i was delighted to be invited along to a very special bloggers’ evening at the new flagship branch of jamie oliver’s recipease last week. according to the mission statement, “recipease is all about getting truly fantastic food on your table… that means everything that goes into our dishes is high-quality stuff from equally passionate suppliers,” and trust me, that certainly rings true. it was wonderful to meet both giles – the founder of olives et al who make the aromatic hey presto! – and danilo manco – whose puglia produced extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegar are simply divine – and hear them talk with real gusto, and obvious pride, about their produce.
we were treated to a twist on the cooking classes usually on offer at recipease, and asked to assemble some very easy peasy dishes using the crème de la crème of the jme food ranges. working backwards through the menu, first we halved day-old croissants and spread each slice with delicious spiced marmelade, then covered them in a generous dollop of jamie’s classic vanilla custard and left it to soak. these were later heated in the oven for fifteen or so minutes for a contemporary take on the classic british comfort dish; bread and butter pudding. then we baked fresh haddock fillets oven baby new potatoes slathered in hey presto!; a proudly british version of the popular italian classic, made with peppery watercress, herbs and farm-made cheese. yum yum, indeed. (as an aside, don’t you just love that every dish was served in a falcon enamelware pie dish? i have the same exact set at home!)
finally we created the perfect starter salad; watercress, stichelton (similar to stilton, which i usually hate), sweet spiced pickled pears (yes, pickled pears – delish!) and a good drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar of modena. then we munched our way through it all – in the right order of course – accompanied by a good glass of crisp white wine. and as if that wasn’t enough, out came the cheese course where we were all encourage to taste test the pickled walnuts, which you would honestly not expect to work but strangely do – aromatic and tangy with a strong balsamic vinegar taste.
your taste buds are tingling now, right? hopefully i’ve inspired you to check out recipease’s extensive repertoire of cookery lessons, which range from vietnamese street food, to north indian thali, to mastering the art of sushi. failing that, just let yourself be led around the shop downstairs by your nose – or stomach! i challenge you not to be tempted by the hot yellow pepper jelly, artichoke paste, mull it over cider syrup or some like it hot chocolate…
recipease, 92-94 notting hill gate, w11; christmas shopping evenings will be held every tuesday throughout december from 6-9pm