Born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, Sumayya Usmani is an internationally published food writer, author and cookery teacher, who is recognised by BBC Good Food as the UK’s ‘go-to’ expert for Pakistani cuisine.
Based in Glasgow and London, Sumayya is passionate about the rich culinary heritage of Pakistan, and her writing and teaching are devoted to sharing those distinct flavours and exploring the cultures and traditions that have influenced them.
Sumayya began her food writing career by writing recipes on her own website, as well as regularly contributing to food publications, while she practiced as a solicitor in London. Sumayya is now a full time food writer.
Sumayya is a member of the Guild of Food Writers, and also a freelance writer, cookery book author and teacher, hosting contemporary and traditional Pakistani cookery classes at prestigious cook schools around the UK, including London’s Divertimenti, Jericho Kitchen in Oxford, Demuths Cookery School in Bath and many other cookery schools across the U.K.
Sumayya’s debut memoir cookbook on Pakistani cuisine ‘Summers under the Tamarind Tree’ was published by Frances Lincoln in April 2016. The book was shortlisted for the Food & Travel Awards 2016, the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards 2016, and was voted a cookbook of the year in many publications including The Guardian, Independent, Irish Times and Sunday Herald. Her second book ‘Mountain Berries and Desert Spice’ launched in April 2017.
Sumayya has appeared on Madhur Jaffrey’s Good Food Channel programme Curry Nation, with her recipes featuring in the book of the same name. She has also created menus for collaborative events with award-winning restaurants Kinara Kitchen in Dublin and with Cail Bruich in Glasgow.
She has also appeared on Good Food Channel, London Live and BBC Asian Network, BBC World Service radio to discuss Pakistani cooking, and has contributed recipes and interviews in publications including The Guardian, The New York Times, Savour, International Herald Tribune, The Irish Times, Food 52, The Kitchn, delicious, Olive, BBC Good Food, Crumbs, Good Housekeeping, and Asian publications such as HELLO! Pakistan and Express Tribune.
Last year Sumayya was named as one of ‘The List Hot 100 in 2016’ in Scotland, and was also appointed resident food writer for 4 weeks in February 2016 for The Guardian COOK supplement. She currently presents BBC Kitchen Cafe on BBC Radio Scotland.