Sumayya Usmani
Teacher Plus

Sumayya Usmani

Author and educator

Glasgow, United Kingdom

Sumayya Usmani

I’m a self-taught cook, food educator and author.

I was encouraged to cook ever since I was a child. I was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, but my early childhood was spent travelling the world on ships, with my parents.

My father was in the Merchant Navy and I spent ten years experiencing different cultures, countries and cuisines. My mother has always loved cooking, and even on-board she would create meals on a single electric frying pan in our captain’s quarters. She cooked everything from biryani to fudge, and I, as an only child watched with wonder and delight – this created a strong foundation in cooking, and the nurturing it offers. We’d explore world markets on our travels and pick unusual ingredients wherever we went.

When I settled in Karachi, I was surrounded by grandmothers and aunts who cooked with ‘andaza’ – an Urdu word that means estimation and using instinct. I began cooking Pakistani food in my early adulthood, and was surprised when I could cook many dishes I’d never learnt from beginning to end.

My senses guided me to cook, learn, perfect, and make these recipes my own.
Cooking the food I grew up with, has kept the memories of those I have lost, and my childhood, alive in my heart and mind. Writing is my other love, and it is wonderful that I can combine both to bring my passions to life.

In Pakistan, recipes are shared as stories and through this oral tradition, a cook creates flavour and familiar comfort. To me, andaza is ‘the art of sensory cooking’ – this guides my writing, cooking and teaching.

I followed my father’s second career as a lawyer and practiced law for twelve years in London and Pakistan. Finally, it was my mother’s passion for cooking that guided me to find my real purpose. I quit law in 2012 and began a career in food writing and teaching. I wanted to highlight Pakistani cuisine’s individual history, flavour and culture.

I now teach Pakistani cookery in the U.K. and I also offer online courses and soon, a monthly membership.

I am the published writer of two award-winning and award-nominated cookbooks, and I continue to write for many international food and culture publications – but my heart belongs in narrative writing. I am currently working on a non-fiction (memoir) about growing up around food as a woman in Pakistan.

I am now settled in the inspiring city of Glasgow, Scotland.
Food has always been my anchor and helped me find belonging.
I hope you enjoy my recipes, stories and memories, and find one that resonates with you.

Teaching

  • Cookbook Writing: Tell Stories Through Recipes

    Take readers on a journey of culture and flavor by creating a cookbook that combines recipes with storytelling

    A course by Sumayya Usmani, Creative Writer and Food Educator

    80% Disc. $59.99USD

Projects

Professional listing