We are Rosie French and Ellie Grace. Our unpredictable journey started in 2009 when, bored of our desk jobs and creatively starved, we started to share recipes with one another on a blog named Salad Club: reflections and recipes from our weekly kitchen suppers at one another’s flats in Brixton. We didn’t imagine that anyone else would be interested in reading it. As it happened, they were, and it wasn’t long after publishing our ideas that we decided to meet and feed our small pool of readers. We turned Ellie’s Electric Avenue flat into a bric-a-brac restaurant high above Brixton’s buzzing market and so it was that our supper club came to life every other Saturday night. Word got out and soon we were managing a long waiting list, giving soundbites to the press, feeding 25 strangers from a galley kitchen and often drinking and chatting with our guests long into the night. We look back on those makeshift gatherings of unknown Londoners with very fond memories.
In 2010 our blog won the Observer Food Monthly Best Blog Award and, with a deep breath, we decided to pack in our desk jobs, pick up our pots and pans and make ourselves a living in food. We went mobile, cooked in people’s homes for special occasions, fed hungry festival crews and took on residencies at local restaurants, gaining whatever experience we could.
Soon our street food stall was pitching up all over London and at UK music festivals with the sole mission to feed and have fun doing it. And it was on the streets that the Über Wrap was born – an irresistible combination of chorizo, halloumi, slaw, tahini, pickles, pomegranate & mint rolled up in a warm Lebanese flatbread and packed full of flavour and colour. One keen punter ate 10 wraps in the space of a weekend! (His tenth was on us). At the same time, we wrote and styled our first cook book, Kitchen & Co, details of which can be found on the next pages.
After an epic summer on the road with our wraps we came back home to build a small restaurant in Brixton Village – a growing community of local businesses in the heart of our neighbourhood. With the help of a few dear friends and a shoestring budget, we designed and built a 25-seater restaurant. In October 2011, French & Grace opened its doors and has since been named as one of Time Out’s Best of 2011 and Zagat’s Hottest Up and Comers.
In September 2013, we ventured north of the river to launch our 6 month pop-up, The Hatch, in Camden Lock Market. Our take away coffee counter and full-time wrap shack served our ubiquitous wraps, flatbread pizzas, hearty breakfasts, home made cakes and soups and silky smooth Volcano coffees.
Inspired by Brixton Market and its traders, French & Grace celebrates Middle Eastern flavours and rustic British style to create fresh, hearty and soul-warming food. We are proud of every single ingredient we use on our menu and every dish is created with love and care by our small team of talented young chefs. Please take a look at the following pages for more information and make yourselves at home!