My Hampstead: Chef to royalty inspired by meeting Warren Buffet and Bill Gates

Saima Khan.

Saima Khan. - Credit: Archant

Saima Khan, 43, is founder of The Hampstead Kitchen, a private catering firm popular with Hampstead residents. The former banker, who lives in West Hampstead, has cooked for royalty and billionaires all over the world.

What brought you to Hampstead?

I loved the diversity and the sense of community. I also wanted to be near the Heath, Primrose Hill and Regent’s Park. I love the transport links from West Hampstead, which means you are close enough to town, but far enough that it feels suburban too.

You have a day off to spend as you wish in the area, what would you get up to?

Brunch in Wet Fish Café, West Hampstead, walk it off to Hampstead Heath, followed by coffee and a wander around Daunt Books. A late afternoon movie at the Everyman. A walk home whilst picking up some fresh produce, and going home to make something simple like linguine, curled up on my sofa. That is heaven for me.

What makes Hampstead a special place to live?

Its diversity of different cultures, religion and generations all living in harmony, together. It’s understated, rich in history but also feels current too.

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Is there anything about Hampstead which you would like to see changed or improved?

More one-off artisan shops and restaurants, less high street chains.

A film is set to be made about your life. Which actor would you choose to play you?

Sofia Vergara of course, who else? We both have great voluminous hair, sadly that is the only thing we share…

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and my paternal grandmother. All three people have so much wisdom about life with different perspectives. My grandmother was a worldly woman despite not travelling the world. She understood the basics of life. Warren is incredibly down to earth and a man who doesn’t mince his words, but provides such clarity in his observations. Bill Gates is a visionary who inspires you to believe that any of us can make an impact not only in our individual community but the world at large.

If you had to write your own epitaph, what would it say?

She was bit left field, and always took chances. She danced to her own beat.

Saima Khan was in conversation with Tim Lamden.