An impressive line-up of speakers from the worlds of food, literature and the arts will be coming to Marylebone restaurant Jikoni for Ravinder Bhogal’s second series of culturally focused feasts, titled Civilised Sundays.
Kicking things off on 9 February is award-winning musician Nitin Sawhney CBE, who will be speaking about his fruitful career – which has involved collaborations with everyone from Paul McCartney to Brian Eno. Following this is Salman Rushdie in March, author of over 20 books including the Booker Prize-winning Midnight’s Children. He’ll be reading from his latest novel Quichotte, inspired by Don Quixote, which was shortlisted for a Booker Prize in 2019.
April’s speaker is one of Bhogal’s personal heroines, food writer Claudia Roden. Her most famous writings include The Book of Middle Eastern Food and The Book of Jewish Food, the 1968 book which revolutionised Western attitudes to Middle Eastern cooking.
Each talk will be accompanied by a special menu, created by Ravinder to play tribute to the heritage, story and favourite foods of each speaker. Sawhney, for instance, is pescatarian, so the first event will be focused around fish and vegetable-based dishes. Guests will be tucking into cross-cultural plates including prawn vol-au-vent; confit salmon chaat with green Chutney and pistachios; and kheer fritters with poached Yorkshire rhubarb and pink peppercorn buttermilk ice cream.
‘In our tense times of global and social divisions and economic uncertainty, culture is often the first thing to be overlooked, yet it is what we need most. It is the best of culture and food after all that shows us what we have in common, allows us to enjoy our differences, open conversations and brings people and communities together,’ says Ravinder. ‘I am so honoured to be celebrating these exceptional cultural leaders who share Jikoni’s values of pluralism and diversity and I am so immensely proud and excited to be hosting each one of them.’
Jikoni is known for its eclectic menus, which embrace shared culinary heritage. This series follows last year’s debut, which played host to names including historian William Dalrymple, historian William Dalrymple, poet and novelist Tishani Doshi and columnist and broadcaster Sathnam Sanghera. More guest speakers are due to be announced in the coming months.
Jikoni, 19-21 Blandford Street, Marylebone, W1U 3DH
9 February, 15 March and 19 April 2020. More dates due to be announced.
Tickets for Nitin Sawhney available on eventbrite or to purchase at Jikoni. Stay tuned for tickets for future events.