The Chef Show

The Chef Show by Nick Ahad from an original idea by Stefan Escreet. Starring Kamal Kaan and Rohit Gokani (pictured below Photo: Dave Charnley).

The Chef Show with Kamal Kaan and Rohit Gokani

About the show

Part comedy play, part cookery demonstration, The Chef Show takes its audience behind the scenes on a busy Saturday night in the local curry house. Two actors play father and son Abdul and Khalid who are struggling to keep their restaurant running. Our cast of two also play other staff in the kitchen and all of the customers out front – including a couple on a first date, lairy drunks and a hen party!

The unique thing about The Chef Show is that the cast are joined by a chef from a restaurant local to your venue who is cooking live on stage throughout the performance. The actors break out of the story of the play at several points for lively conversation with the guest chef about their food and working lives:

  • What is an ‘Indian’? (90% are actually Bangladeshi)
  • What ingredients and methods do you use?
  • What’s the difference between restaurant food and home cooking?

We have worked with partner restaurants and food businesses from a wide range of South Asian backgrounds – Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Kashmiri, Sri Lankan and Nepalese.

The show also includes two contrasting tasters of food for the audience to try.

The Chef Show reflects on the many villages and market towns around the country where there are ‘Indian’ restaurants with staff that rarely have any social contact with other members of the community apart from serving them food.

The production has been recognised for its contribution to the Creative Case for Diversity.

We’re delighted that The Chef Show won the Cumbria Life Culture Award 2019 for Live Performance of the Year.  The awards are supported by the University of Cumbria and Arts Council England and the production won for its ‘originality and commitment to inclusion and diversity’. We are particularly excited to be recognised by the leading magazine in our home County of Cumbria.

The Chef Show also won the 2018 Rural Touring Award for Best Stage Performance of the Year. The award was presented by Ian McMillan as part of the National Rural Touring Forum conference.  Many thanks to those who nominated us after seeing the show and congratulations to all of the creative team.

The Chef Show has toured to over 60 rural touring venues and studio theatres during 2017, 2018 and 2019.  We toured to all points of the compass and worked with a wonderful range of South Asian chefs from restaurants local to each venue. They were the stars of the show and our thanks to all of them.


This is a chef’s special, a deliciously funny and occasionally dramatically-daring concoction of a play. – British Theatre Guide ****

The comedy in Stefan Escreet’s slick production compliments not-so-funny cultural issues, especially the immigrant experience of prejudice and the still-powerful pull of family ties in Bangladesh.” – The Stage ****

“A stroke of genius. While it makes serious and urgent points that speak to the divisive times in which we are currently living, the play is also very funny. Humour, food and empathy – a potent and winning combination.” – The Yorkshire Post ****

Audience Responses

“The best thing I’ve seen, smelled and tasted in ages!”

“Brilliant – funny and moving.”

Promoter Response

“It was a joyful afternoon for us.  What a lovely company, utterly professional of course but so sure footed with the whole complex show. We’re so grateful to Ragged Edge.  We’ve struggled in our 4 years to build an audience, and yesterday suggested that we might have turned a corner. Please pass my thanks and delight to all involved.” – Tim Cara, Dereham Memorial Hall

See The Chef Show trailer at

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