Heather Mills: eat kosher with me

(And why not? Some of my best friends are Jews)

By Marcus Dysch and Cecily Woolf, July 23, 2009
Heather Mills at VBites, her new vegan cafe in Brighton

Heather Mills at VBites, her new vegan cafe in Brighton

It can’t be easy bouncing back from a high-profile divorce and a personality-pounding from the national press — but Heather Mills may just have found a happy, and haimishe, distraction from it all.

Sir Paul McCartney’s ex-wife this week said she had applied to the London Beth Din in an attempt to secure kosher certification for her range of vegan products.

She plans to serve the food, including fake meat, chicken and fish, at a vegan café she has opened in Hove, East Sussex.

The 41-year-old stressed that her application was at an early stage, but said: “I am keen to attract members of the Jewish community to my café.

“I have so many Orthodox Jewish friends and would like them to be able to enjoy my products.”

Ms Mills said 20 products — made by her Redwood Wholefood company in Northampton — are already on sale at supermarkets and health shops in Britain and 12 other countries.

There are no kosher restaurants in the Brighton and Hove areas.

Rabbi Vivian Silverman, of Brighton and Hove Kashrut Committee, said: “I am delighted to hear that she wants to avail herself of the Beth Din certification. Any move which enhances kashrut in our city is to be welcomed.”

A spokeswoman for the London Beth Din said a representative of Ms Mills’s company had made contact earlier this month, but could not comment on the details of the application.

Ms Mills, who was awarded £24.3 million in a divorce settlement from Sir Paul in 2007, opened the VBites café earlier this month. She climbed on to the roof of the building to promote its products.

She bought the former fish restaurant for £140,000 and has converted it to create a full vegan experience. It includes an interactive crèche area teaching children about fruit and vegetables and a conveyor belt of vegan cupcakes and tapas.

Bites serves a meat-free full English breakfast, chicken-style nut korma and a vegan version of Mr Whippy ice cream, called Mrs Swirly, created by Ms Mills.

She plans to sell franchises for more restaurants to be opened worldwide under the brand name.

Sir Paul’s oy-so Jewish ex-files

Linda Eastman
In 1967 Paul met the Jewish woman from New York whom he described as giving him “strength and courage to work again” after the break-up of the Beatles. The couple met at a concert while Linda was in the UK on a photography assignment. Linda flew back to New York and briefly saw Paul in May while he was visiting the city. In September of the same year, Paul called her and asked her to come to London. The pair married six months later in a civil ceremony at Marylebone Registry office, in March 1969. Linda went on to write several vegetarian cookbooks and become a business entrepreneur, creating Linda McCartney Food Company. Paul adopted her daughter, Heather, from a previous marriage, and they went on to have three more children. They remained happily married until Linda’s death from breast cancer in 1998, aged 56.

Nancy Shevell
The latest of Paul’s women. The daughter of a prominent New York Jewish family, Nancy is on the board of the New York Metropolitan Transport Authority and vice president of a family-owned transportation conglomerate, which includes New England Motor Freight. Paul and Nancy have reportedly known each other for more than ten years as Nancy was close to Linda. The pair have been dating since November 2007 and Nancy is credited with persuading Macca to play in Tel Aviv in September last year.

Last updated: 5:23pm, July 23 2009