Wednesday, 10 October 2012


Notting Hill is one of my favourite spots in London, and what makes it even better is Jamie Oliver's new Recipease.

Recipease is Jamie's food and kitchen shop where anyone can learn to cook and make great food. It is all about getting fabulous food on your table.  So everything that goes into the dishes are high-quality products from passionate suppliers. The shop is stocked with fresh and dry goods, anything from cans of Italian extra virgin olive oil to blue popcorn on the cob!  All the ingredients are sourced locally but also going to the right source is very important, such as getting the cured meats from family producers in Italy and feta straight from Greece.

Beautifully presented food to go meals are made fresh every day in the shop, so all you have to do is open a bottle of wine and enjoy a lovely Jamie-inspired meal at home.

Cooking lessons are available for anyone.  Whether you're a complete novice or a seasoned pro, you can pop in for a few questions, learn new skills, get inspiration and try some fantastic food.  Different classes such as Unbeatable filled pasta, Vietnamese street food or American-style chili can all be learnt at Recipease.  You can have a laugh and enjoy a glass of wine while you learn the tricks of the trade from the highly trained kitchen pros.

We popped in for a late lunch and while we enjoyed our fabulous wood oven pizza and beef burger we watched all the foodies cooking up a storm in the demo kitchen.  The menu varies from Croque madame for breakfast to a three-hour roast pork belly sandwich for lunch.  For dessert you can enjoy a light pastry or an artisan organic coffee. Great food, fresh ingredients and a foodie hub for everyone! Recipease is brilliant and definitely a "must-do"! 


Amazing lamb rack


• 1 8-bone lamb rack, untrimmed 
• 150g feta cheese
• 12 semi-dried tomatoes
• 12 black olives (go for your favourite olive varieties), pits removed 
• extra virgin olive oil
• 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
• 3 cloves of garlic
• a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
• Seasonal vegetables for roasting – whatever looks good at the greengrocer!


Preparing your lamb rack
Remove most of the fat from the back of the rack, leaving a little bit to flavour the meat as it cooks. French-trim the bones by cutting the fat out around each bone down to the meat. Scrape the bones of all sinew and fat. Cut between the bones and through the eye of the lamb, leaving 1cm of meat still attached at the bottom.

Make the stuffing
Finely chop your parsley, semi-dried tomatoes and olives and mix them together with your feta in a bowl. Add a little pepper if you need to. Put this mixture between the lamb eye meat and the bones, then fold back up. Tie tightly in about 5 places.

Prepare your veg
Cut up your veg and throw into a roasting dish. You want them to cook in the same time as the lamb. Courgettes and aubergines are great, and if you’re using root veg, make sure you cut them into pieces. 

To make your marinade
Finely chop your rosemary and garlic, mix with a little oil and rub it all over the lamb and the fat, cover and put in the fridge for 1 hour before cooking.

Preheat your oven to 190C and, while it’s getting hot, take your marinated lamb from the fridge. Leave it for 20 minutes or so until it comes to room temperature.

Put the lamb right on top of the vegetables in your roasting dish. Put into your hot oven and roast – see cooking times below.

Cooking times 
A rough guide is 25 minutes for every 450g of meat, but it all depends on your oven. A good way to test for doneness is to give the meat a bit of a squeeze with your fingers. If it feels soft, it mean it’s rare; if it feels very firm, it’s well done. For a nice rarelamb rack, 25 to 30 minutes is a good guide.

When you’re happy with the doneness of your lamb, remove the tray from the oven. Remove the lamb from the roasting tray and put the vegetables back in the oven. Let the lamb rest on a board for 5 to 8 minutes, then carve – aim to get two bones per person. Serve with the lovely roasted vegetables.

Make a note here of how long it takes to cook your lamb, so you’ll know for next time:
Rare = 20 minutes Medium Rare = 26 minutes Medium = 30 Well Done 35-40 minutes

amazing lamb rack

Recipe provided by RECIPEASE Jamie Oliver

Monday, 1 October 2012

The Rib Room

September is always a special month in my life as it is John's birthday on the 4th! When it is time for birthday celebrations, the gift is never the problem. The head scratching is caused by the decision making of where we will be dining for the evening!

Last year we celebrated in Florence, which was pretty much the creme de la creme of all birthdays so I unfortunately had to lower my game. London is still an amazing city and so many restaurants to choose from!
After days of research, I finally decided on The Rib Room in Knightbridge. 

The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant is a very elegant and sophisticated destination for dinner and relaxed evenings in the bar. The menu showcases the best of British cuisine using fresh seasonal produce and is known for great cuts of meat and roast rib of beef.  As John is a carnivore, I thought this would be the perfect match!

We were warmly welcomed by the service staff on arrival and started off with a glass of bubbly at the bar and absorbed the relaxed and charming atmosphere.

"Famous among Knightsbridge restaurants.  The Rib Room is reborn following a makeover from interior designer Martin Brudnizke." - The Rib Room

Elegant and intimate, The Rib Room Restaurant blends tradition with contemporary design.  Located on the corner of Sloane Street and the picturesque Cadogan Place, The Rib Room serves great British Cuisine wirh a superb selection of wine and cocktails.

As we were showed to our table, the service staff presented us with menus and laid our napkins out and  received a beautiful bread basket. The wine list is presented on an Ipad and Sommelier Louise Gordon and her team will guide you towards the perfect pairing for your food.

For starters I had Corn fed Chicken salad, peas, truffle mayonnaise and John had Curried skate wing, toasted almonds, broccoli and Kenneth river crayfish. My salad was delicious, but John felt his started was too small and lacked flavour.

For main course we both had Char grilled lamb cushion, roasted celeriac puree, fresh peas and wild mushroom sauce.  It was absolutely delicious and I literally finished the jus with a swipe of the old finger!

For dessert I had the Vanilla set cream, gooseberry compote, warm lemon finaciers and John had the Fresh raspberry bakewell slice, strawberry and Pimm's jelly.  Surprisingly we got served a slice of cheesecake with a candle and everyone in the vicinity wished John a happy birthday! I had forgotten I added that to my preferences when I made the booking!

We ended our dinner with coffee and mouth watering salted caramel truffle petit fours.  
Very satisfying and a great experience!  Thank you to Chef Ian Rudge and his amazing team!

Recipe of the Month from Chef Ian Rudge:

Chilled pea and avocado soup
700g Frozen peas

2 litre Vegetable stock
4g Chopped garlic
40g Sliced shallots
2g Chilli
50m White wine
2g Mint
125g Ripe avocado (Peeled)
50g Spinach
100ml Milk
20g Crème fraiche 
1x Lime
5ml Vegetable oil
Olive oil 

  1. Sweat the garlic, chilli and shallot in a pan to soft with no colour, add the white wine and reduce to almost dry. Add vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  2. Bring a pan of seasoned water to the boil, add the peas and boil for 1 minute. Strain and add the peas to the boiling vegetable stock, season with salt and white pepper and boil for a further 2 minutes. Add the spinach and mint leaves and remove from the heat. Now add the milk, crème fraiche and avocado.
  3. The soup is now ready for blending, blend soup to a smooth velvety consistency, and pass through a fine sieve into a container, that is sitting on a container of ice. The idea here is to bring the temperature down as quickly as possible to help in keep its green colour.
  4. Once blended refrigerate until ready for use (ideally the same day).
  5. If needed finish the soup with a little salt and lime juice to give it some slight acidity, then serve in chilled bowls with garnish - cherry tomatoes, fresh peas, peas shoots and drizzle with a little olive oil to finish.

Photos provided by The Rib Room Restaurant and Bar