Aida Khan on Shola and Pakistani cuisine: “It’s lighter and there’s more grill compared to Indian food”
Serving up authentic modern Pakistani cuisine, Shola has opened its doors up in the business hub of White City with chef Aida Khan at the helm. Having grown up in the country’s cosmopolitan Karachi, she went on to script and host two seasons of the Pakistani TV show For the Love of Food, which allowed her to travel through the different provinces of Pakistan learning and recreating traditional recipes alongside the people who live there.
Evoking her passion to bring Desi cuisine to a wider western audience and moving to London, she studied at Leiths Cookery school, combining her own food heritage with professionally taught kitchen skills. Khan then set up her series of hugely successful Gourmet Karachi Supper Clubs across the British capital before embarking on her more permanent venture, the restaurant Shola.
A family affair, the venture involves a partnership with the chef’s husband, who favours the front of house, whilst she works in the kitchen and serves on the floor. The concept is fresh, contemporary flavours combined with nostalgic recipes that can be eaten on the go or in the stylish and airy dining space.
We chatted with Khan to find out her vision for Pakistani food in London, her determination for authenticity and her plans for the future.
Video/photos: Filippo L’Astorina
Additional video: Francesco Taglini