IWD Special: Romy Gill MBE, Chef, Food Writer, Author & Broadcaster
Romy Gill MBE is a British/Indian chef, food writer, author, and broadcaster. She was the owner and head chef at Romy’s Kitchen in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire. In 2016 she was appointed an MBE in the Queen’s 90th birthday honors list. Romy has been a part of a number of television and radio appearances, including presenting, co-presenting, and judging roles. She regularly contributes to national and international publications, including The New York Times, The Sunday Times, and The Daily Telegraph.
Romy is a regular on The Food Programme on BBC Radio 4, where she has appeared as a judge, a presenter, and a co-presenter. In 2021 and 2022, she appeared on Steph’s Packed Lunch hosted by Steph McGovern on Channel 4.
She is the author of two cookbooks – Zaika: Vegan recipes from India and On The Himalayan Trail: Recipes and Stories from Kashmir to Ladakh.
Check out our latest interview with Chef Romy Gill in recognition of International Women’s Day (IWD).
You are one of the regular and much-loved chefs on BBC1’s Ready Steady Cook and have appeared on many other TV programs. Please share your journey as a chef. Series of events that encouraged you to become one.
Nothing has come easier my way. I have had my fair share of rejections. I have felt and sometimes still feel unwanted but I have always focused on doing well no matter what opportunity I get selected for. Since my Mum had cancer as a young girl I wanted to be in the hospitality industry (sadly she is no more).
Many years later I was able to follow the path which I always wanted to do. Opening a restaurant, being a regular face on TV writing in various publications, and eventually becoming an author of two cookbooks. I think if you manifest and work hard things do happen. Yes, it might take a little longer. I have a very supportive husband and my girls have played a huge part in my career. Banks refused loans, selling my own gold jewelry but I had one thing on my mind to open a place and share the food that I grew up eating.
You write regularly for The Sunday Times, BBC Food, and the Telegraph and also regularly contribute to national and international publications including The New York Times. What excites you the most about increasing awareness about healthy eating and cooking?
Indian food is healthy. It’s only when we eat fried food. Indian home cooking is the most healthy food. We eat so many vegetables, lentils, pulses and meat, and fish that help with different balances of flavors and goodness that we need for our bodies. Indian home cooking is like Bollywood films. We have so many layers of spices and masala that work for us. When I write recipes or food and travel stories I always share why it is important to have a balanced meal.