Towards the end of last year, we were approached by SUMA Wholefoods to see if we'd go in and do the Christmas dinner for their staff.
We've been working with SUMA for a while now, and always look to strengthen our relationships with people and organisations that share the same values as us. We jumped at the chance to help out with the idea later evolving it was decided that we would ask the staff for a voluntary contribution that would in turn be donated to a chosen charity.
On the day, Minal was a little nervous at first and felt out of her depth in someone elses kitchen but she soon found her feet and created a feast including starters, curries, rice and even puri.
This year Mohan has been busy fundraising for an orphanage in India which was televised on a religious channel. The event lasted a total of 7 days and an incredible £50,000 was raised for the ashram.
We have recently been told that the staff contributed a massive £1,300 and even more so that SUMA doubled the donation, bringing the total up to £2,600. Can't begin to explain how touched we are by everyones generosity.
We're extremely proud to be part of a healthy, growing partnership with SUMA - looking forward to working on more projects together in the future.
Great way to end our planned charity involvement for the year with an evening in partnership with Guide Dogs for the Blind.
There were some very generous people in the room through donations and raffle ticket sales - with all profits going to Guide Dogs.
Overall, we felt that the experience was very moving especially with guide dogs present in the building. A huge thank you goes to the ladies who not only joined us on the evening but shared their personal experience with blindness. Their ability to embrace life was second to none and here at Prashad we admire that.
Everywhere we looked people were embracing the challenges set out for the evening - with the smell/taste test delivering some interesting results. It is a lot harder than you think!
We noticed a couple of the attendees were regulars so it was an excuse to chat and catch up. One family even travelled over from Selby in North Yorkshire to join us. They've been regular visitors since we moved to Drighlington four years ago and apparently we're the only Indian restaurant they eat at - and they're not even vegetarian! Minal was over the moon after hearing this - it makes all the hard work worthwhile.
A fantastic evening - looking forward to working on ideas for next year.
Had a fantastic evening at the White Rose Awards on Monday alongside our marketing agency, Biskit.
Owning and running a restaurant means we live and breathe the essence of Prashad, always thinking about how we can strive to improve and better ourselves year on year. Quite often one of the kitchen team members has a eureka moment for a new dish whilst spending time with their family, the work never stops.
That's why we appreciate nights like these where we can spend time outside of the restaurant as a team and celebrate everything we've achieved together in recent months. The occasion was even more special for us as we celebrated mums birthday as well - thank you for everything you've done for Prashad over the years.
Yes, I'll admit at first we were a little disappointed not to win Restaurant of the Year - but to walk away as Highly Commended is an incredible achievement in itself.
On Tuesday morning, the emotions of the night before settled down and we took a moment to appreciate how big Welcome to Yorkshire are. It certainly tells us who we are and how we are seen, we're always pushing ourselves and trying to develop but we aren't quite there yet. We will go back to the restaurant, continuously work hard to improve and go back next year hoping to get what we deserve.
Not forgetting a hearty congratulations which we'd like to extend to the Hare Restaurant in Scawton.
On Wednesday evening (9th November), we tried something completely different in the form of a thank you evening.
Over the past few weeks we have invited people from a whole host of organisations, charities and initiatives in the area that we have been involved with over the years.
What an amazing evening - fantastic turnout, positive energy all around and great to celebrate all the goodness everyone contributes towards.
Our Prashadam concept is very important to us and focuses heavily around helping others and being actively involved in the local community. Whilst we are looking towards what we can do in 2017.
We asked attendees to write down what they would like to see us do from organisations including Yorkshire Cancer Research, Drighlington Cricket Club, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Real Change Street Kitchen, Drighlington Juniors FC, St George's Crypt, Drighlington Rugby Club, Northern Ballet, Herbs Unlimited, SUMA Wholefoods, Inn Churches and Tim Smith (UK Photographer).
All of the ideas were fantastic and we are certainly looking at using some next year.
Safe to say that I am looking forward to a well deserved rest (away from running that is - the restaurant still needs me!) after completing my final run of the year.
First up was the Leeds 10k in July; which was also my first ever run followed quickly by the Great North Run (September), Bradford 5k (October) and Leeds Abbey Dash (November). Having never run before in my life, I'm now eagerly looking at challenges I can put myself forward for in 2017.
I keep saying it but one of the most special moments from this year has to be running alongside Minal, Mayur and Lucy a couple of weeks ago during the Bradford 5k. Inspiring and completing alongside members of my family is one of my most cherished memories.
The Leeds Abbey Dash - as always - was another amazing experience however my first thought was how cold it was!! I wish I'd seen sense and joined the other people running up and down the multi storey carpark to warm up beforehand.
Once again in similar circumstances to the 10k in July - I was blown away by the huge support from the people of Leeds that lined the streets to support us. When the going got tough, they inspired and kept us going.
Although the heavens opened during the run - I have to say my first experience running in the rain was an unexpected nice and refreshing one. The section up towards Kirkstall Abbey was my favourite, really enjoyed that bit. The views of the Abbey made it so special.
I did forget to start my own tracker when setting off which was a little annoying so I was over the moon to receive a text after the race to say that I'd set a new personal best.
All these memories have been created supporting the wonderful work that Yorkshire Cancer Research do, I'm extremely proud to say that I ran for them and raised money in the process. It's not to late to donate - please know that me and my family truly appreciate every penny. I'd also like to take a minute to thank you all for the kind words, donations and training tips during the year! A special mention also goes out to mum and dad - for well everything!
Until next years runs,