I am a self-taught, amateur cook who learned by watching other people, mostly my mother. Every day she would cook dishes made from the leftovers of the day before, whatever was growing in her garden and the ingredients she had in the kitchen.
I believe that those simple skills are what make a real cook: the skills to use whatever you have at hand, to cook delicious, nourishing, healthy dishes for the people you love.
After writing my book, I decided to put what I had written into practice and started a supperclub in my front room. People kept coming back and paying me.
Then a friend offered me the chance to take over a kitchen in a local pub. Six weeks and 600 customers later, I’d made enough money to start a (very) small business.
I found the opportunity when my local car repair workshop closed and launched what I can be confident was the UK’s first pop-up restaurant in a garage. I and my best kitchen mate Mary, set up a kitchen in the middle of the dirty old shed, surrounded our customers in the ingredients and produce they were eating, put up some old trestle tables and stuck a Citroen van in the middle, festooned in fairy lights. For two years, four nights a week we fed forty customers a fixed price, simply-cooked dinner based entirely on the dishes we felt like cooking on the day.
Three years later, I opened 2 more pop-up restaurants, a kitchen showroom dining room in Hoxton and a tiny kitchen in Covent Garden in London where for a year I cooked my simple home-cooked dinners. Both are now closed while I explore new opportunities.
WHAT THE PRESS SAY
‘We need more places like this. The food is honest and delicious, based on robust flavours and simple, good cooking. The space is done with an unpretentious charm that speaks to your urban romantic as well as your inner french peasant’ – Lucas Hollweg, food writer and journalist.
‘PipsDish is homecooking at its purest’
– John Walsh, The Independent
‘Easily the coolest restaurant I’ve eaten in all year’
– Christian Rose-Day, Fluid London
‘Each dish is mouthwateringly good and perfectly proportioned’
– View London *****
‘The sweetly wholesome, no-choice, eat-as-you-find-us PipsDish’
– Fay Maschler, Evening Standard
‘It was a triumph… the perfect place to host a meal for friends without incurring the pain of the washing up afterwards.’
– Rosamund Urwin, Evening Standard, ****
‘PipsDish offers a homely, relaxed and informal dining experience…This really is a great venue and as everyone knows, all the best parties take place in the kitchen’.
– Miss Immy’s London
‘Quite simple, quite perfect… This is great, simple cooking, using excellent, fresh ingredients’
– Fiona Maclean, London Unattached
‘It’s food first here, and that’s always a good thing’
– Ask Men.