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Gloucestershire Business News

Former MasterChef champion hoping to raise the roof

Where: The Griffin Theatre, Rendcomb College, Cirencester, GL7 7HA

When: Saturday, November 16, 7.30pm

Foodies are being invited to an evening with a former MasterChef winner at The Griffin Theatre, Rendcomb College, near Cirencester, this Saturday evening (November 16).

Since winning MasterChef in 2005, Thomasina Miers OBE has not stopped cooking! She is now also a writer, environmentalist, television presenter, cook and co-founder of the Wahaca chain of Mexican street food restaurants.

After a stint of non-foodie jobs in her twenties, she was encouraged by Clarissa Dickson Wright to follow her passion. She enrolled in Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland then stayed in Cork making cheese and running market stalls before returning to London where she ran a large deli.

She had developed a love of all things Mexican in her gap year and returned there, travelling the country and immersing herself in their regional culture and food.

After the 'unexpected and breathtaking win' of MasterChef she did a spell cheffing with Skye Gyngell at Petersham Nurseries before meeting Mark Selby, her business partner. This was the beginning of the restaurant group, Wahaca, inspired by the street food of Mexico. Today there are 25 restaurants.

Wahaca has won numerous awards including winning the Sustainable Restaurants Association's most sustainable restaurant group three years running.

In her words: "From the word go we wanted to create a fun, innovative business that would be as sustainable as possible, so we opened our doors recycling everything from our menus, cardboard, glass and food waste."

Thomasina has written for the Financial Times and The Times and has a regular column in the Guardian magazine on Saturday.

She has written and co-edited seven cookery books and has presented various cookery TV programmes. Earlier this year, Thomasina was awarded an OBE for her services to the food industry.

Thomasina, who was brought up locally, is kindly giving her time free of charge so that all proceeds from the evening will help towards repairing the damaged roof of St Peter's Church, Rendcomb.

The bar opens at 6.30pm - Mexican canapes will be served - and the event begins at 7.30pm.

Tickets are priced £15 (students) and £18 (adults) and are available at Ticketsource via the Griffin Theatre at Rencomb College website.

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