Recreate restaurant dishes at home with the help of the country's best chefs, from Tommy Banks's tomato salad to Padella's epic cacio e pepe pasta and Dishoom's chilli cheese toast. Plus, find out how you can support the restaurants during lockdown
This recipe, shared with us in 2015 by Josh Katz of London’s Berber & Q, signified one of the biggest shifts in the food world in recent years. Cauliflower became trendy – it was riced, it was sliced into steaks, it was baked whole – and vegetables in general became the stars, not the side act. If you have access to outdoor space, this is a great excuse to get some fresh air and fire-up the BBQ. Otherwise, follow the cook’s notes for instructions on how to cook in the oven. Like all of our featured chefs and restaurants, Berber & Q Grill House and Berber & Q Shawarma Bar had to close during the coronavirus crisis, but Josh and co-founder Mattia Bianchi have launched Berber & You to raise funds to deliver their food to NHS workers around London. 100% of the money raised will be spent on supplies and staff to cook it all – donate what you can here. You can also support the team by buying a signed copy of the Berber & Q book and restaurant merch (including some snazzy t-shirts).
Three of the most comforting words you’ll read: pasta, butter, cheese. This is one of the most queued-for dishes in London, from Borough Market’s Padella. Check out Padella’s instagram for live cookalongs with owner Tim Siadatan and family, some including live music guest appearances.
Dalston’s Little Duck The Picklery was a gamechanger when it opened in 2018. Describing itself as a “fermenting kitchen, eatery and wine bar”, this third venue from the same team behind Soho’s Ducksoup and Hackney’s Rawduck centred around one large, family-style kitchen table from which the team prepped and cooked a carefully curated selection of seasonal small plates. The diner quickly became famous for its jars of unpasteurised, fermented treasures, drinking vinegars and kombuchas, and its impressive choice of natural and biodynamic wines, as well as the series of workshops it held on all its funky ferments. This dish, which chef Tom Hill shared with us, is a great way of perking up courgettes with very few ingredients. Follow @littleduckthepicklery for updates.
Try Tommy Banks’ Great British Menu tomato starter topped with shaved goat’s cheese. This vegetarian recipe is deliciously refreshing and gluten free, inspired by the celebration of midsummer. You can help support Black Swan at Oldstead by buying homemade products from Tommy’s website – we love the bottled cocktail set including a damson sazerac. Or if you live in the Oldstead, Harrogate or York areas you can purchase a Made in Oldstead food box, including two oven-ready, freshly made three-course meals for two people.
If ever there was a time to indulge in slow, meditative cooking, it’s now. This pappardelle recipe from Bancone was a big hit with the team (and you! – it’s one of our most popular chef recipes). Open since the summer of 2018, Bancone was part of a new wave of pasta bars popping up in London that offered bargain plates of dreamy carbs (from silky pasta handkerchiefs to honeyed garlic focaccia and gorgonzola stuffed polenta) alongside pokey negronis and sparkling, sweet bellinis. Its first branch, in Covent Garden, a mere stomp from Trafalgar Square, proved such a hit that a second, much larger site quickly followed a year later in Soho. Sadly Bancone is now closed until further notice, and founder Will Ellner says: “The best thing you can do to support us is to come and get your pasta fix as soon as we open our doors again”. Follow @bancone.pasta for updates.
Founded in 2018 by cookbook author and food stylist, Jess Elliott Dennison, 27 Elliott’s opened as a small neighbourhood café in Edinburgh’s leafy Southside in 2018. Another Jamie Oliver alumni (Jess previously worked for his food and homeware range), Jess’s food and drink focusses on using the best produce (often veggies) in an accessible, effortlessly cool way – from pickles and ferments to fresh pasta, preserved cordials and homemade shrubs. This recipe takes a little time but is simple to make and seriously comforting, which is very much needed in these times. You can still support Jess now by ordering the restaurant’s good-quality local staples, so that they can continue to support their usual suppliers (think groceries, bread, milk, eggs and natural wine). You can also buy Jess’s brilliant (and particularly helpful right now) cookbook, Tin Can Magic, and tote bags here. Follow @27.elliotts for updates.
