ABOUT

© Phil Fisk

Salad Club was founded in 2009 by us – Rosie French and Ellie Grace – and started life as a weekly supper and catch up at one another’s houses close by in Brixton. These ad hoc meals took on a life of their own, jokingly referred to as ‘Salad Club’ and fuelled by a dose of healthy competition as each week the ingredients and combinations became more intricate and accomplished.

We’ve tried to keep track of some of the recipes and ideas which make the best of the fresh ingredients we find cheaply on the market and want to share them and encourage people to see salads as easy meals in themselves. Salad Club does not endorse bowls of limp, flavourless lettuce drowning in bottled supermarket dressing – we encourage inventive and colourful combinations like Rosie’s jerk salmon, spinach and goats’ cheese salad (served with Ellie’s homemade mango chutney) to Ellie’s minted pea, barley and rocket salad with lemon vinaigrette.

In the Spring of 2009 we decided to take our little blog and its recipes a bit further by creating a bric-a-brac bistro in Ellie’s living room and opening the flat to our hungry readers once or twice a month. We were overwhelmed by the response and generosity of everyone who visited the supper club on Electric Avenue and look back on every burnt hand, smashed plate and dirty glass with very fond memories!

It was when we won the Observer Food Monthly award for Best Blog in 2010 that we decided to leave our day jobs and pick up our pots and pans for a living instead. We went mobile and were invited to cook in people’s homes for special occasions, feed the hungry crew at Green Man festival for two weeks, and take over a couple of local restaurants for day long residencies. We’ve collaborated with some fine new food friends along the way.

Our next step from there was to become part of the mobile street food crew, KERB, and to independently pitch our stall at a number of food and music festivals. At the same time we started hatching plans to open a small restaurant in Brixton Village and in October 2011, French & Grace opened its doors. We have since been named as Time Out’s Best of 2011 and Zagat’s 2012 30 under 30 Hottest Up and Comers. Meanwhile, we styled and wrote our first cook book, Kitchen & Co: Colourful Home Cooking Through the Seasons, which was published in May 2012 by Kyle Cathie, and later named one of The Times’ Top 40 Cook Books of the Year. More recently, in September 2013, we opened The Hatch: our Camden Lock (and even more miniature) coffee bar and full-time wrap shack, where we serve our ubiquitous flatbread wraps and silky smooth Volcano coffees.

French & Grace’s Modern British and Middle Eastern-inspired dishes are derived from the produce of Brixton Market and celebrate freshness, colour and hearty eclecticism. Due to the small size and hand grown aspect of our business, French & Grace celebrates and is pleased to sell home made food created with love and care. We are also available for private parties, street food slinging, food styling and photography.

We’re loving every minute of this adventure. Thank you for your support and please do keep coming back for seconds!

Welcome to French & Grace.

Rosie & Ellie

21 Responses to ABOUT

  1. Neville Farmer says:

    As a child whose predeliction for salad was destroyed by chopped raw onion and sour salad cream in school dinners, it’s taken many years of dry yuppie wild rocket and parmesan shavings and tired insalata tricolore with watery toms and bland mozarella to find salads that inspire my dinner guests to finish every scrap. Well done on creating this valuable contribution to the health and commonsense of the nation. Nev

  2. Neville Farmer says:

    A simple legume salad that I learned in a French country kitchen and that works every time…
    (note: you can add whatever selection of cooked ingredients takes your fancy but the peas and beans and the shaved shallot dressing are a must).

    Blanche about a cup each of frozen peas, baby broad beans, and a good handful of asparagus tips and mange tout or french beans in boiling water for three minutes and refresh in cold water. Set aside.

    Heat a skillet or frying pan with a little oil. Slice a fennel bulb and a courgette and char-grill in the pan until lightly browned. Set aside.

    (0ptional) Add about 10 whole cherry tomatoes to the pan and cook until they’re charred and on the point of collapse. Set aside.

    Shave a shallot finely and stir into a classic dressing of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar (wine vinegar will do). Allow to steep while the cooked veggies cool.

    Assembly…

    Tear a head of romaine lettuce and a large bunch of watercress into a salad bowl. Add all the other dry ingredients and toss well so the tomatoes break up and spread through the salad. Add the dressing and toss again just before serving.

    Will work with anything… except perhaps trifle!

  3. saladclub says:

    Neville, thanks for your inspiring and inspirational comments. We’ll definitely give yours a go – I especially like peas and beans in a salad. Please keep the contributions coming and help us to spread the good salad club word. Ellie

  4. quality Blog….

    My mate is organising a sunday thing at Brixton market, get involved as your only reound the corner – I was thinking of doing a pickle stall….

    Charlie.

    http://eatmynels.blogspot.com/

  5. John Grace says:

    Hi El and Rosie – good piece in Guardian (even without photos of you) and a really great website, although I’m disappointed that “Salad Club does not endorse bowls of limp, flavourless lettuce drowning in bottled supermarket dressing”, because as you know that’s what yer mum says I specialise in

    XXX Dad

  6. Jane Welch says:

    In case you didn’t get my email, can you let me know how I can book a meal as a surprise birthday pressie for my daughter’s boyfriend who lives in Streatham. He would LOVE this!
    His birthday is 9 August. Many thanks
    Jane Welch
    01455 238925
    07969468922

  7. Mark says:

    Really like your blog!

    And strange enough, related to Jane Welch’s comment, my birthday is also Aug 9th. Just noticed that whilst writing this.

  8. saladclub says:

    Thanks Mark. Hope someone as cool as Jane books you a surprise secret supper for your birthday next year!

  9. Pingback: Content Beauty/ Wellbeing - BEAUTY FOOD: Underground supper with The Salad Club… Secrets out!

  10. Sophie Walker says:

    Hi Girls

    Where can I find recipes that you talk about in your blog? I tried searching but it just brings the post back up that talked about it in the first place.

    Thanks
    Sophie

  11. Miriam says:

    Please can you add my email address to your blog site newsletter.

  12. allan says:

    rosie, ellie, what the best number to call you?

  13. Natasha says:

    I’m liking the new design – very sophisticated. Excellent handwriting skills on display also. Looking forward to back to school recipies for the approaching winter!

  14. Clare Cameron says:

    I love your site! You look amazing in your Observer photo! Please add me to your mailing list. Would love you to come cater at the house. Give me a call when you are back from holiday. Lots of Love. xx

  15. Clare Cameron says:

    I love the blog – you look lovely in your Observer photo! I’d love you to come cater for me soon, please call when you are back from your travels! Lots of love, Clare. x

  16. Abigail says:

    I’d like to be added to your mailing list
    Thanks
    abigail

  17. kris says:

    Hi guys,
    Good work on the book deal.
    I’m in the middle of collating all of my own recipes and taking (the obligatory close up, depth of field) photos to go along with it. Just to ask, in terms of your recipes and how you said the publishers require exact measurements, can you add notes to the end of a recipe e.g. “if you like, add a splash of balsamic vinegar or brown sauce to jazz it up – optional” or is that a big no no in publishing terms?
    I was only thinking that with dishes like Bolognese or Sheppard’s pie you add little bits of everything to punch up the flavour.

    cheers
    Kris

    • saladclub says:

      Hi Kris,

      Thanks for your comment. I’d have thought the best thing is to check with your publishers as each has their own set of rules, though I don’t see why you couldn’t add those notes to recipes – plenty of cook books have them. Good luck with it!

      Ellie

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  19. Britney says:

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