Kurma Dasa loves food vegetarian food in particular His light-hearted presentation of healthy, attractive and innovative cuisine has done much to dispel the notion that vegetarian food is boring.

And his enthusiasm for cooking vegetarian fare has earned him a worldwide following, which has seen his books sell in excess of one million copies.

Now, to support his latest volume, Quick Vegetarian Dishes, Kurma, 52, is touring Europe, and will be holding a demonstration at Bhaktivedanta Manor, the UK headquarters for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, in Aldenham, near Watford.

Kurma's cooking career began when he cut up vegetables, ground herbs and helped with the preparation of Sunday feasts at a Hare Krishna temple in Sydney, Australia, in 1970.

But his adoration of food started much earlier.

"I love food, and I just wanted to be as close to it as possible," he said.

With his ethos firmly established, Kurma continued his culinary pursuits, taking inspiration from numerous cultures throughout the world.

Towards the end of the 1970s he began to develop a reputation for preparing gourmet vegetarian dishes, and he soon found himself wearing the head chef's hat at Melbourne's most popular vegetarian restaurant, Gopal's.

Kurman, who was born in Essex, and moved with his parents to Australia in 1964, is currently staying in Aldenham.

He has published two highly successful books, Great Vegetarian Dishes and Cooking with Kurma.

Adding to his list of gourmet triumphs, he has hosted three cooking series, seen in more than 46 countries.

"My specialty is cooking, so I have been asked to come here and share my talents," he said.

"I have had about 35 years experience in cooking vegetarian food, not only teaching it to students, but also teachers.

"I can teach people how to cook even if they are not cooks.

"The sign of a great recipe book is when someone can cook with it without actually having any cooking experience."

Kurma will be at Bhaktivedanta Manor on Saturday, July 23, during a special open day from 11am until 4pm.

His demonstrations of international vegetarian cuisine will take place between 12pm and 2pm. For more information visit www.kurma.net or www.krishnatemple.com