What do women and water have in common?

I was so pleased to be invited to an event hosted by water charity FRANK, at Carousel, one of London’s hottest event spaces for chef residencies and pop ups.

On the eve of International Women’s Day 2016, FRANK Water joined forces with Carousel to host some of the UK’s best-known women chefs, speakers, writers and broadcasters to raise and much-needed funds for FRANK Water’s safe water and sanitation programme in India where it is women and girls who are responsible for collecting enough water for their families to drink, cook and wash with. This daily chore is all-consuming. Women often walk up to 5km to collect water, several times a day. They are sometimes at risk from attack and are put under intense pressure in the summer months when the springs dry to a trickle and they MUST find water elsewhere to keep their families from going thirsty. It stops girls from attending school and women from earning a living.

Hosted by Lisa Markwell (ex-editor of Independent on Sunday) and Pinky Lilani CBE DL (Founder of the Women of the Future Awards & the Asian Women of Achievement awards) the event was a grazing style feast with some really amazing cooking talent including Olia Hercules, previously of Ottolenghi and author of critically acclaimed Mamushka; Maria Elia, former head chef at Delfina and author of the Modern Vegetarian; Romy Gill, head chef at Romy’s Kitchen, FRANK Water Ambassador and marathon runner, Paula McIntyre - chef, teacher, Slow Food ambassador and broadcaster and last but not least, James Whetlor from Cabrito, chef, producer and winner of 2014 OFM award for best ethical producer.  Dish after dish rolled out including a beautiful goat version of Kibbeh from James made with finely chopped kid meat, parsley, lemon and sunflower seeds to keep it British; knock-your-socks off Ukrainian buns made with enriched dough and stuffed with slow braised pork, cabbage and paprika and fresh samosas from the Samosa Queen Romy Gill.  It was a great night and hopefully raised lots of money for FRANK Water