Fatima Tarkleman

A Foodventure with Fatima

Fatima Tarkleman is a no-waste British, migrant chef of mixed African-Asian descent. She has special interests in cross-cultural cooking that prioritise sustainability, inclusivity, and local produce, while representing both her London upbringing and the flavours of her heritage. She embraces innovative ways of using age-old techniques to provide delicious food, with care for nature and people at the heart of her practice.

Prior to a radical career change, Ms. Tarkleman worked for 10 years as an occupational therapist in community adult rehabilitation & dementia care. The move into chef-life was an uphill one during the difficulties of 2020, but here come sunlight, opportunities, and delicious things.

Local Greens is thrilled to meet this local talent, and produce our very first cooking video with Fatti in her kitchen. Watch her cook beautiful, fluffy, mountains of savoury muffins on our Instagram page and check out her other veg creations at @foodventures_with_fatti

Here’s how Fatti came to collaborate with Local Greens, in her own words:

On a very cold, blearily early morning in December 2020, I was with “himwhatimarried” under a shelter in Brockwell Park. Covered in sequins and barely awake, we were decorating the shelter for a 30-minute, surprise, outdoor 30th birthday party for a dear friend, who wasn't able to have the party she wanted, what with all the COVID restrictions.  The sequins (and definitely not our tired faces) were like a beacon drawing people near, excited by the prospect of a novel conversation. A local artist, Jonny Hughes (@Jonny2love) approached us and asked if he could take our photo (as my sequined jacket really is that magnificent) so I obliged with my squinting morning eyes. After a bit of a chat, Jonny told me that he also takes photographs for a "wonderful local veg company that might be interested in a collab." This was of course, Local Greens. After stalking them out on Instagram with all my at home free time, (like many, my chef day job is on hold while COVID restrictions are in place) we had a zoomy Zoom chat and found we held many of the same principles: working with the seasons, advocating for food justice, preferring organic and bio-dynamically grown foods, and above all else, putting care at the centre of what we do.

Local Greens challenged me to come up with delicious recipes for frequently unloved winter vegetables. Thus, the Swede Diaries were born! I went into overdrive testing and baking and mashing and fermenting to come up with recipes that would turn swede from a bit of a sad sack INTO A WINNER BABY!

Check out my video on the Local Greens IG page for details of my soft, fluffy, semi-sweet cornbread muffins, AKA "swede dreams are made of this!" Inspired by trips to the Southern USA to see my wonderful sisters, it's a great way to use up swede and is almost guaranteed to turn the head of any avid hater. For more recipes from the Swede Diaries, and to check out my other delicious (and economical recipes), follow me on Instagram @foodventures_with_fatti/