are chunky it’s heavenly. The best I have eaten was in Newlyn Cornwall I think the fish had jumped straight from the sea and into the fryer and was memorable. Oh always served in the bag/wrapper not on a cold plate.

What are the most essential ingredients in your kitchen?

Spices, fresh coriander, ginger, garlic and chillies

Are dried ingredients ever a worthy substitute for fresh produce? Why?

Mostly fresh, it gives the extra dimension, colour and sparkle that dried products don’t offer.

What about equipment?  What is the most important piece of equipment in your kitchen?

Wet and dry blender

What advice would you give anyone wanting a career in catering and related areas?

Expect to work hard and long hours but the rewards of customers enjoying the result is priceless.

What makes people return again and again to your courses and ready meals?

The personal touch and homely feel. They leave as friends and confident cooks.

If you've been inspired by Bini's story, find out about launching your catering career with us:

For more information about Bini and her incredible business, visit: