It’s rare for me to venture out these days, juggling three children is proving to be, hmmn, quite a challenge. However, I did manage to jump on a train and head into the big smoke for a night out in London, getting home just before my carriage turned into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight! The event that lured me into town Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food book launch at his cookery school, Recipease in Notting Hill.
As you may imagine, this was a party and a half, with a lavish display of Comfort Food-style celebration cakes, as well as a selection of savoury recipes from the book, including Irresistible Pork Buns, Polish Kiełbasa (there’s a recipe for how to make your own at home in the book), Beef and Barley Buns, Massaman Curry and hand-made Ravioli. There was also craft beer, wine and bespoke cocktails on tap. And if that wasn’t enough, we were also offered cured meats from Cobbled Lane Cured and following the success of the Truffle Cheddar experiment, we were treated to more Westcombe Dairy cheese.
Mr Oliver himself was in attendance, making the time to speak to almost every guest and signing bespoke copies of the book – customised with spray paint by Barnaby Purdy. Alongside Jamie were some of his friends and staunch allies – David Loftus, Gennaro Contaldo, Andy Appleton from Cornwall’s Fifteen and Ed Loftus – pastry chef extraordinaire. The event also gathered together the Food Tube crowd, the Drinks Tube crowd, a hand-picked selection of top bloggers, vloggers, instagrammers and the online editorial team behind JamieOliver.com.
It was a truly interactive, high-speed, fun-filled bash!
Comfort Food is Jamie’s sixteenth book. There has also been a television series running alongside the release which I’ve loved tuning into. Unlike a couple of Jamie’s previous books where the emphasis has been on speed, Comfort Food is all about rainy day recipes or perhaps the slower pace of weekend cooking, with chapters named Nostalgia, Good Mood Food, Pick Me Ups, Ritual, Guilty Pleasures and Sweet Indulgence. It’s a book that, I think, still captures Jamie’s love of cooking for family and friends, in the same way that he loved doing as The Naked Chef, but with even more gusto and a nod to some of the best ‘comfort food’ dishes from around the world. The photography, as always, by ‘Lord’ David Loftus, is first-rate, with Jamie endorsing David as “the best food photographer in the world.” Few would disagree.
At home, I’ve really enjoyed cooking some of Jamie’s Comfort Food recipes. I’ve had a go at making the Polish Pierogi from the book, filled with cabbage, potatoes and cheese – my kind of comfort food! I’ve also bookmarked the section on Making Kiełbasa. I made the Chocolate Celebration Cake for the school Christmas fair. On Boxing Day, I’ll be making the Overnight Roasted Pork Shoulder and with the leftovers, I’m going to have a go at making these Irresistible Pork Buns as served on the night.
It was also a great opportunity for me to catch up with some of Jamie’s editorial team and his online writers, including Aimée from Simple Bites, who had flown over from Canada. I’ve loved writing all of my online recipe features for JamieOliver.com this year and I’m looking forward to sharing some hugely exciting content in 2015. Cheers!
Christmas Features for JamieOliver.com
If you have some time over the weekend, why not have a go at making my nostalgia-inspired Creamy Sea Salted Fudge? Find the recipe here – I’ve had tons of positive comments, emails and feedback on this one!
And just in time for Christmas entertaining, I’ve shared my recipe for Vegan Mushroom Risotto Cups, which is the perfect recipe to have up your sleeve for vegan, vegetarian and/or gluten-free guests. Find the recipe here.
I’m off to snuggle up with my signed copy of Comfort Food and to chose some more recipes to make over the holidays.
Make sure it’s on your Christmas wish list! Have a read of Sarah’s December reviews for some more ideas, too.
A huge thank you to Jamie, Jim and the team for the invitation to this very enjoyable evening.
It was really lovely to meet you at the event, It was a fabulous evening and you’ve done a beautiful write up with gorgeous pictures. I can’t wait to try some of the recipes myself!
Jo of Jo's Kitchen says
This looks amazing! very jealous xx
Denise Tyrrell says
What a great night, rubbing shoulder with so many talented people. Jamie’s “Comfort Food” was a very welcome present in my Christmas stocking this year – just waiting for a couple of cool days before tackling some of the recipes but oh they do make the mouth water. And the photographer is superb.
Happy New Year!
Nazima Pathan says
such lovely pictures – I love the comfort food recipes you have shown and those risotto cups are a great idea for parties so will go check that out for New Year!
Glamorous Glutton says
It looks like an amazing night, certainly worth venturing out for. I bought Jamie’s Comfort Food at Jamies Feastival. The recipes are great, real hearty cold weather bites as well as things that would be fab for a casual party. Love your photos. Merry Christmas. GG
Sarah Maison Cupcake says
What a fabulous evening it was, such a great atmosphere and wonderful food too. The book is fantastic too, a cornucopia of international comfort food, I can’t wait to cook from it myself.
Katie Bryson says
Wow what an amazing night that looked!!!! I’ve got Jamie’s Comfort Food on my Christmas list and cannot wait to get my hands on it and start cooking from it. I love Jamie’s recipes and think he’s such a fab guy.
Judith (Mostly About Chocolate Blog) says
that recipes are becoming more and more complex but this all looks so easy and yet fabulous! The event you went to is also envy-inducing 😉 Lucky you!
Margot @ Coffee & Vanilla says
Sounds and looks amazing Ren! I’m a big fan of Jamie Oliver, ever since the school dinners.
It’s such a pity that Jamie’s restaurant and cookery school has closed recently in Brighton before I even got a chance to visit.
Fiver Feeds says
That Chocolate Celebration Cake looks fantastic, I like it!
Sally - My Custard Pie says
I bought this recently but haven’t cooked from it yet. What a fabulous evening Ren and your images are stunning. Have a wonderful Christmas – very special with baby’s first 🙂
Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) says
Ren – so much fun! I loved living through all the pics and tweets – kinda sorta like I was there (but not quite!). I’ve loved your features in 2014 for JO.Com too and can’t wait to see what 2015 brings! Merry Christmas!
Oh, looks like so much fun….food looks irresistible!