Chef and food writer Anjali Pathak’s home is as individual as she is.
As a TV chef, food writer and brand ambassador for Patak’s delicious range of curry pastes, sauces and chutneys, Anjali Pathak needs little introduction. Her cookery classes are a sell-out success and her recipes, from the aromatic Ultimate Tadka Dhal to rich Chocolate Cardamom Torte, are ever popular. And in between a hectic schedule of TV appearances, recipe development and travels, Anjali had one thing on her mind: her new home. ‘I wanted to create a lovely environment where I could totally relax,’ she says.
Moving from Bolton to the family apartment in north London was one thing, the state of the décor another. ‘It hadn’t been used much over the years, so it needed refurbishing,’ explains Anjali. ‘It was the kitchen I was most unhappy with, because it looked dated and felt cramped – and, for me, it was especially important to get it right, because I knew I would be spending a great deal of time cooking in it,’ she smiles.
After taking some photos and making a video of the existing kitchen on her phone, Anjali headed off to meet Diane Berry of Diane Berry Kitchens in Manchester, not far from the family home. ‘I had been past her showrooms many times and really liked her contemporary style,’ she says of her choice.
Working long distance, the video really helped Diane get a sense of the space and the possibilities for the room, and she suggested replacing the units built all around the room with a radically different design. With a tall run of units on one wall, and a streamlined base run underneath the window for a wet zone, Diane created a dramatic peninsula to form the focus of the room. ‘I knew that Anjali likes to cook at the hob facing her friends or students if she is doing a demonstration, so this arrangement works perfectly,’ says Diane.
‘An island would have been too small, as Anjali needs plenty of work surface either side of the hob when she is cooking and a peninsula also meant that we could continue on the same material up the wall, to draw the eye upwards and create the illusion that the room is much bigger than it actually is.’
Calling on fellow kitchen specialist Graham Robinson, of Halcyon Interiors The ALNO Store, Diane was able to hand over the project installation to a local company. ‘It was vital that we could be on site to work out the precise templating and fit of the Corian,’ explains Graham. ‘We even carried the Corian on to the window sills to create an immaculate finish and made sure that every detail was just right to emphasise the streamlined, modern design.’
The Corian Glacier White contrasts with the graphite grey of the wallpaper and Carbon Oak finish of the tall cabinets. A gentle sparkle in the wallpaper adds a touch of glamour. ‘I wanted to create the perfect place to come back to at the end of a busy day,’ says Anjali, ‘with just a little touch of opulence!’