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Three Girls Cook...for all the single ladies this Valentine's Day

Fries before guys with Three Girls Cook

Prefer fries over guys? Well so do we. TOAST.Life catches up with Masterchef 2017 finalists Alison, Giovanna and Lorna – also known as Three Girls Cook – to hear what they’re whipping up for all the single ladies this Valentine’s Day, as well as their top tips for celebrating at home.



‘All the single ladies...

All the single ladies'

Single or not, nearly all of us have danced to the immortal words of Queen Bey at least once. Yes, the supposedly most romantic day of the year may soon be upon us, but as restaurants across the UK start laying tables for two, self proclaimed ‘foodie girl group’ Three Girls Cook  are celebrating sisterhood instead by dishing up a sharing feast fit for queens.

“Couples are more than welcome as well! But it is definitely targeted at all the lovely single ladies! None of us are big fans of V-Day in particular and felt thast there was something missing for people who don’t want to sit in at home with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, but also don’t want to be surrounded by loved up couples” explains Alison

“Boys can also come if they want to! It would actually be an excellent place for single guys to come given the vast majority will be single ladies…!”

Sounds like a recipe for romance if you ask me.

 Alison Oreilly Masterchef

If you recognise this talented trio then you may well have tuned in to the hugely successful series of MasterChef last year, in which Alison, Giovanna and Lorna all made it as finalists, impressing the judges with their skill, creativity and determination throughout the notoriously demanding competition. 

“The whole MasterChef experience is unlike anything we’d ever done before. It completely takes over your entire life and you end up spending every waking minute thinking about new dishes and recipes” recalls Giovanna.

“There were so many sleepless nights and days spent crying to our friends and family but it was SO worth it and the best fun. Obviously we all met each other along the way and have now set up a business together as well, so the people weren’t too bad either!”

Throughout the competition they worked with world-class chefs, cooked for the cast and crew of Holby City and battled their way to the top (nearly) and always with smiles on their faces, but in the end it was junior doctor Saliha Mahmood-Ahmed who scooped the champion title.

“I don’t think any of us expected to get as far as we did” explains Lorna.

‘When you start the competition actually winning it seems so far away and like a silly dream, so to come so far was incredible. Obviously it would have been nice for one of us to get the trophy, but then there probably would be no Three Girls Cook!”

Shortly after filming ended new found friends Alison, Giovanna and Lorna joined forces to create the brilliant foodie outfit Three Girls Cook – and they have been causing quite a stir with their sell out supper clubs and ingenious foodie events ever since.

“It all pretty much started in the pub – where most good ideas come from!” laughs Alison.

“We didn’t actually get a chance to cook together during MasterChef - just against each other - so we decided that we wanted to collaborate and do a supper club together. We all got on so well and our style of cooking wasn’t that dissimilar so it seemed like a great idea. Then one thing led to another and we made social media accounts and a website to sell tickets and the rest, as they say, is history!”

With a shared passion for creating original dishes that are seasonal, delicious and unpretentious the girls have an undeniable chemistry, and the expression ‘two’s company and three’s a crowd’ definitely does not apply. 

“We joke that Alison is our executive chef because she’s so good at coming up with creative recipes and menu ideas, and it’s Lorna and I who put it into action!” explains Giovanna.

“Giovanna is incredibly organised and the one in charge of money, setting meetings and generally making sure all of our emails get answered within a reasonable amount of time” smiles Lorna.

“And Lorna is very good at bagging us free meat for supper clubs! She used to work in fieldsports PR so has a lot of contacts in the shooting industry and is very good at sweet-talking game keepers!” laughs Giovanna.

Thee Girls Cook have hosted sell-out supper clubs at Notting Hill’s Goode and Wright, Bluebird in Chelsea, Weston Hall in Northamptonshire and at Balham’s Brother Marcus. Just last month they teamed up with renowned chef, restaurateur and food writer Stevie Parle  and his trendy new restaurant Craft London for a ‘Black and White’ themed pop-up, celebrating the best of British seasonal ingredients.

Three Girls Cook Tray

“One of the biggest highlights has to be cooking at food critic William Sitwell’s house for his monthly supper club at his gorgeous house. We all cooked for him on MasterChef  so it was great to go back, and not be judged!” enthuses Lorna. 

Another stand out and completely mouth watering event that the girls whipped up last year was Three Girls Cook... Junk, which was their take on everything edible that is comforting, nostalgic and naughty. Taking over Balham’s Brother Marcus for just three indulgent nights, the girls served up all manner of guilty pleasures such as KFP (Kentucky Fried Pheasant), Bovril ribs and truffle mac and cheese. And to wash it down? Vodka strawberry milkshakes of course. Naughty, but oh so nice. 

