London Foodie Guide: Jamie OliverBy Alicia Grimshaw
Don’t mind me, just catching up with Jamie Oliver at the opening of his new cookery school inside Jamie’s Italian at Westfield White City. No big deal. What can I say, the man has created more TV shows and cookery books than I’ve had hot school dinners (not turkey twizzlers, I should add). He’s changed the way we cook, swayed political decisions and championed food education in schools, not just in the UK, but globally.
And all we wanted to know was where his favourite breakfast spot is in London. We’re all about the hard hitting journalism, people:
It has to be E5 Bakehouse. Badass. Lovely team and amazing bread.
Admittedly, it’s not a bakery but somehow the bread at Fifteen is above and beyond the rest. We have some crazy spores going on, we’ve got the most amazing sourdough bread. Our Brazilian baker at Fifteen is doing some amazing stuff. Best bread, man. Oh, almost forgot – how you tried Balthazar bread? Their bread is very good.
Favourite breakfast spot:
I like going for a civilised breakfast at Berners Tavern by Jason Atherton. Straight, very well done, no nonsense and kind of what you want most of the time.
I do like breakfast at Dishoom in King’s Cross, I think they’re good, and such an unusual fusion – I love it. Around Clerkenwell there’s some crazy places that do extraordinary things.
Favourite street food:
There’s so many now, it’s hard to choose. There’s so many exciting things happening in Dinerama and Street Feast.
Best place for a steak:
Obviously, Barbecoa is designed to be the best steak in London. But to plug my own stuff..
Can we just talk about Barbecoa for a moment. I visited Barbecoa and those Korean ribs were out of this world, and the snickersphere for pud was delicious.
Does that give me permission to plug Barbecoa?
Yes, you can. Because that place is another level.
I think Barbecoa and Pitt Cue have some extraordinary stuff going on. Yes I am biased, I fully admit that. But Barbecoa’s sole intention was meat and fire. And I can tell you the journey getting there was not an easy one. Cooking only on the solid fuels, with these big hunks of meat, and unusual cuts of steak.
Where’s your favourite place to take your children?
Interestingly, I don’t take them out that much because I cook for them at home. Mum probably does. I know they have birthday parties at places like Yo! Sushi, which I don’t think protests to be the best sushi on the planet, but it’s really fun. Certainly when I was 12/13/14 years old I wasn’t eating sushi, but that was a long time ago. I know it sounds bad, but I really don’t take them out. I work, they go to school and on the weekends, I cook. They’re stuck with Jamie’s restaurant, which is me at home.
Best place to grab a coffee:
I like Ozone, I think they’re really, really cool and diligent bunch. They’re owning the whole thing. I have two or three coffees, which I know I probably shouldn’t and they give me this cold extraction. All sorts of different techniques. It’s an absolute honour to see what those guys are doing.
Favourite restaurant for a celebration:
It has to be the River Cafe. It’s always an event; sitting outside in late spring, summer, or early autumn. It’s such a buzz. Get a little table of eight, or go for the private dining room. But if you’re going to go there, the table of eight is what you want to get. It’s obviously nostalgic for me because I use to work there. It’s rattling toward thirty years and it’s still as consistent as clock work, and it still stays true to all their values. It’s unbelievable and a very romantic situation. Amazing food and unbelievable wines.