By Chere Di Boscio
We’ve all been there: hankering for something delicious to eat, but too busy to cook. We pick up all the delivery menus in our kitchen drawers and are disappointed: the ‘clean eaters’ amongst us are basically offered nothing – pizza has both gluten and dairy, sushi has vegan-unfriendly fish and whilst Chinese or Thai can offer some healthier options, there’s no guarantee they’re not full of neurotoxic MSG. So what’s a busy, hungry girl to do?
As the owner of a UK film production company (Finite Films, if you’re wondering), Amy Gardner found herself in that exact situation too many times to count. Drawing on her experience of having run concepts for London’s Ricker Restaurants, she decided to throw her passion for healthy eating into a new venture: Chelsea Kitchen.
Not being a professional chef herself, Amy called on friend Alessandro Verdenelli for help. Born in Rome, Ale started his culinary career in his uncle’s restaurant before studying cooking and moving to London. Since then, he’s held senior positions with Antonio Carluccio, Cecconi’s and Shoreditch House as well as cooking for the Oscars Ceremony in LA, Art Basel in Miami and the Cannes International Film Festival.
The duo dreamed up Chelsea Kitchen as an alternative to standard takeaway options. Chelsea Kitchen offers not only convenience, but unique, healthy menus from a curated list of top British chefs to offer diners a selection of high quality food – all delivered in 45 minutes or less.
In this Eluxe Exclusive article, we meet the chefs and steal a few of their culinary secrets, allowing you to prepare a few of the dishes they’ve delivered to VIP clientele for yourself.
Lorraine Pascale, Chef
Star TV chef and author Lorraine trained at Leiths School of Food and Wine before achieving a first class degree in Culinary Arts Management at the University of West London. Lorraine owned and operated a bakery in Covent Garden for 5 years during which time she became a household name with the British public through her own bakery series on the BBC.
On her TV show, Lorraine got to share her love of cooking by showing people how to make quick, easy meals with fresh ingredients. Her cookery books have sold more than 1 million copies and in her most recent, ‘Eating Well Made Easy’, Lorraine is putting healthy food back on the tables in Britain. Lorraine’s signature dishes include Quinoa Salad with Raisins and Walnuts, Beetroot Barley Risotto with Goats’ Cheese, Pine Nuts and Mint and Chocolate Espresso Pot with Raspberries.
Lorraine Pascale Recipes
Barley whole grain 300g * Beetroot raw or cooked 450g * Feta cheese goat’s cheese 100g * Garlic finely chopped 6g *Mint fresh 5g *Olive oil 12.6g * Dash of Black Pepper * Pine nuts or walnuts 25g * Red onion finely chopped 240g * Rosemary leaves fresh 5g * Sea salt 0.5g * Vegetables stock homemade or cubes 1000g
Method (for 4 servings)
- Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over a low-medium heat, sauté the onions for 10 minutes until really soft.
- If beetroot is uncooked, slice it up, season with salt and pepper and roast in oven for about 30 minutes at 200C (fan 180C), 400F, gas mark 6, until tender. Put into a blender and mix until very smooth puree then set aside.
- Add the garlic and rosemary to cooked onions and cook for further 1 minute, stir in barley and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add a quarter of the stock and stir regularly until stock begins to reduce then add another quarter of stock and keep stirring to avoid barley sticking to the bottom of the pan – continue this process until all stock has been used up and the rice is tender. This will take 20-25 minutes.
- Stir in beetroot and season with salt and pepper to own taste. Warm through for a couple minutes until piping hot.
- Serve onto plates and crumble the feta cheese or goat’s cheese, scatter the mint, toasted pine nuts or walnuts and serve.
Vegan Chocolate ‘Cheesecake’
Avocado, ripe peeled and de-stoned 540g * Banana, ripe and roughly chopped 300g *Cocoa powder unsweetened 50g * Coffee 100g * Medjool Dates dried 500g *Olive oil spray fry for greasing *Raspberries fresh 200g *Dash of Sea salt *Seeds of vanilla pod 2g (or dash of liquid vanilla flavouring) * Almond flour 100g
1. Grease and line an 18cm square tin (at least 5cm deep) with baking paper, making sure that some excess hangs over the edges, this give you something to pull out when removing the cheesecake from the tin.
2. Blitz together the almond flour, 25g of cocoa powder, 150g medjool dates and seeds of 1 vanilla pod in a food processor until they form crumbs that stick together when squeezed. Tip this mixture into baking square tin and using clean hands, press it evenly all over. Pop it in the fridge for at least an hour.
