Launches are booked at Oxford County Library and The Nehru Centre in Mayfair. 

Andy Ffrench’s feature in The Oxford  Times  left me feeling emotional.

Writing this book felt different to my other books, fiction and non-fiction. I dug deep into my own life and my husband Atam’s and I’ve exposed us to public gaze. The reason I let Claret Press publish it is because the experience and voice of women like me who married non-white men when that was regarded with hostility, is completely ignored, airbrushed out of our own history. I wanted to brush us back in.  Food of Love, cooking up a life across gender, class and race could have been ignored and criticised because I was born in Luton and am of working class ancestry. Why would anyone want to read my story? That is why the endorsements have taken my breath away. Below is a sample of them.

Oxford based Yang Mai Ooi made this podcast about me  but it came as a big surprise when  Catherine Whelan Costen from Calgary, Canada asked to do a podcast. She interviewed me yesterday and I look forward to hearing the result.

On Thursday19 January, in Abingdon, my talk about ‘Memoir in all its variety and why YOU should record your memories  was enthusiastically received to a sold out audience.

On Thursday  23 February , in Oxford County Library, in the Westgate Centre, I’ll talk about my life lived at the intersection of gender, class and race but with special emphasis on FOOD. In Food of Love, I invent a word ‘communessence. ‘It means ‘When we eat together we come together’& is inspired by the Sikh practice of serving free food at Gurdwaras as a community service and an experience of equality. Food flows through my narrative like the great rivers of the world connecting us but relishing the difference. People often fear difference but nothing illustrates better the richness that has come to the UK from immigration than the recipes in this book. My mother’s English cream tea and my Cornish grandmother’s pasties have not gone away but now we can taste the world.

The London launch of my memoir will be in the Indian Cultural Centre -The Nehru Centre in Mayfair on April 26 at 6.30 . It’s free and open to none members.


My memoir has received fabulous endorsements. Professor Rana Mitter says it is

‘Told with brio and verve, this is an astonishing life story that takes in working-class life in post-war Britain, and the transformation of society in the decades that followed.’

But most say it is an entertaining page turner filled with humour.



Endorsements for Food of Love

  • Vetta takes us on a lively and delicious journey through her varied and culturally rich life. Her open-mindedness and generosity shine through. And she completely understands how food and memory are inextricably linked. The recipes are great too: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, London Evening Standard


  • The Food of Love is a personal history while at the same time it is an honest portrayal of the post Second World War period. We are faced with our attitudes to class, education, gender, religion, race, politics and the expectations of people’s position in society. It is a serious social comment as well as being amusing and entertaining. The way food is used to link the chapters is brilliant : Diana Bell, artist


  • Told with brio and verve, this is an astonishing life story that takes in working-class life in post-war Britain, and the transformation of society in the decades that followed. Encounters with India and China shape a life where enthusiasm for food, art and politics come together in a combination of profoundly serious issues and the laughter of liberation: Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China, University of Oxford


  • Sylvia Vetta’s Food of Love is a joy to read — warm and familial, full of lovely sketches and archival photographs. It is a unique journey — deftly articulated — weaving the personal and the public, providing a socio-cultural landscape that is still relevant. There is much to learn from here — digest, eat and imbibe these words with love:  Sudeep Sen, author of EroText (Vintage: Penguin Random House) and The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (editor)


Recent talks on Food of Love  in Kennington,  the Old Fire Station, Oxford and at the Oxford Indie Book Fair were well received.

Early in 2023, I’ll talk at Abingdon Library on January 19.

Oxford Central Library on Feb 23 from 6.00pm – 7.00pm.

The London Launch will be at the Indian Cultural Centre in Mayfair on April 26 at 6.30pm.  Its called the Nehru Centre. It would be great to see some London friends there.