Three Girls Cook Foodies

Threegirlscook Lunch

“The junk food nights were definitely some of our favourites to plan and host. We had done a few more serious ‘fine dining’ events and generally wanted to have a bit of fun with our food! We sat down and came up with a massive list of our favourite naughty foods and whittled it down!” explains Alison. 

“Deciding on any menu is generally very collaborative, apart from pudding! Giovanna is our resident pastry-chef and very good she is too, so she generally takes dessert. Then the rest of the menu is usually us trying things out until we’ve got the final dishes. We get a lot of inspiration from Instagram – we’re often sending each other pictures of dishes!”

Their ‘junk’ pudding, by the way, was one of the most outrageous ice cream sandwiches ever invented - think peanut butter, chocolate chips and s'mores. I know. And now there is yet more deliciousness on the way thanks to their upcoming Valentine’s Day supper club, which is set to be a celebration of not just fabulous food, but of enjoying ‘fries before guys’ on St Valentine’s Day

Junk Food Threegirlscooks

(The Junk Ice Cream Sandwich) 

“We’ve created a menu based around the humble chicken, or ‘chick’ as we’re cooking for all the gals, geddit?!” laughs Alison.

“The starter is a smoked haddock scotch egg with a spiced curry mayonnaise - think the flavours of a kedgeree, but deep fried and gorgeous. Then for mains we have a whole chicken which is deboned and stuffed with lots of lovely things, served with big sharing platters of delicious salads and sauces. And for pudding we have a nest made from angel hair pastry, filled with a rose and white chocolate panna cotta and sugared rose petals, because we all want a rose on Valentine’s!”

 Three Girls Cook Bake

Threegirls Cook

Brother Marcus

All this and more will be served up on the big V day itself at Balham’s brilliant little café / cocktail bar Brother Marcus, which is coincidentally run by three chaps - Alex, Arthur and Tasos – who will bravely be on hand to provide a perfect playlist (expect plenty of Beyoncé) and the all important cocktails, including the aptly-named Bumble, brimming with American honey bourbon, whisky, passion fruit and honey, and the Blind Date, filled with tasty tequila, lime and date syrup, with a smoked sea salt and paprika rim. In true supper club style dinner will be served on long wooden tables - so if you didn’t know your neighbour at the start of the night, you sure will by the end. So who knows, maybe romance will blossom…

Three Girls Cook Supper Club

(Book Your Tickets here)

“Well Giovanna actually got engaged this year to her lovely butcher boyfriend Marcus - traditionally he cooks her beef wellington for V-Day but they’ll have to postpone this year! And Alison and her boyfriend Barry will no doubt be celebrating with lots of lovely food and wine…” explains Lorna.

“So Lorna is the only real single lady amongst us!” adds Giovanna. “She’s told me that she definitely won’t be sending any Valentine’s Day cards this year, but she will happily accept any that come her way!”

So if you fancy joining the girls for a night of gastronomic girl power then tickets are still available (details below) but if you can’t make it then fear not – here are the girls’ top tips for celebrating Valentine’s Day at home.

THE THREE GIRLS COOK' TOP TIPS FOR VALENTINES DAY ENTERTAINING  

  • The food of love: If you’re cooking for a loved one, base your menu on aphrodisiacs to get you both in the mood. Oysters, asparagus and chocolate are all great options!

  • Keep it simple: Entertaining at home is all about simplicity! No one wants to be chained to the cooker watching a soufflé. Slow cooking is a great option because it looks impressive, tastes delicious and is very easy to do.

  • Practice makes perfect: We definitely still get flustered in the kitchen! Generally not attempting too much is a good start however. Also practicing dishes really helps - that way you know what works and what doesn’t.

  • Presentation power: To up your presentation a bit, buy a few nice new plates. A stoneware or black plate can make the food look so much nicer than your day-to-day ones.

  • Galentine's Day? Cooking for a group of girlfriends? Pick a fun theme! Cook your own Chinese takeaway, Thai feast or junk food spread!


Three Girls Cook For All The Single Ladies takes place on Wednesday 14th February 2018 at Brother Marcus, 9 Chestnut Grove, London, SW12 8JA. Tickets are £42pp and are available here

Three Girls Cook also cater for private events and parties - for more information visit their page in TOAST’s Little Black Book. 

 
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