Fish pie at Recipease
I am in a designer kitchen surrounded by stylish olive chopping boards and bottles of quality olive oil, where I am carefully scattering grated cheese over my mashed potato and wondering if I should add just a bit more nutmeg on the top of the fish pie. There’s cool music in the background pumping out a chilled, Friday night play list, lovely Lucy (or is it Alice?) whisks away my dirty cooking dishes to wash them up and brings out beautifully chopped up and prepared ingredients on a nice wooden tray “Here’s your tiramisu” she smiles,” tell me if you need help”. Someone brings me another cup of tea in a rather covetable china mug. Meanwhile youngest teenage son is finishing off his lasagne and is wondering if he has enough time to knock up a quick Chicken Korma at the curry station before he starts the coleslaw.
We are in Recipese, Jamie Oliver’s new food store concept in Clapham and I have decided this is the way to cook. No shopping for ingredients, no chopping up, no weighing and most importantly no washing up. And it’s quick, within the hour we have turned up to the store, having booked on line for an Easy to Make session a couple of days before and prepare four family sized main courses, a salad and pudding, enough food for a bank holiday weekend and we've had fun.
The Easy to Make is more mixing together than cooking, but if you are passing at the end of a busy day and need to feed a family or present an impressive supper, it’s a brilliant idea, particularly the curries which are all made with fresh, deeply aromatic base pastes. Definitely one up on M&S. More involved schooling is available on the Easy to Learn course, which teach knife skills and how to cook Italian from scratch. Great for embryonic cooks, which is why youngest teenage son came with me, he completely loved it and the experience stayed with us all weekend as he was able to say “I did this” as we ate our way through the goods.
It’s not too expensive, our dishes (all generous servings of four) cost £13.95 each for fish pie and lasagne, £2.45 for coleslaw and £5.45 for the utterly delicious tiramisu, and the ingredients look top quality and taste great. The curries (Southern Indian and Chicken Korma £4.75 for two) were the biggest hit back home, which we would probably have every night if we lived closer to the store. We were disappointed not to have a recipe sheet to take home with us (although I love the enamel dishes the main course came in) and we would have loved to buy pots of the fresh curry pastes but these weren’t sold in the store. Staff were all Jamie clones, smiley, friendly and utterly passionate about the food. I just wished I could take one of them home to work in my kitchen.
Jamie Oliver's Recipease is at 45-50 St John's Road Clapham (look for the very pink shop) and is coming to Brighton shortly.
Tiramisu at Recipease