Jikoni in London’s Marylebone will be the setting for a salon with dinner and conversation at two special events this spring: one with the author Salman Rushdie on 15 March, followed by another with chef and cultural anthropologist Claudia Roden on 19 April – both hosted by the restaurant’s chef patron Ravinder Bhogal.
Rushdie, whose books include the Booker Prize-winning Midnight’s Children, will read from his latest novel Quichotte, a work inspired by Don Quixote, followed by a Q&A. Dinner (£95, including a welcome drink) of six courses will include dishes such as Orkney scallop, lime pickle beurre noisette sauce and bhaji scraps; Highland venison galouti Scotch egg, beetroot chutney, golden beetroot achaar (pickle); and gulab jamun (a solid milk-based sweet), saffron custard, rose and pistachio crisp.
Roden, one of the world’s most respected food writers, joins Bhogal for the other event (also priced £95 per person) to discuss her life and career, including milestones such as penning A Book of Middle Eastern Food, which is said to have helped revolutionise western attitudes to Middle East cuisine when it was published in 1968.
“In 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,” Bhogal says of the culinary gatherings. “It is the best of culture and food, after all, that shows us what we have in common, allows us to enjoy our differences, opens conversations and brings people and communities together.”