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The Corporation

Posted: 26/01/12

Principal cooks for charity

Vision West Notts principal and chief executive Asha Khemka OBE is set to cook up an Indian-inspired treat for college staff and local business chiefs – all in the name of charity.

Mrs Khemka will be donning her chef’s whites on Thursday (2 February) to prepare and serve authentic Asian cuisine to business people and college staff to boost funds for her Inspire and Achieve Foundation.

Educationalist Mrs Khemka set up the foundation in 2008 after growing increasingly concerned about the effects that the decline of the coalmining and textiles industries were having on communities in Nottinghamshire.  It aims to provide young people with volunteering and mentoring schemes to help them develop the right attitudes and self-confidence to succeed.   Patrons and trustees of the charity include high-profile business people, educationalists and politicians.

Chief executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC) and trustee of the foundation, Martin Doel OBE, will be one of over sixty guests enjoying onion bhajis, cooked by Mrs Khemka herself, followed by chicken curry, Dhal Makhani – a spiced buttery lentil-based dish – and other accompaniments prepared by professional chefs from Leicester-based Indian restaurant Mem-Saab.  Dessert will be Gulab Jamnu, which are milk dough balls in a sweet rosewater syrup.

Diners will pay £15 each to sample the cuisine, with all money raised going towards future plans to repeat the success of the college’s Ashfield Centre – which runs specially-tailored vocational programmes for young people not in education, employment or training – by opening one in Mansfield.

Some of the foundation’s patrons, trustees and supporters will be on hand at the lunchtime fundraiser to support Asha.  These include John Kay, ceative director at Linney Design, Tracy Powell, editor of the Mansfield and Ashfield Chad, Andrew Tucker, cultural services manager at Mansfield District Council and Claire Kenney, relationship manager at Barclays Bank.

Mrs Khemka said: “I am delighted that so many friends, colleagues and distinguished members of the business community are supporting this fundraising activity. It will be a particular honour to welcome the chief executive of the AoC.

“I enjoy nothing better than preparing dishes that remind me of growing up in India.  Equally, I am passionate about helping to raise the aspirations of young people across the area, so this event brings the two together.”