Manjit’s Kitchen owner named in 100 Most Influential Women in Hospitality 2022

“As chef owner of Manjit’s Kitchen in Leeds, Kaur has made a mark on the city’s Punjabi food scene.”

Manjit Kaur of Manjit’s Kitchen was named for making “a mark on the city’s Punjabi food scene” and supporting women into the workplace.

CODE’s 100 Most Influential Women in Hospitality 2022 has brought together a list of 100 inspiring women from across the UK, from national lobbyists and chairwomen to behind-the-scenes talent changing the face of their community, this is a seriously coveted list to have be included in.

The judges panel, made up of food, diversity and identity writer Melissa Thompson; Evening Standard’s chief restaurant critic Jimi Famurewa; co-founder of Hawksmoor, Will Beckett; previous panelist Claire Koffman and Good Food Guide contributor since the 90s, Elizabeth Carter, chose a range of hospitality representatives, one of which was right here in Leeds.

Chef and owner of Manjit’s Kitchen, Manjit Kaur has been named in CODE Hospitality’s top 100 women in hospitality, particularly noting Manjit’s support in her local community and helping to give other women a leg up and into work themselves.

Image: Manjit’s Kitchen

What the judges had to say about Manjit: “As chef owner of Manjit’s Kitchen in Leeds, Kaur has made a mark on the city’s Punjabi food scene. She is also a support for women in her community – one that often expects women to stay at home – enter work.”

Owner of two restaurants in Leeds Market and Kirkstall, Manjit’s Kitchen is described in CODE’s interview as “Openhearted, resilient and rooted in the community”.

If you’ve had the opportunity to taste test some of Manjit’s dishes, you’ll know exactly why it’s far more than her personality that’s made this happen.

Image: Manjit’s Kitchen

The menu at Manjit’s Kitchen is considered in options and rich in flavour. There’s Mango Lassi to soothe the lunchtime crowd and inventive options like pakora and chilli paneer wraps amongst classic favourites like onion bhajis, Thali bowls and Vada Pau, The Mumbai Sandwich.

Think Spiced mashed potato ball in a gram flour batter, green chutney, tamarind, dry garlic chutney on a beetroot bun, as just one example of the fusions of flavour the kitchen offers busy city commuters or those looking for a hot midday treat from the markets.

Pakora wrap. / Image: The Hoot Leeds

The menu is meat-free and with the exception of husband Michael, an entirely female team. In an interview with CODE about celebrating ten years in business and pandemic-related worries, Manjit explained that this was no accident.

“My staff have husbands that don’t allow them to go to work – their main role is to stay at home, look after the kids and cook. So it’s nice to bring these ladies out and their husbands feel safe knowing they’re working for me, an Asian lady.

Inside the Kirkstall restaurant. / Image: Manjit’s Kitchen

“Some of them didn’t have the confidence to speak English and now they’re running the place. It’s beautiful to see and it makes me so proud.”

Read More: The best vegetarian dishes in and around Leeds

It’s easy to see from this that here in Leeds we’re fortunate enough to have far more than some incredible culinary skills, we have kind-hearted chefs aplenty, and Manjit is just one example of the difference fantastic women are making in hospitality.

Congratulations Manjit.

Feature Image- Manjit’s Kitchen

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