I think that I was born under a very lucky star and among many sad moments in life, I am blessed in equal amounts of happiness, always with a yin and a yang – as how it should be.
I was invited by Jamie Oliver‘s Web Editor, Danny McCubbin, to cook at Jamie’s test kitchen last Sunday – (I was very busy and then unwell so I couldn’t do it- but lucky me though as I got to enjoy being a guest instead).
Danny holds supper clubs in one of Jamie’s offices with Cate Darlison, using test kitchens (where Jamie also films some of his cooking shows) to raise money for The Fifteen Foundation . Together, they design menus and this is also to inspire ordinary people to hold their own supper clubs at home with Jamie’s recipes and raise money for their own causes and charities and to get people to cook and to eating well with their friends and families.
Robbie Kadhim -(@Noreservations1) graduated with the second group of apprentices, is now working as a private chef – he has also worked with some very well known celebrities.
Robbie had worked in my kitchen before when we did the Yell event, fund raising for The Jamie Oliver Foundation.
Robbie cooked Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Truffle Oil and Freshly Baked Rolls from Stewart the lovely baker from Fifteen.
Tommy Parsons – worked at the River Cafe with Jamie then came and opened Fifteen London. Tommy is now a private Chef working for quite a few well known celebrities
Tommy cooked Rotollo Filled with Butternut Squash, Ricotta, Spinach with Crispy Sage and Butter
Cate Darlison – is a self taught home cook with a background in cordon bleu cookery and like me she runs her own supper club, cooking classes at home as well as this one with Danny. She has her own catering company La Petite Boo and is a private chef.
Cate served up roasted spring cabbage parcels with bulgar wheat, shitake mushrooms, leeks and soft herbs. The poached portobello mushrooms were stuffed with grilled taleggio and roasted romanescco cauliflower roasted with cardamon and chilli and served with a warm aubergine salad with lemon and mint and griddled purple sprouting broccolli.
And later, Robbie made the dessert, from Danny’s Pavlova recipe that was inspired by one of Jamie’s recipes for Meringue with Vanilla Cream, Chocolate Sauce and Orange Zest.
As you would expect, it was a wonderful afternoon. I invited some lovely people and we were standing in Jamie’s workspace, drinking prosecco and wine from Naked Wines, in awe and extreme envy of his larder (look how neat and organised it is!), his prop room, his three kitchens under a wonderful glass roof with light messelling in like it owns the place.
There were stylised pictures of food everywhere, flat screen videos, lovely mismatched crockery, glasses and cutlery, beautiful wooden benches and chairs to eat on and just kitchen equipment to send any kitchen fetish like me to their knees.
The place is heavenly, kept in pristine condition, clean, airy and full of knick knacks – anyone who comes to my house for dinner knows I love my knick knacks.
We all sat around a long table, stretching across the 2 kitchens underneath the skylight, all feeling so happy, so proud and honoured to be where we were – to be invited behind the scenes but especially to eat the delicious food that was coming.
The menu was served in enormous portions and delivered like in a great restaurant by the team. Everything was truly delightful. It was all cooked to perfection, my favourite being Tommy Parson’s Rotolo.
All the ingredients was supplied by Fifteen – it was an entire vegetarian Sunday roast. No one missed the meat. Each chef had their own stations to work in, with an assistant each. Not a typical supper club, like mine, held in my little flat with everything cooked by me in a tiny little kitchen. This is the ideal place to hold supper clubs, this was just heavenly and very unique – its not everyday you can say you were in Jamie Oliver’s kitchen. And we all raised £350 for the meal of all goes to Jamie’s charity. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday!
Thank you so much to Danny & Cate for organising this every now and again and all those who came to help and cook for us. Its such a good way to get people inspired to cook. I am arranging to chef there very soon. And I CAN NOT WAIT! to work with all those utensils, pots and pans and space! Whoo!!