I never thought that the garage where I took my car to be serviced would become my first restaurant business. I wasn’t really anticipating cooking in one of London’s most fashionable streets or that I would be enjoying 3 week waiting lists for my cooking. But then life has a habit of turning up unexpected adventures.
When my father died, I inherited his car. A rather unfashionable, gas guzzling turbo-charged Citroën which had every ridiculous mod con available. An old boy’s plaything. But I was very happy to take it on and for a year or when it needed servicing I would take it up to Collier’s Garage on Upper St. Until the day when John told me it wasn’t worth fixing.
So as the wheels of fortune turned, a year later and I was looking on the web at a picture of my old car repair garage, up for immediate short term rent. So I went to see it and through the 50 years of grime and oil, filthy walls, blocked drains, grease pumps, welding fume extractors and hydraulic car ramps, I saw the potential to do something amazing in an extraordinary space.
And so the next PipsDish pop-up venue was born and I got my sleeves rolled up, painted the walls and unblocked the drains. I wanted the place to look like a dream kitchen, somewhere you could come in and enjoy some food and feel the warmth. In another act of serendipity my dear friend and kitchen partner Mary Doherty, returned with her daughter from Greece, where she has been enjoying cooking with the finest produce in her home on Aegina. Working together again, we seem to be bringing lots of joy to the people we love to cook for. And every weekend since we opened in December 2011 our trestle tables have been full of excited, hungry diners who’ve often come back for more.Articles, Dining