Chiswick’s Jules The Foodie celebrates three years

Image above: Jules Kane

A lockdown business success

Jules The Foodie is three years old. Not Jules herself you understand, but Jules Kane’s business of that name, of which she is the director and head chef.

She used to make the food for the Crucial Cafe at the Hogarth Club, but when the kitchen closed because of Covid she took a long hard look at how she was going to make her living.

She launched in that strange period when none of us was sure from one week to the next whether restaurants would be open or closed, whether we would be able to eat in, eat at tables outside on the pavement or get a takeaway, and supermarket supplies were uncertain.

Consumer demand for home deliveries exploded. But is the demand still there or have we gone back to normal?

Jules, whose only makes food for home delivery or specially catered events, told The Chiswick Calendar the demand for home cooked food delivered to your door has continued to grow.

Images above: Choices from previous delivery menus

Good home cooked food for people with busy lives

“The people who buy from me are really busy. I have quite a lot of couples with new babies and some clients with older children who come in at different times from sports and after school activities. They can go to the fridge and take out a home cooked meal that they have chosen.”

She offers seven main courses, including two salads, and two soups, changing the menu weekly, providing enough choice for even the pickiest of teenagers.

The other reason people buy from her, she says (other than that her food is excellent, which as a lockdown orderer I can testify to) is that they like the fact there is no waste. She asks customers to put in their orders for the week by 8pm on Sunday for deliver on Tuesdays (Wednesdays when there is a bank holiday) and only cooks to order.

“It means I only order what’s needed. I don’t have a fridge full of food and the kitchen switched on the whole time on the off chance that someone will put in an order.”

Unlike the Deliveroo model she does not employ someone to take out each individual order on separate trips. She delivers the whole lot herself in one go.

“It reduces the carbon impact, so I am as energy efficient as I can be.”

Images above: Choices from previous delivery menus

She is up against some big names who have seen the potential for home deliveries. Gusto generated an estimated $260 million in revenue in 2021, which represents a significant increase from the $100 million in revenue it generated in 2018. Hello Fresh has similarly seen a swift uptick in sales over the past few years, with global net revenue growth of nearly 27 % in 2022 compared with the previous year.

They both deliver do-it-yourself meals with recipe cards and instructions and exactly the right amount of ingredients to cook the meal, so you would have to try really hard to mess it up, but the result can be claimed as something you have made yourself.

Still, you have to set aside up to an hour to cook and Jules finds there are enough people in Chiswick who want home cooked nutritious food but do not want to cook it themselves for her to carve out a niche in a highly competitive market.

She works with fellow chef Kenny Malcolm, who has worked as a chef de partie at the Dorchester, Grosvenor House and the Royal Garden hotel in Kensington. They buy fresh produce from local suppliers including The Whistling Oyster in Devonshire Rd for fish and Macken Brothers on Turnham Green Terrace for meat.

She herself grew up in Chiswick and trained at Prue Leith’s cookery school and gained experience at some of the capital’s best restaurants including Le Gavroche and Bibendum.

“I was lucky enough to be mentored by “the godfather of modern British cookery ‘Alastair Little.’ I’ve also run the kitchens at Paramount Pictures HQ and Gail’s.”

She is also to be seen at the monthly Chiswick Cheese Market, as she is one of the organisers.

Their kitchen is an industrial kitchen tucked away in the basement of a building up the alleyway between the toy shop and Fletcher’s estate agents on Turnham Green Terrace, and this being Chiswick, their helpers when they cater for events are an interior designer, (Juliette Avidan), a City worker, (Clare Dawbarn) and a professional cellist (Emma Vigeon) who plays for the Royal Ballet when not plating up for Jules.

Images above: Choices from previous delivery menus

This week’s menu

This week’s menu (being delivered on Wednesday 31 May) gives you an idea of the selection of food Jules offers.

Main courses

Mango baked salmon fillet with quinoa, lentil & brown rice pilaf with stem broccoli and mango salsa
£12.50 per portion

Coconut crispy chicken with Wasabi mayo, spicy sweet potato wedges & raw purple slaw with Tamari dressing
£12.50 per portion

Baked lamb & herb kofta with tomato & pea ragu with mint & crumbled feta served with soft flatbreads
£24 for two – freezer friendly

Roast marsala aubergine rounds with red lentil & coconut dal with spinach, lime & coriander
£10.50 per portion

Tahini marinated chicken kebabs with toasted sesame & pomegranate with roast summer vegetable couscous & tzatziki
£12.50 per portion

Images above: Choices from this week’s menu

Salads 

Greek salad with feta, Kalamata olives & oregano
£10.50 (V)

Shredded rainbow slaw with pickled ginger, crushed peanuts & spicy coriander dressing
£10.50 (V)

Soups – all freezer friendly

Roast beetroot, Puy lentil & dill
£10.50 for two portions (Ve)

Thai butternut squash with lime & coconut
£10.50 for two portions (Ve)

Ready to eat pasta sauces – serves 2 generously!

Macken’s slow cooked beef & tomato ragu with basil
£8.50

Puttanesca sauce with capers, black olives & anchovies
£8.50

Minimum order £40 value for free delivery within W4, otherwise a £5 delivery charge added to your invoice. The menu will of course change completely next week, but the main crowd pleasers have a habit of coming back.

Images above: Choices from previous delivery menus

Jules also offers a tailored ‘Nourish & Thrive’ menu for those wanting specific nutritionally beneficial dishes, cutting out wheat or sugar for example.

Tempted to try it? Go to Jules The Foodie’s website and sign up for her newsletter, which tells you on Friday evening what there is on offer for you to order by Sunday evening. Jules The Foodie is a member of The Chiswick Calendar’s Club Card scheme. See the current offer here: Jules The Foodie Club Card offer.

julesthefoodie.com

Images above: Choices from this week’s menu

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