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Introducing Nomad Chef Layla Powell

Layla has trained all around the world including Leiths cookery school, CIF catering school in Italy, Bristol cookery school and the Nam Hai cookery school in Vietnam. This is reflected in her food where she likes to dabble amongst all cuisines, creating delicious flavoursome dishes from the likes of the Middle East, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Asia, Mexico, Japan and lots more! Layla is also the founder and owner of @laylayskitchen.

Emily Lowe
Emily Lowe
June 23, 2022

Layla has trained all around the world including Leiths cookery school, CIF catering school in Italy, Bristol cookery school and the Nam Hai cookery school in Vietnam. This is reflected in her food where she likes to dabble amongst all cuisines, creating delicious flavoursome dishes from the likes of the Middle East, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Asia, Mexico, Japan and lots more! Layla is also the founder and owner of @laylayskitchen.

How did you get into cooking?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been in the kitchen cooking. In secondary school I took cooking economics and the way it worked was parents would supply the food for their children to cook and the children would bring it home for dinner. Well, I never ever had anything left to bring home as the teachers and pupils would taste it, leaving very little left! My mum complained that if they wanted to eat food, they had to supply ingredients!

Layla Cooking

Most interesting kitchen story

I don’t really really have any interesting story as such, I've cooked for many friend/people from all walks of life. A few of the coolest people I’ve cooked for are probably Boris Becker (former tennis player), Ulf Egbert from the 80/90s band Ace of Base (all that she wants is another baby she gone tomorrow....). That was a hectic and crazy day.

I was doing a 40th birthday for 70pl Mexican /Peruvian food in Ibiza for a mutual Mexican friend in a fantastic villa; I was so very nervous as there were going to be many people there that I knew. They were going to try my food for the first time, and everything that could go wrong went wrong; no staff that I hired turned up to help, but instead of freaking out, I got stuck in, turned on some tunes and made a buffet type dinner. It went fantastic, I remember Ulf saying wow, Layla, and the pride and achievement I felt was Indescribable, and then I joined the party and danced the night away.

How does your upbringing influence your cooking style?

I grew up in a significant mixed Caribbean and North African family that gifted me an immense amount of cultural richness in the kitchen. We have always had exotic spices and mouth-watering hearty dishes that have influenced my style of cooking today. Yet I feel the most particular aspect of my younger years is that we followed an Ital diet (into days world you could call it vegan diet). Ital was not just a diet; ital was and still is a way of life, a form of living, and a somewhat holy practice within the Rastafari movement.

What do you love most about being a chef?

Cooking always has, and I hope to continue to be an escape for me, a form of meditation and I haven't always want to make a fulltime living at it for that reason.

If you weren’t a chef, what do you think you would be?

As well as  being a chef, I have also been a fashion model for many, many years. I've also owned my own wellbeing spa and vitamin company for six years, which I sold 2018. I have also worked in the art world as an art client advisor for Phillips auction house. Since covid, I have decided to go for it and start and create my own catering business, Layla's kitchen, as well as working with great sites like Nomad Cooks.

What is a quote you live by?

Omnia mirari etiam tristissima (Meaning -  Find wonder in all things, even the most common place, by famous Swedish professor Carl Linnaeus).

Favourite restaurant in London?

London has so many great restaurants, just a few to name, Palmomar, Smoking Goat, Nopi and Le Petite Maison.

Favourite herb

Coriander

Most interesting chef you’ve met

For me it would be Tom Sellers, patron of Story restaurant. I just find him unique, fun and exciting. He is the epitome of a millennium chef, cool, quirky, tattoo, fun and down to earth.

Desert island ingredient

Can I have two? Potatoes and salt.

Here is a taste of Layla's menu...

All our Nomads menus are bespoke and can be made to suit you.

Click here to enquire with Layla now!

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