A WOMAN who quit accountancy to be a full-time cook has won the privilege of selling her samosas at Jamie Oliver’s food festival.

Rekha Karnik, 57, of Vanbrook Close, Shoebury, sold her popular vegetable samosas at the Big Feastival at the weekend, after winning a competition held by Brita, which she entered about two hours before entries closed.

The Big Feastival is held by celebrity chef Jamie and former Blur bassist turned cheesemaker Alex James, at his farm in the Cotswolds.

Mrs Karnik, who has run Samosa Shack at markets around south Essex for the past ten years, made it to a shortlist of ten out of 52 entries to the competition, before a panel of judges whittled these down to just three winners at a taste test in London.

These were then given the privilege of selling their tasty treats on one of the three days the festival was held between Friday and Sunday.

But Mrs Karnik said she very nearly missed entering the competition.

She said: “A friend of mine saw the competition in Delicious magazine, at about lunchtime on June 30, which was the closing date, and said I absolutely had to enter my samosas.

“I’d never done anything like that before but I thought it might be a good idea, so ended up submitting the entry at about 10pm.

“I couldn’t stop smiling after I heard I’d be selling my samosas at the Big Feastival.

“It’s a dream come true and I hope the start of something big.”

Mrs Karnik moved to Britain from India about 30 years ago, where she became an accountant, setting up Samosa Shack about ten years ago, after being made redundant.

She said the secret to the success of her cooking is using authentic Indian recipes with a fusion of western influences.

She said: “I try to take good things from western cooking and amalgamate them into Indian cuisine, which I think is what people pick up on.”