Jamie Oliver and I have been playing hide and seek – I have been so close to experiencing his food and yet the opportunities have been evasive.
I first caught sight of Jamie on one of my trips – there he was on television extolling the virtues of the lunches served in Italian schools and how what was served in US schools could not compare at any level. I was hooked to the man’s enthusiasm and simplicity. On the same trip, I learnt that he had a restaurant down the street from our hotel in Amsterdam. Fifteen not only had great food, it supported a social cause – underprivileged youth were handpicked and trained to work as chefs there! But, getting in proved to be impossible. So when we encountered Barbecoa across from St. Paul’s in London, we thought there could be a tasting opportunity. Unfortunately, for us vegetarians, the sight of the butchery was a turn off. So, it was a double delight when on an exploratory stroll around Notting Hill, we chanced upon Recipease.
The display of food and food related items is what drew us in. From olive oils and spices to pots and pans, from gadgets to sauces and jams, the store was a cook’s play pen. It is only upon exploring the store further that we realized that it was a Jamie Oliver creation. A store that housed a cafe and cooking school as well. Sathya and I joyfully ascended up the stairs and within minutes we were comfortably seated at a table overlooking the swarm of people milling around Notting Hill. We got the freshest bowl of chips and guacamole, the crispness of the chips playing the perfect companion to the creamy, spicy guacamole. Add a glass of prosecco and I was in a lovely state of nirvana. The nirvana was induced by what surrounded us. In addition to the cafe tables, there was a central “cooking school” area, with prep work on in full swing for the zillions of classes they offer. Due to poor timing, we were unable to participate in a class, but it is a must do on a future trip to London. Post snacking, we spent time milling around the “school area” looking at the apparatus, displays and of course the many cookbooks that were available for purchase.
It was a lovely little fuel break and introduction to Jamie’s cooking/philosophy and left us pumped up to tackle our next important project of the day – exploring the shops of Portobello Road.
You can learn more about Recipease, their locations and classes at