3. Blitz together the avocados, bananas, 350g Mejdool dates, 100g cocoa powder, 2bs of instant coffee powder dissolved in 2tbs of boiling water and a pinch of salt, until as smooth as possible. Pour this mixture into the base previously prepared and frozen for one hour, smooth it all out on top with the back of a spoon so it is level. Pop back in freezer for another hour until firm
4. Remove the cheesecake after one hour, lift it out of the tin and peel the paper from the sides. Dip a long sharp knife into a jug of boiled water, wipe dry with kitchen paper and cut the cheesecake into 16 pieces, dipping into the boiled water and drying the knife between each cut. Leave at room temperature for 10-20 minutes to slightly soften and not be frozen cold. Arrange the raspberries on top and serve immediately.
Leftovers can be kept in fridge and best eaten within 24 hours. Makes 16 servings.
Natasha Corrett, Chef
Natasha has been leading the alkaline revolution for the last 5 years, sharing her passion for feel-good food around the globe. Self-taught chef and author of three best-selling books, Natasha founded Honestly Healthy in 2010 as the culmination of a culinary journey influenced by her restaurateur father, the challenges faced by her mother’s dietary restrictions and her nutritionist godmother, Vicki Edgson. Building on the Ayurvedic principles of alkaline vs acidic food, Natasha has dedicated herself to creating recipes to empower people with the knowledge of how to eat well. She hosts talks, demonstrations and cooking classes and organises retreats for those who share her passion for a truly feel-good lifestyle.
Natasha has created a number of dishes for Chelsea Kitchen, including the Asian Noodle Broth, Super Green Salad with Lime Dressing, Gluten Free Spaghetti with Tofu Meatballs in a Tomato Sauce, Tamari Marinated Tofu and Vegetable Skewers and Pulsed Pea and Edamame Bean Salad with Millet.
Natasha Corrett’s Recipes
Radiance Green Smoothie (pictured with Natasha, above)
Bananas weighed without skin 80g * Chia seeds 10g *Coconut water 150g *Cucumber raw 50g *Orange juice freshly squeezed weight as whole fruit 50g * Seaweed Spirulina dried/powder 5g * Spinach, raw 100g * Water, distilled 80g
Place all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth – just add a little more water/coconut water if it looks too thick.
Pulsed Pea and Edamame Salad
Dill, 1g * Edamame beans boiled without salt 15g * Green beans / French beans raw 80g * Millet boiled 90g * Parsley fresh 1g* Peas, frozen boiled in unsalted water 15g * Peppers bell red raw 50g * Rock salt pink 5g * Sesame seeds 3g *Sunflower oil 12.6g
Method for 2 servings
Pre-heat oven 170 degrees
1. De-seed the peppers and cut into quarters and put onto a baking tray with sunflower oil and a pinch of pink salt. Cook for 25 minutes or until soft.
2. Cook the millet in 4 times the amount of water for 20 minutes. Drain the water through a sieve and then wash through with cold water until the millet cools down. Leave to strain the cold water and put into a bowl.
3. Bring a pan of water with 2 tbsp salt to the boil and drop the edamame beans and peas in for 1 minute – sieve out (do not throw the water out) bring to the boil again and then drop the green beans in for 2-3 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. (this way of cooking them makes them super green and nutritious)
4. In a blender put half of the peas and edamame beans and half the parsley and dill with lemon juice, pinch salt, brown rice vinegar and olive oil. Blend until chunky.
5. Take out the blender and mix in the rest of the peas, edamame beans, dill and parsley.
6. Assemble the salad by mixing the millet through the pea and edamame mixture and mix in the roasted red peppers and green beans.
7. Serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds over the top.
Harry Hensman, Chef
Owner of Harry’s Kitchen, harry spends his time cooking super seasonal dinners and organizing events for high end private clients. Having worked at restaurants including Moulin de Lourmarin in Provence to River Café and the Square in London, Harry has cooked for high profile clients including the Duke and Duchess of York, P Diddy, the Prime Minister, Cameron Diaz and Robert Downey Jnr. Harry absolutely loves cooking good, honest provincial Italian and French dishes for friends and matching food with amazing wines. His signature dishes include Chicken Satay with Peanut Sambal and Asian Slaw, Sweet Potato Mezze, Chelsea Kitchen Cobb Salad and Tuscan Borlotti Bean Soup with Pecorino Pesto.
Chickpea Pancake with Goat’s Cheese
Ingredients: 30g soft goat’s cheese * 30 g chickpea flour * 10 g olive oil * 10 g nicoise olives * 50g onions * 10g rocket * dash of rock salt * 4g each thyme and rosemary * 100ml water * 4g cherry tomatoes
1. For the base, mix the flour, salt and water. Blend and rest for 30 mins. Form a thick pancake and form a 15cm diameter base.
2. Fry the sweet onions with the thyme and seasoning until soft. Spread over the pancake base, leaving a slight border around the parameter.
3. Bake at 220 degrees until crisp. Top with goat cheese, nicoise olives, cherry tomatoes and rocket.