Camellia Panjabi is one of India’s leading culinary personalities, known for her innovative contribution to popularising Indian regional cuisines within India and London, through trendsetting Indian restaurants, and publishing a seminal cookbook on Indian food. She is also known for having brought the street foods of India from the pavements into plush restaurants both in India and abroad.
Camellia published her book 50 Great Curries of India in 1994. It has been translated into 7 languages and has sold over 1 million copies worldwide.
Born in Bombay, Camellia read Economics at Cambridge and went on to become a Board Director of India’s most prestigious hotel group, Taj Hotels. Camellia helped create several restaurants for these premier hotels, and introduced Szechwan and Thai cuisines into India.
In 1982 Camellia opened the Bombay Brasserie restaurant in London, which introduced regional Indian cooking to the UK for the first time and changed the way Indian cuisine was perceived in London. In 2001 she joined her family’s restaurant company, Masala World. Now London’s’ largest restaurant company serving Indian food, it has 3 fine dining restaurants (including Amaya in Belgravia, considered London’s finest Indian restaurant) and several Masala Zone restaurants, which celebrate a range of Indian street foods and thali.
These restaurants were voted in the Zagat Guide London 2014 as the most popular restaurant chain in London.