A teenage aspiring chef from Brighton is raising funds to go on an aid mission to East Africa in July by running pop-up supper clubs based on the cuisine of Yotam Ottolenghi.
And Maia Matofska-Dyer, 14, got the opportunity to meet her culinary idol when he gave a talk in Brighton.
Maia has been preparing three-course meals for 17 diners at her family home to fund participation in her school’s mission to help teach English and maths at a school in Stone Town, Zanzibar.
During the dinners, Maia gives guests an insight into the menu and fellow pupil Rifka Fisher-Eustance —who is also raising funds to join the trip — provides musical entertainment.
When Maia met Mr Ottolenghi, she asked “for advice for a budding young chef. He recommended reading as many cookery books as possible and to get as much experience as I can.
“I told him that two years ago, I undertook an internship for my food tech subject in one of his restaurants after I was introduced to the head chef at Nopi, Ottolenghi’s restaurant in London
“He said he was very impressed that a 14-year-old already had such a lot of experience.”
Maia has raised £1,250 towards her £2,000 target. “I love cooking and am so pleased that I am managing to raise the funds to go to Zanzibar,” she said.
“I am also looking forward to experiencing the different culture and food and finding out about the many spices they use there which we don’t have in the UK.”