You might remember my slightly judgemental first blog about Jamie Oliver’s new chain of restaurants – Union Jacks – he wasn’t in my good books, but boy is he back!
If you’ve been ambling around Notting Hill or Clapham recently you might’ve noticed the brightly coloured buildings that house Recipease – Jamie Oliver’s latest foodie adventure which amongst other things delves into fantastic cookery lessons for people of all ages, experience and taste buds.
Jamie said he wanted to create “buzzing little community hubs where people can really get involved with food” and he has certainly delivered this. Having waited over two months for this inspired Christmas present the four of us parked up, wandered down St John’s Rd in Clapham and found ourselves ducking into a fluorescent pink building greeted by wafts of fresh pastries and ground coffee.
Smack bang in the middle of this deli-come-restaurant is a very visible U shaped cookery school for the entire world to see. This was slightly off putting to start with, knowing that everyone walking in, sitting down or passing by could watch you try and create a culinary delight whilst donning a very fetching apron!
Our two hour crash course was “A Taste of Japan” (there are over 45 to choose from) and being a recent convert to Japanese food, I was excited. We put our stuff into our lockers, aprons on, hands washed, bagseyd our work stations and made sure we had a glass of rosé ready to calm our nerves (a free drink is included in the course).
The menu that we were to be cooking was apparently more complex than any of the other courses and consisted of Chicken Teriyaki, Tempura veg, Picked veg, two or three sauces, Miso Tofu soup and then some pre-cooked rice and spinach.
When the chef called us in to watch the next step of the recipe concentration was definitely the key as there were endless table spoons of this and that and then we’d hurry back to our station and try to recite it. There was only one little mishap in the whole two hours which was the only DO NOT DO (burn the sauce) and J managed to do just that.
After an hour and a half it was nearly time – the Teriyaki sauce was sticky, the oil was hot and our dripping batter covered veg and prawns were being immersed straight into it, the sesame sauce was ready to be poured on our spinach, the tofu
could be added to the miso soup and our wooden board was looking colourful.
Proudly we all picked up our masterpiece, sat down together on the long table and tucked into our feast….it was delicious, and if it wasn’t you couldn’t blame anyone but yourself!
Next on the list: Mexican Street Food
by Victoria Gibbs