An old people’s home celebrated one of its residents for International Women’s Day – a broadcaster, chef, author and translator.
Sri Owen, who lives in Signature at Wandsworth Common, Woodwell Street, Wandsworth, was raised in Indonesia, and from there took inspiration from her grandmother’s cooking.
For 40 years, she then worked as a professional chef travelling the world, teaching chefs on her main speciality, Indonesian cuisine, in a male-dominated profession.
She went on to become a prolific author of Indonesian cookery books.
She wrote The Home Book Of Indonesian Cookery in 1976 and also appeared on the BBC with chefs such as Raymond Blanc.
She also did a 20-year stint working as broadcaster, producer and translator for the BBC’s Indonesian Service.
At 86, she continues to be a highly-respected voice on South-East Asian cuisine, penning a further 14 books in English.
Such is her continued appeal, two publishers have now asked Sri’s help to reissue two of her books into second editions.
Fellow residents at Signature at Wandsworth Common have been given cooking demonstrations and eaten her dishes for special occasions.
Sri, who lived for many years in Wimbledon Village, spoke of her passion to contribute to life at the care home.
She said: “I still like to cook and teach cooking. I am happy to give instructions and advice and examples about Indonesian and other Asian countries food and cooking to chefs of Signature Homes if I am asked to.
“I always wanted to teach cooking at any establishment who would like to improve their cooking standard in cuisines that are not so familiar to every single chef.”
Helen Harkin, client liaison manager at Signature at Wandsworth Common, said: “It’s an incredibly rare privilege to have an accomplished chef and food writer living with us.
“To watch Sri cook is to watch a master at work. Residents gather to watch the cooking and then we all sit together to eat the dish.
“It is really important for us help support our residents to retain independence.”
One of Sri’s classic books, The Rice Book, originally published in 1993, and won The Andre Simon Award of that year, is to be re-published as a second edition by Bloomsbury on September 15.