Cafe Spice Namaste

CYRUS TODIWALA is a man with a mission - he is showing the world that there is more to Indian food than "Chicken Tikka Masala". Todiwala is co-owner of the critically acclaimed Cafe Spice Namaste in Prescot Street, London E1, which has another branch in Battersea.

What you immediately notice about Cafe Spice Namaste is the vibrant array of colour, followed closely by the genuinely attentive service proffered by its staff and then, of course, there's the food! The menu at Cafe Spice Namaste encompasses an eclectic selection of ingredients and dishes from Todiwala's cultural origins. Diners can choose from a range of authentic Parsee dishes and choose from daily Specials such as Swedish Elk, Partridge or Milk Fish.

Todiwala oversees the creation of between 250-275 covers on an average day with early afternoon being especially busy as the City lunches.

It seems only fitting then that the City's favourite Indian restaurant uses Sanyo equipment from Valera in its kitchen. Sanyo offers the most versatile range of microwaves available on the market, with a range of eight to choose from. Each model is unique, offering caterers a real choice depending on their own particular catering requirements.

Valera Limited is the sole importer of Sanyo and Whirlpool professional catering equipment. Its versatile range includes microwave ovens, combination microwaves, glass and dishwashers, induction hobs, complete range of refrigeration and the recently launched top quality Combi-Steamers from Leventi.

Todiwala uses the Sanyo EM-C1800 microwaves (the most popular microwave in the UK) in both his restaurants - a compact but powerful machine which he describes as very convenient and something his staff are very happy using. The restaurant provides an endless stream of rice dishes, for which the Sanyo microwaves have proved indispensable. They have also proved vital in the reheating of many of the other dishes throughout the day.

Todiwala comments "the Sanyo microwaves are brilliant and really easy to use with 6-8 of the 10 programmes where you can just multiply the time depending on how many dishes you have. Even though we have a combination oven, we use the Sanyo microwave mostly. It is excellent, we've never had a problem". Sanyo is Japan's Number One Brand, revered for its commitment to the UK catering market and continuing innovation and responsiveness to the needs of the caterer. The range from Valera is tailored to suit all types of kitchens. Todiwala comments that the Sanyo microwave fits perfectly in his kitchens where space is really limited but where using powerful and efficient machines is vital.

Todiwala started his culinary career at the Bombay Taj Group in 1975 where he topped his class in cooking and was academically excellent. He had his skills training in French cooking and went to Switzerland to become a Patissiere. In 1983, he came to London and worked at the Park Lane Hilton working in the Roof Restaurant. His first experiences in England taught him that Indian menus were all virtually the same. He wanted to go back to his roots and create Authentic Indian Food despite what the English palate had become accustomed to. Since then, he has become a staunch activist in raising the profile of Indian cooking. He aims to train and educate people, no matter what their cultural origin that foodservice is a worthy and attractive industry to be in.

Recently awarded MBE, Todiwala has been appointed on to the high powered NACETT council, by David Blunkett. His qualifications for this role must include the fact that his is the only restaurant with an Investors In People accreditation. What's more, with massive press coverage, various mainstream television appearances, his own video and cookery book out - Cyrus Todiwala has become an icon of Indian chefsmanship and an inspiration to young chefs from all cultures.

"I get asked all the time by other chefs which catering equipment I use. I have on several occasions recommended Sanyo microwaves from Valera. I'll tell you why - Sanyo microwaves are good and they're strong. My staff don't know Valera's phone number because they don't need to - you don't buy a Mercedes Benz and then take it to the garage everyday, do you?", -(Cyrus Todiwala)