Minal was born to have a special and fruitful bond with food…
After marrying Bobby in 2004, she packed her possessions and moved over to the UK to live with Bobby and his family, from the day she got off the plane it was a very steep learning curve. Some of which is down to coming from a world which was slower and simpler, and in some ways much more peaceful than ours.
Minal is strong, determined and focused but always remains calm and avoids any potential confliction. Growing up she remembers cutting out recipes featured in her local newspaper, going home and making it straight away following an age old custom of sharing with the rest of the village. This would set off a chain reaction of cooking for neighbours allowing her to be in her element.
Imagine her excitement after finding out what Bobby’s family do for a living! From the day she first entered Prashad’s kitchen, it seemed like there was a new light shining through. She was quick off the mark to learn from Kaushy and equally so to share her knowledge. Hara Bara kebab was the first dish she introduced to the restaurant and its a firm customer favourite.
For many years before the days of Prashad, Kaushy was a housewife focused on providing an amazing environment for her children to grow up in.
Cooking for neighbours, ensuring her house was perfect and organising sleepovers all became second nature. To this day she is still very house proud and spends a lot of time making sure everything is just as she wants.
Going back a few years now, an opportunity came up to buy the local deli and with the support of husband Mohan they decided to change things a little… well a lot. They acquired the deli and set about sharing their warmth through food, the deli became a hotspot for the surrounding Indian community. Kaushy forged warm relationships with all of her customers and quite often customers would pop in just for a chat.
She would always give the kids Indian sweets when they visited and even today I will meet people who will draw back to that memory.
Her family and caring attitude flowed throughout Prashad and customers quickly became friends. Prashad’s world and personality stemmed from Kaushy, over a 12 year period through her amazing cooking and people nature she laid strong foundations for future success.
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.