The chef was awarded her BEM by the late Queen Elizabeth II, an honor conferred on those behind a sustained commitment in support of a local charitable or voluntary activity, or innovative work that has delivered a real impact in the community.
An Indian-origin chef, who works with a senior citizens charity in the UK, is among the British Empire Medal (BEM) winners on the royal invitation list for King Charles and Queen Camilla’s Coronation ceremony in London to be held on May 6th month, as was announced by Buckingham Palace.
Manju Malhi, 51, is an England-born chef and food writer, specializing in Anglo-Indian cuisine. She grew up in North West London, surrounded by Indian culture, traditions and lifestyles. Later, she spent several years of her childhood in India exploring and experiencing the vast and varied cuisines of the country. Malhi has come up with her own self-styled “Brit-Indi” style of food, which mixes Indian and Western influences.
Malhi was awarded a BEM for services to the community in London during the COVID-19 response and will join 850 BEM recipients as well as other community champions and charity representatives from across the UK at the ceremony to be held in Westminster Abbey. Malhi is a professional chef who, since 2016, has acted as the resident chef for the charity Open Age, which champions an active life for older people in London, helping those aged 50 or older to sustain their physical and mental fitness, maintain an active lifestyle and develop new interests.
“Manju turned Open Age’s kitchen into a cookery school and restaurant for members and staff, and offered remote cookery classes during COVID-19,” the palace statement notes.
“Manju also leads Open Age’s community Big Local Family Cooking Club. The sessions are fun, interactive and an opportunity for local residents from all backgrounds to come together, make a meal and eat together as a community family,” it adds. The chef was awarded her BEM by the late Queen Elizabeth II, an honour conferred on those behind a sustained commitment in support of a local charitable or voluntary activity, or innovative work that has delivered a real impact in the community.
The BEM particularly recognizes the achievement or contribution of service to the community in a local area. The palace says that many of the 450 BEM recipients attending the Coronation Service were instrumental in providing services and support to their local communities during the COVID-19 lockdowns.