Oadby restaurant Sanctua has closed following the death of its head chef Bindu Patel

by Emily Rooney

Oadby vegan restaurant Sanctua has closed after its head chef, Bindu Patel, also known as Chef Bee last week.

Patel planned to open the restaurant last year in January, but it was delayed due to her becoming ill.

The restaurant eventually opened in April 2019, serving vegan food in the evenings, with a different menu every two weeks.

There was also a smoothie bowl of the day at Sanctua, with £1 of the proceeds going to charity, as well as the set vegan menus, featuring the likes of ‘Jerusalem Hummus with olives, toasted pine nuts and flame grilled pepper chutney on spicy garlic and chilli flatbread.’

Two days ago, however, the Sanctua team released a statement on Twitter saying “to all customers and friends. It is with great sadness that we inform you that Sanctua will no longer be opening. Please all say a prayer for Chef Bee who sadly passed away on the 24th January 2020.”

The restaurant won several awards, including Great Food Club’s Asian Restaurant of the Year award in the East Midlands, as well as the best vegetarian/vegan restaurant at the Asian Curry Awards, hosted by Sadiq Khan.

Neil O’Brien, MP for the Harborough constituency, which also covers Oadby and Wigston, replied to Sanctua’s tweet, saying “Very sorry to hear this. Thoughts and prayers are with Bee’s family and loved ones. Sanctua made a big impact across Oadby in such a short period of time, which was testament to Bee’s incredible food and hard work.”

As well as being vegan, Sanctua was also as sustainable as possible, with Patel sourcing ingredients from as close as possible to the restaurant, and placing an emphasis on the Ayurvedic principles of balance in taste and texture.

Patel had also worked for Michelin starred restaurants, such as Gymkhana and Trishna in Mayfair.

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