Rameeza’s Repertoire

DISCOVERING an appetite for food with flavour and dishes from a variety of cultures has fuelled the success of cooking and catering business Rameeza’s Repertoire.

It was set up by Rameeza Rayner, a West Byfleet mother of two, who focused on the curry dishes of her childhood as the launchpad for her business. She is now branching out to also provide cookery workshops on a range of international cuisines.

Culinary magician Rameeza Rayner

“Having studied law at university and then working in insurance in the City I never expected that I would be running a business offering catering and cooking workshops,” said Rameeza.

She credits her mother Rafeea, who was Cordon Bleu trained, as being the inspiration for her love of cooking and an introduction to teaching people to cook.

Rafeea used to run adult education cookery classes. In addition to that, as her mother is from the south of India and her father from northern Pakistan, Rameeza has gained a knowledge of a wide variety of regional curries.

Rameeza at work with a pestle and mortar

She started cooking while she was chair of her children’s school parents’ social committee, catering for some of their events on an ad hoc basis. When her two-year tenure ended, her friends suggested that she set up a catering business – which was the beginning of her Friday Curries venture.

She started taking orders for curries that she would prepare on a Friday and clients would collect from her house, gradually building a loyal following of regulars, primarily through word of mouth. Then, responding to requests for curry workshops, she started teaching groups at her home.

“People come with a very positive frame of mind and I really enjoy the sociable aspect of these days because I find cooking can be quite solitary,” she said.

Among the popular dishes included in her workshops have been Lamb Bhuna and Chicken in a Coriander Sauce, as well as a simple okra dish.

“People are surprised by the amount of time needed to prepare and cook the dishes, for example you have to allow the onions to cook slowly to bring out the flavour and create a base for the sauce,” Rameeza explained.

While she continues to provide catering services, she hopes to increase her workshops and intends to include Korean, Peruvian and Mexican dishes among a range of options.

For the full story get the 14 November edition of the News & Mail

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