At one point in her career, Anita Kerai was unsure whether to call herself an accountant, chef or TV presenter, but now she is clear: ‘I am a food presenter and I want to be a worldwide brand.’

This ambition first surfaced while she was working as an accountant in London (see CV box). ‘For years my work colleagues had been telling me to do something about the fact that I enjoyed cooking,’ she explains. ‘They used to admire my lunches.’

Cooking has been part of Kerai’s life for as long as she can remember. ‘Food is in-built; cooking is not a chore,’ she says. ‘I would come home from work and want to cook.’ For her it was all about relaxation. While others chose to settle down in front of the TV, Kerai took pleasure in preparing meals. ‘My kind of meals take 30 to 40 minutes to prepare,’ she says. ‘They are easy and fulfilling – it’s not about slogging in the kitchen.’

Born in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, Kerai considers herself British but describes herself as having Kenyan Indian roots. She studied accountancy at school, then as a young woman moved on her own to London, arriving in 1997 to complete her accountancy studies and work while qualifying. She chose the ACCA Qualification because ‘it was the one that could get you places and open a lot of doors’.

 

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