Parveen Ashraf is a passionate Indian cookery teacher, author and private chef whose star is in ascendancy after joining Saturday morning’s James Martin Show as a guest three times this autumn. Parveen, from Peterborough, is locally known as The Spice Queen and is partly putting her growing popularity down to her House of Colour stylist who she says has helped her feel fabulous in her fifties.
Originally a gift bought by Parveen’s 22 year old daughter for a Mother’s Day present, Parveen was previously styled four years ago by a House of Colour stylist and went from wearing black, brown and beige in loose clothing which was wrong for her colouring, style, height and shape, to bright and clear Winter hues in her Ingenue Romantic style. She more recently met with Jackie Perkins, colour and style Consultant and Director of House of Colour, at a charity event, who Parveen largely thanks for taking her confidence stratospheric and enough to get noticed as she embarks on the next chapter of her life pursuing a TV career.
“My first classes with House of Colour were a complete revelation but the advanced focus with Jackie has seen bigger changes not only in my confidence but also in the growth and interest in my business.”
Parveen has been a regular demonstrator on the Ideal World and Hochanda shopping channels, in addition to her recent guest appearances on the James Martin show. “I have recently started presenting on camera and what I wear is crucial because I have to be careful not to upstage the food and not to wear too much detail, for example jewellery that will be too noisy on camera, this is a bit of a shame! 2018 has been a real journey and I have really grown in confidence because when I look my best, I am wearing colours that make me look healthy and radiant with styles that flatter and are authentically me, I look and feel amazing, like I can take on absolutely anything. I am 53 but I feel fabulous!"
“It has been so much fun learning how to shop better with Jackie; knowing what suits me means I save a lot of time and money. For example, I never buy something that may be in the right colour if it’s not also in a style that suits me as I have been tempted to before. I can choose a couple of amazing outfits in the shops in 10 minutes, where I used to procrastinate for hours and still get it wrong! When I was on the James Martin Show I wore the reds that suit me like scarlet and carmine and felt vibrant, energetic and glamorous."
“Everyone should have their own personal stylist at least once! House of Colour has also helped my daughter who believes 100% that she got a new corporate position because she became more visible, standing out, looking stunning yet professional. Her confidence grew and grew after completing the House of Colour three step programme."
“I am a Winter which means I can wear silver not gold, and I love the gorgeous jewel colours. I am lucky enough to have an Indian and a Western wardrobe and enjoy changing between the two. I am equally happy dressed in an ice pink sari or a cobalt blue coat. Another top tip I learnt from Jackie, is to sort my underwear before even considering my outerwear!”
Parveen started her catering company 10 years ago after having had a career as an Ofsted inspector. The pressures of a demanding work schedule, raising three children and supporting her husband with his career, took its toll. Parveen was diagnosed with a tumour and four operations later, she realised that something had to change. She decided to follow her passion for cooking and turn it into a business, becoming a private chef for corporate events, private parties and a tutor in assorted catering colleges in the region.
Parveen has already penned her first cook book called Parveen The Spice Queen, a step by step authentic Indian cooking book which contains all the recipes she ate as a child plus a few modern takes on the old classics, like Tandoori Chicken. Her popularity is rapidly growing and Parveen is now very much making her mark, ready for the next stage on her culinary journey, confident thanks to House of Colour styling, training, ethos, principles and support.
Jackie Perkins consults on personal brand image, working with a network of House of Colour consultants, offering colour analysis, personal styling and image consultancy across the UK.
Photography by: Elizabeth Young Photography