Saturday, August 22, 2009

Recipease


Living in London, I'm frequently surprised with the constantly changing face of the streets around me. Every couple of weeks a shop or restaurant will close, only for another to open in its place. Sometimes this is sad, as in the case of the excellent independent toy shop which metamorphosed into a Costa coffee. But sometimes it is exciting, as in the case of the lovely new bakery and cafe which recently opened on the Northcote Road.

Earlier this year, I was intrigued when wooden boards went up around a high street building society. These boards were plastered with Jamie Oliver's name and I wondered what on earth to expect. Surely he wasn't opening the latest branch of Fifteen in the shadow of Clapham Junction tube station?

Indeed, no he wasn't. A few months later and the boards were removed. Behind them was a branch of his new venture 'Recipease'. This shiny new store has been attractively Jamie-fied. At the front, shoppers can buy all kinds of Jamie merchandise, including some rather lovely wooden chopping boards. There is also food for sale, much of it packaged in over-sized Kilner jars. Imagine mustards, chutneys and jams. And bread too. Lots of bread. Foccacia. And the most expensive Chelsea buns you are every likely to eat. The busy shopper can also buy pseudo ready-meals freshly prepared instore to take home and throw in a pan for supper. You can even buy the wine to go with it.


But at the heart of the shop are several huge workstations where you can assemble your own meals. There is a pizza station where you can create your own signature toppings. Or you can select from a changing menu of different dishes to prepare. All the chopping and preparation is done for you - you just book a session, turn up and create one (or two) of Jamie's mouthwatering recipes.

As well as this, you can also book in for cooking lessons focusing on a particular skill - knife skills, risotto, cooking the perfect steak, pasta to name just a few. The best news, these classes are a great deal cheaper than many other cookery demonstrations in the capital.


I haven't sampled the 'ready-meals' and nor have I booked in to assemble my own Jamie recipe. But recently I took part in a very fun hen party that included a pasta-making session at Recipease. Upon arrival, we were greeted with glasses of wine (...tea, coffee and soft drinks were provided too but these were rather ignored in favour of the wine!). We then set to work with our excellent and highly enthusiastic chef. She showed us how to make pasta dough and then we all headed to our own workstations to make our own. Once all twelve of us had enough spaghetti, tagliatelle, ravioli and caramelli to feed an army, we then made a super sage butter sauce to accompany the ricotta and spinach stuffed pasta shapes. Divine!

I would thoroughly recommend a private party at Recipease of this type - it was great fun and a real ice-breaker. I think we could have used another member of staff as twelve novices making pasta was somewhat chaotic and our chef could only help one of us at a time! However, it was great fun and despite making a horribly dry-feeling dough that fell apart in the pasta machine, I ended up with some quite delicious pasta. I clearly need practise...

Recipease, 48-50 St John's Road, Battersea

16 comments:

Bellini Valli said...

Jamie is always on a mission to get peoole in the kitchen and being well fed. We all need his passion for what's on our plates.

Jacqueline said...

That sounds brilliant. I am already thinking up excuses for a trip to London so can give it a go. You are truly spoilt for choice down there. Lucky thing :)

ginger@dinnerdiary.org said...

I was a little skeptical when I first heard about these places, there's another similar kind of place near where we live and it's not been hugely popular. However, this is the second review I've read of Jamie's new venture and both have been positive.

I've been wanting to make pasta for a while but haven't ever been brave enough, perhaps I need a lesson first!

Lucy said...

This looks like a lovely place to go and learn - especially when the pasta turns out looking so good! I shall definitely want to pay a visit sometime :)

Sam said...

I wish I lived in, or at least near to London! I really like the whole concept of this place and wouldn't mind a few lessons myself. It looks fun too!

Katie said...

Wow what a wonderful find. Its always fun to discover new foodie places. What a great idea for a hen party.

Beth said...

I've heard about his latest venture but haven't managed to get to one yet.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Antonia, what a lovely life you lead. What excitement to be amidst all the foodie excitement in London. I am so envious.

Just want to congratulate you on winning the Aprovecho A Mexican American Border Cookbook from foodbuzz/foodie blogroll monthly giveaways. I will be sending this book out to you this week. I don't know how long it will take to get to London from El Paso, Texas, but rest assured that it will be on it's way this week.

You have a lovely blog.

Indigo said...

Ooh ooh ooh I can't believe I haven't even heard about this! I love just about everything Jamie Oliver turns his hand to; I'm so envious of you. And guh, that pasta looks to die for. Sage butter sauce, ajdfksnd. Hello, beautiful.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Interesting post. Might well be tempted to give it a whirl...

Margaret said...

I would love to go to Recipease - out of curiousity really - and also to have some fun.
You all must have had a great time!

Trekkie said...

Oh, that looked fabulous. You lucky thing.

Anne said...

Sounds like a fab idea for a hen party, still have not attempted pasta and would be great to have a bit of guidance! Can imagine it being good fun, esp with a few glasses of vino!

Orce Serrano Hams said...

Impressive stuff! Fabulous pasta.

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Luke at The Cooking Rooms said...

I was really interested to read your post about Recipease. I have just opened a new cookery school in York called The Cooking Rooms and we are trying to be different from your average cookery school - more flexible, laid back and better value. I didn't know whether to be disappointed when I read that Jamie was doing something vaguely similar or happy that he thinks it's something the public is interested in too!
I would be really interested to hear ideas for classes/experiences from you and your fellow bloggers as we do try to respond to feedback (we were asked about a Moroccan class, so we scheduled one!).
It goes without saying that if anyone is planning a trip to York or even planning a hen party, then please look us up www.thecookingrooms.com
If you would like to see some recent photos (the website has only just been launched and we have only just finished building the place!) the look up The Cooking Rooms group page on Facebook.