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The Corporation

Posted: 18/01/10

College principal cooks!

West Nottinghamshire College principal and chief executive Asha Khemka OBE is set to cook up an Indian-inspired treat – to boost funds for a charity aimed at providing opportunities for under-achieving young people in Mansfield and Ashfield.

Mrs Khemka will swap her business suit for an apron on Friday (22 January) to prepare and serve authentic Asian cuisine to college staff and specially-invited guests including local business people, counsellors and Ashfield MP Geoff Hoon at the ‘Principal Cooks’ fundraising event at the college’s Number 19 Brasserie.

Diners are each paying £10 to sample tasty cuisine which will be served over two sittings.  Dishes will include curries, accompaniments and desserts prepared by Mrs Khemka and chefs from Mem-Saab, an Indian restaurant in Leicester, which is planning to become a national Tandoori academy. A keen amateur cook, Mrs Khemka – who enjoys cooking for friends and family at dinner parties at her Staffordshire home – will also cook freshly-made onion bhajis at the diners’ tables.

The event is being staged to raise money for the college’s nominated charity, The Inspire and Achieve Foundation.

Launched by Mrs Khemka at the House of Commons in 2008, the Foundation aims to set up mentoring programmes for young people with low aspirations across the area, to help them develop the right attitudes and self-confidence to succeed in life.

Chaired by Nottingham businessman Nat Puri, the Foundation will match-up young people with mentors from the business community and arrange short overseas trips to allow them to experience different cultures, businesses and education so they can nurture their new-found drive and ambition back home.

Asha said: “Fine dining is a passion of mine and I like nothing better than preparing dishes that remind me of growing up in India. I am equally passionate about raising the aspirations of young people across the area so this unique fundraising event will bring these two things together.

“I’m delighted that staff and guests have signed up in such numbers for this wonderful opportunity to raise money for the Inspire and Achieve Foundation.”

More information on the Inspire and Achieve Foundation can be found at www.inspireachieve.co.uk