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