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Shahena Ali

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Shahena Ali
Native nameশাহিনা আলী
Born (1977-09-10) 10 September 1977 (age 43)
Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, England
🏡 ResidenceStanford-le-Hope, Essex, England
🏳️ NationalityBritish
🏫 EducationEconomics and Accounting
🎓 Alma materCity University London
Cass Business School
Swansea University School of Medicine
💼 Occupation
Celebrity chef, television presenter, nutritionist, businesswoman, columnist
📆 Years active  2007–present
TelevisionGreat Food Live
👴 👵 Parent(s)Siraj Ali (father)
Begum Momtaj Khanom (mother)
🌐 Websiteshahena.tv

Shahena Ali (Bengali: শাহিনা আলী; born 10 September 1977) is an English celebrity chef, television presenter, naturopath, nutritionist, businesswoman, and food and beauty writer.

Early life[edit]

Ali was born in Hampstead, London, England.[1] Her parents are Siraj Ali and Begum Momtaj Khanom,[2] and she was brought up in an environment where cooking and food was a passion, and she was involved in a busy family restaurant.[3]

Ali started her interest with food during her early years in her parents' kitchen, taught initially by her mother and later, experimenting by herself and learning tips and techniques from friends who lived abroad. She learned to cook food at home at the age of nine, starting with the basics and helping her mother in the kitchen.[4]


Ali has a background in food, business[5] beauty, medicine[6] and the sciences.[5] She graduated with a degree in Economics and Accounting from City University London and then attended Cass Business School.[3] After completing her degree, she worked as a city fund manager[3] in bond asset management.[4] She then decided to move into Medicine[7] and started studying at Swansea University School of Medicine and then moved into the field of naturopathy and naturopathic nutrition to follow her passion for natural health, food and cookery.[8]


In 2007,[6] Ali left her six figure salary as a bond fund manager,[9] and founded the beauty brand The Powder Lounge[10] and Lash Bars. She established it as a specialist in treatments and premium products, with Powder Lounge and Glamour Express brand concessions located in flagship high street stores such as Selfridges, Topshop, Debenhams and Superdrug in the UK.[6][11]

Ali is a television and radio health and nutrition expert, television cook, food and health writer,[6] food presenter, naturopathic nutritionist, naturopath (natural medicine) and medicinal food expert.[12][13] She has knowledge about Indian cookery, medicinal and healing foods, as well as foods related to anti-ageing and beauty.[8] She provides an approach to traditional Indian, Bengali and Middle-Eastern cookery by transforming basic ingredients into healthy dishes. She has an original perspective of using food ingredients for health benefits such as energy levels, physical and mental performance and aesthetic improvement, such as the ageing of skin, hair and nails.[6]

Ali is a food and beauty features writer for Vanity magazine, and has contributed to other national publications on Indian, Bengali and Middle-Eastern cuisines.[6] She is a regular columnist and writer for Zaikha Magazine.[3] She writes on subjects such as how food affects our physical and mental performance, and its effect on mood, appearance, ageing and illness.[12]

She is regularly featured on television for UKTV Good Food, radio for BBC Radio, and national magazines and newspapers.[6] She has appeared at live events such as food festivals in Covent Garden in London as well as the Zee TV Carnival, and other media events. She has also made numerous appearances on national radio and television programmes[3] including several times on BBC Great Food Live[5] and featured on Channel 4 programme Taste.[14]

She is ambassador and spokesperson for the Department of Health's (NHS) 'Change4Life' Campaign. She is internationally recognised as an authority on healthy eating and cookery.[6] She has also had international interest from the media. She is currently undertaking projects with US and UK brands, celebrity chefs and firms.[3]

Ali is also the creative director for an Indian restaurant group. She researches, develops, prototypes, and introduces contemporary and fusion dishes on the menu for an Indian restaurant group as well demonstrating and cooking, centuries old Indian recipes. The group was selected to cater for the launch of the Bangladesh Food Festival at the Houses of Parliament.[4]

In March 2008 and April 2010, Ali appeared in the Live Kitchen at the MS Life conference in Manchester Central.[15][16]


In 2011,[17] Ali received the Channel S Awards 'Contribution to the Community' Award for London for her outstanding contribution to the British Bangladeshi Community through the food and beauty industries.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Ali lives in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex,[18] and is divorced.[7] She is a keen runner and has participated in several events including the City Square Mile Run and the Flora Women's Run.[3]

See also[edit]

  • British Bangladeshi
  • List of British Bangladeshis


  1. McNally, Alex (25 April 2009). "Restaurant boss Siraj praised for community dedication". Essex: Echo. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  2. "Q&A with Siraj Ali: Meet the man who brought Indian cuisine to Thurrock". Thurrock: Thurrock Gazette. 8 November 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 "Shahena Ali: UK Asian Bengali Celebrity Chef". Eventcombo The Buzz. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Chef Shahena Ali". Hub-UK. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Fantastic five". TheNews Weekly Magazine. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 "Shahena Ali". London Speaker Bureau. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Shahena's story". The Divorce Mentor. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Shahena Ali". BBC Academy. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  9. "City Slicker". Fusion Lifestyle. 17 September 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  10. "The Powder Lounge gets Individual makeover". The Drum. 18 March 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  11. "Getting to know you: Shahena Ali". Business Matters. 13 February 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Nutritionist, Food & Cookery TV & Radio Presenter – Food, Drink & Party, Health & Wellbeing, Fashion & Beauty – Essex". Findatvexpert.com. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  13. "Nutritionist, Food & Cookery TV & Radio Presenter – Food, Drink & Party, Health & Wellbeing, Fashion & Beauty – Essex". Findatvexpert.com. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  14. Walker, Pete (19 December 2010). "Chef flown 4,000 miles to cook a curry in the Congo". Southend: Southend Standard. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  15. "Cooking up a treat at MS Life with Indian Celebrity Chef Shahena Ali". Ethnic Now. 29 March 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  16. "Cooking up a treat at MS Life". Manchester: Manchester Evening News. 19 April 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  17. "Channel S Awards 2011". Channel S. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  18. Walker, Pete (23 December 2010). "Chelmsford chef asked to cook surprise meals for UN peacekeepers in the Congo". Essex: Essex Chronicle. Retrieved 1 December 2015.

External links[edit]

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