Jamie Oliver. What a brand. What an empire. You can eat in his restaurants, watch his shows, buy his books, support his campaigns and download his iPhone apps. Does the guy ever sleep? I’ve often wondered what all the fuss was about until last night when I joined a group of friends at Recipease – Jamie’s community based food ‘happening’ in south London – and got the religion.
The idea was both fun and simple. We assembled a group of friends, picked from a list of dishes (we chose Thai Green Curry), grabbed a glass of wine and started cooking the fresh ingredients that had been assembled for us. An energetic, Jamie-like professional chef guided us along using a combination of skill, humour and charm. At the end of the class, we got to sit together around a table and eat what we prepared. And all for the price of what we would have spent for an ordinary meal at an unmemorable restaurant. While we were part of an evening group event, Recipease also offers classes for individuals and couples at different times during the day.
According to the website, Recipease was conceived as a community based food emporium where everyone can get involved with food, no matter what your ambition level, starting position or finances. And here’s the thing. The concept is delivered in a fresh and original way and it works. The place looks and feels welcoming. The products are appealing and fairly priced – and in London, that’s huge. The staff has the kind of energy that only comes from people who believe in what they are doing. Best of all, Recipease absolutely proves the point that good cooking can be big fun.
For locals, Recipease delivers a welcome change from the standard restaurant hustle and hassle. For fans of Jamie Oliver from all over the world, Recipease delivers an interesting opportunity to experience Jamie’s food revolution first hand and visitors to London can use the easy-to-use online booking system to plan and book ahead of a visit.