Monday, 18 January 2010

60 minute makeover does extreme catering

Brixton Village/Granville Arcade

Waiting for the key...tick tock...we manage to get in at 11am

Setting up...

Two tables which seat eight

Nice! Tin plates and copper water jugs (Ayuverdic) from Wembley, better than yucky paper plates

I couldn't stop laughing when I saw the 'kitchen'

No running water, dodgy gas rings which wouldn't heat things up properly

Not easy this Harry Potter cupboard under the stairs style supperclub!

Quick, quick, prepping production line. Only 1 peeler. I peeled the ginger with my fingernails!

Oil was frozen, tried to heat it up with a candle...

This is how we drained the potatoes...pic: Andy Broomfield

First guests...phew

We look pretty efficient here don't we?

Having to wipe the condensation off the ceiling of the cupboard kitchen, so it didn't drip into the food, Health and Safety would have had a heart attack

In Brixton they call it Moet

We used the steam effectively as decoration

The take down. Amy of Blanch & Shock, trolley to load up the van. We were out by 4...

Basmati Rice
Coconut dahl
Aubergine and tinda curry
Chickpea and tomato curry
Sag aloo
Coconut raitha
Mint, coriander, onion and pomegranate cachumber

We borrowed cutlery off Rosie Lovell, had to wash up from a public toilet, strained the potatoes into a street drain... chairs, tables and gas rings were borrowed from a local church and the Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton.
One guy became impatient about getting cutlery, so, lacking water, the new batch of washing up not having returned (people were queuing out of the door!) I cleaned his spoon with half a lemon. He was cool with that!
We opened an hour late at 1pm, having cooked and set up the 'restaurant' from scratch in two hours. Until 3pm we served 80 people until we ran out of food and made £471. I spent £188 which leaves £283 which I'll round up to £300 to be donated to Medecins Sans Frontiers for their work in Haiti.
This brilliant project by spacemakers takes empty units and breathes life back into recession hit areas by creating pop up shops and cafes. Join the spacemakers ning group if you are interested in utilising 'slack space'. Find out more information here:
Ah, isn't London an amazing city? Fuck the recession, we are resourceful!

Thanks to Susan, Alyssia and Mike and Amy from the creative catering company of Blanch & Shock. Fantastic team work, couldn't have done it without you!

Related link:


  1. Bloody marvellous post Marms. Made me chuckle and euphoric; I do like achievements that go unnoticed. London is amazing but only second to La Paz!

  2. ...was that Mackenzie Crook slaving away as a kitchen elf?

  3. Congratulations, not only London is amazing, so are you!

  4. That is an absolutely brilliant idea, and it looks like everyone had a great (if tiring) time!

    There are several empty shops and units around here, it would be great if they could be used more effectively and constructively. At the moment most of them are just adverts for letting agencies.

  5. wow -what a wicked thing to do and a great achievement - you go girl! xxx

  6. wow - truly an amazing effort. You should be so proud!

  7. Marvellous! Looks like it was a tiring but satisfying day. Menu sounds great.

  8. Wow, very impressed and very generous too!
    You really took everything in your stride to make this work!

  9. Congratulations. Looks like it was really hard work but very satisfying and so worth it. Amazing menu.

  10. inspirational stuff! So resourceful and all for a great cause - menu sounds lovely.

  11. Thanks everyone. It was exhilarating and very funny!
    Gastrogeek: the tinda idea came from Tayyabs...I'd love to get the proper recipe!

  12. Great Job.. love the Red Stripe pic! copuld i have your cickpea curry recipe? it was lovely.

  13. Thanks Charlie!
    trying to really was a case of sling everything in and hope for the best that day!
    I grind my own spices for curry:
    a couple of cloves,
    coriander seeds,
    bay leaves,
    fennel seeds,
    curry leaves,
    mash up in pestle and mortar then toast slightly.
    If you haven't got all this stuff just bung in what you have.

    Fry ghee,
    then pop some mustard seeds in till they pop,
    add spice mix
    dice or finely mash up brown onions add with garlic and ginger
    then add tin of tomatoes
    then tins of chickpeas
    I added yoghurt and coconut milk
    keep tasting and seasoning
    add more salt, more oil if neccess.
    I like my curries slick
    Is better if you can do it night before or a few hour earlier. The chickpea curry was not even on menu but we ran out of other food so cobbled it together last minute!

  14. Amazing, good to see places like that being put to such an excellent purpose.

  15. Well done, what a great effort and improvisation.

    Dougald Hine who head up SpaceMakers is an old friend of mine (and probably the cleverest person I know!)...please keep supporting these projects. He is also involved in an educational exchange called School of Everything which brings poeple who want to teach something and people who want to learn about some cookery lessons Ms M?

  16. I love this - it made me so happy. Fair play to you.

  17. wow - quite an achievement! looks like you all had a great time and the punters loved it :) well done raising all that cash for such a good cause. Resourcefulness is the way to go in 2010!

  18. Wow thanks for sharing this! from your encouragement, I decided to do it in my town! I will share it with you when we're done!

  19. Marv: Dougald is very very clever. I once went to one of his meetings, mind blowingly interesting, along with mamading and vinay...


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