The family group behind Trishna, Gymkhana and many more of London’s most successful and delicious eateries, JKS Restaurants opened Brigadiers in the City of London in 2018. A barbecue joint and drinking den inspired by the army mess bars of India, its slick interior (red leather booths, plush velvet curtains, distressed mirrored walls, monkey lamps and a whisky vending machine) matched its playful menu. Tender, incredibly moreish butter chicken wings soon became the star attraction (get the recipe here) but this house dahl wowed us in the test kitchen, too. Comforting and nourishing, simple to make, and easily adaptable to what spices you have at home, this recipe should be on your weekly roster. Support the team by ordering home delivery from Motu (it uses the same suppliers and the same team as JKS Restaurants), which serves British-Indian classics across selected London postcodes. The name refers to the affectionate Hindi term for fat man (‘motu’) and is a nod to the dabbawalas of India, who would traditionally deliver packed meals for workers in triffins. Follow @brigadiersldn for updates.
Styled on the kabab houses of Tehran, Berenjak was one of many Iranian restaurants to open in 2019. Serving the likes of refreshing sharbats (non-alcoholic Persian fruit cordials), flatbreads cooked on hot pebbles, kababs and khoresht (stews), and baklava ice-cream sandwiches, it was a welcome addition to London’s Soho (and the site of some boozy bonding for team olive). This particular recipe, from chef Kian Samyani, was originally served with garlic sauce, chilli sauce, roasted tomatoes and fresh herbs – proof that you don’t need many ingredients to impress. You can support the team by buying vouchers here. Follow @berenjaklondon for updates.
A regular face on Saturday Kitchen and Sunday Brunch, chef Freddy Bird knows good food, and we’ve been seriously impressed with every restaurant he’s been involved in. This spiced lamb is a twist on a Lebanese classic and can be adapted to what you have – it’s worth making the hummus and flatbreads alone. You can buy baharat readymade in supermarkets and online if you can’t get all the spices to make it from scratch. This recipe is from Freddy’s time cooking at the Thames Lido in Reading. Before that, he was at the Bristol Lido, as well as London’s Moro, and he’s also cooked under Phil Howard at The Square. Last year he opened his debut solo restaurant, littlefrench, in Bristol’s Westbury Park area – you can find more recipes from Freddy and the restaurant here. Sticking true to its modus operandi, this neighbourhood restaurant is now providing the local community with veg, meat and fish boxes (either for collection or doorstep delivery to those in self-isolation), as well as eggs, vegetables, La Fromagerie cheeses and Extract Coffee coffee. You can also order a box of Freddy’s Buxton & Bird pies (think pork, leek and cider; Indonesian butternut and sweet potato curry; and chicken, ham, leek and tarragon). Follow @littlefrench_bristol for updates.
If you haven’t tried a Dishoom dish (in either one of the eight locations across the UK, including London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Birmingham; or via the Dishoom cookery book, which quickly became a bestseller upon its release last year) you’ve not lived. Inspired by Bombay’s old Irani cafés, Dishoom is best known for its addictive, queue-worthy brunches – bacon naan, anyone? – cool, quirky interiors and crowd-pleasing curries. In 2017, olive celebrated the opening of the first branch outside London (in Edinburgh) with a series of recipes – check out the gunpowder potatoes, or chloe bhature (a vegetarian chickpea and potato curry). This recipe, Kejriwal, aka chilli cheese toast, is incredibly simple and uses very few ingredients, making it ideal for kitchens with limited supplies. You can support the Dishoom family by buying the cookbook, Dishoom: From Bombay with Love, which is as much a collection of recipes as an ode to Bombay. Follow @dishoom for updates and may we recommend cooking the house black dahl first, if you do buy the cookbook.
Nantes-born chef Greg Marchand was nicknamed ‘Frenchie’ by Jamie Oliver during his time as head chef at Fifteen restaurant. Greg’s eponymous bistros in Paris and London’s Covent Garden won legions of fans thanks to charming staff and minimalist, modern French menus. We’d happily eat his ingenious, super-light and fluffy maple and bacon scones (served at Frenchie as a starter) for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can support Greg and his team during this time by buying vouchers, the Frenchie cookbook and more right here. Follow @frenchiecoventgarden for updates.
This easy recipe packs a punch and was shared with us back in 2017 by Westerns Laundry in north London. The second restaurant from Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim and David Gingell, the focus at Westerns Laundry is on seafood sourced from Devon and Cornwall, alongside Yorkshire meat. Follow @westernslaundry for updates.
Oat milk, tahini and super-ripe bananas keep this egg-free, dairy-free banana bread moist and moreish. Freddie Janssen of Dalston restaurant Snackbar says, “We like to serve our banana bread toasted with a slab of butter and some Maldon salt, which un-vegans it but it tastes great as is, or vegan butter would work, too.”