image from Recipease
Jamie Oliver, aka The Naked Chef, is not your average celebrity chef. He has led a varied and public-minded career. He has a t.v. show, has written cook books, and opened a restaurant training under-privileged young people to be chefs. He led a very public and successful campaign to improve the quality of school lunches served across the country. Now he has a new project: Recipease.
Based on his concern over the ignorance of young professionals about basic cooking skills and the rise of obesity in the UK, he has opened his first neighbourhood "food and kitchen emporium", in what he hopes will be a chain of local stores.
image from Recipease
There are three choices offered for people who want to get more at ease with cooking and eating healthy foods. First there is "Easy to Go"--that's a deli-style, take-away food section where one can buy main courses and desserts pre-made. These include fish pie, lasagna, roast chicken, tiramisu and berry crumble.
Next is the "Easy to Make". The idea is that " you can assemble a brilliant meal in around 10 minutes in our kitchens, using ingredients we've prepped for you ahead of time." You pick the dish, book a time and come into the store and they will have all the ingredients laid out and you create your meal by following the simple steps on the recipe cards provided. They do the shopping, chopping and preparing for you, and you put it together and take it home to cook.
The real leap is getting taught from scratch by the pros: "Easy to Learn". In this option, yo pick a recipe such as fish pie, risotto or knife skills, book a time and turn up.
The place looks like a farm kitchen, with all the herbs in nice bowls and sauces ready to go and Jamie-clones ready to offer suggestions and answer questions.
There is also a new line of dishes and kitchen implements that have been designed to complement the food. These include good-looking pottery and chopping boards and pepper grinders. Table clothes, bowls and mugs and cutlery are also available.
Jamie hopes that Recipease will change the way people think about food: “Seventy per cent of people in the UK don’t get time to cook and we consume more pre-packaged food than the whole of Europe put together. We want to get people cooking with fresh food again. Genuinely, the most important thing about the business is not the business. It’s about trying to empower people who are nervous about cooking or are already good at cooking to have a go."
It's not cheap and it's geared towards a particular clientele, but it's another step in Oliver's mission to bring good healthy food to the masses. Recipease
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