The Chef

It was hard to nail Manit down for our first shoot. It seemed that her life was in a complete tailspin. When we did eventually meet, we sat at a table outside the market, and she didn’t stop talking, it felt as though she needed to let it all spill out of her. She was under tremendous pressure to keep her business going, and it wasn’t going well. She seemed broken, she told me she was broken, and that all she knew to do was to keep working harder to try and work her way out of the nightmare. Manjit broke down during our chat, and I found it really hard to keep doing what I was there for. I just wanted to comfort her. She had lost weight, and she was working day and night with her partner to keep the market and Kirkstall going. It was quite desperate.

The next time I met Manjit things had improved and each time I met her, they improved more. It was due to her resilience and strength, and creativity really. She was relentless in her efforts to keep going, and not only survive the pandemic but to thrive from it. She told me of new ideas that she was having to adapt to outside eating, or indoor eating, new menus, new online offers, it was a constant stream of creativity and adaptability.

On one of the shoots she told me her car had blown up, the car she depended on for all her outdoor events. Although sad and a set back it didn’t seem to phase her, she had come through the worse I felt, and she just found a way around the problem. Her customers and social media presence really helped her too, and I think that they gave her the heart and motivation to keep fighting.