Just like lockdown (both 1.0 and 2.0) prompted cafes and restaurants to pivot into takeaways and meal kits, it’s also pushed some chefs who were out of work into launching their very own food brands. It’s proper cool, proper DIY stuff, done over social media and coming out of people’s home kitchens, and it’s proper tasty too. Check out our faves below…
You’re gonna wanna get on these before they BLOW UP BIG.

Pasta Princess

Dara Klein, who cooks at Trullo (and therefore knows what’s what when it comes to pasta) started up Pasta Princess during lockdown, specialising in authentic Pugliese varieties like orecchiette and sagne ncannulate with sauces like slow-cooked tomato and broccoli, anchovy and chilli. The current delivery radius includes select E and N postcodes and it’s a tenner for pasta and sauce.

JoJo’s Takeaway

After working at Chick ‘n’ Sours and Sambal Shiok, chef JoJo has gone out on his own with JoJo’s Takeaway, which is his manifestation of London and its mish-mash of cultures in food form. Running out of Crouch End, the two signature dishes are spicy pig ear spring rolls and the epic-looking Saint Dixy chicken burger aka “an edible love letter to all the chicken shops which I’ve frequented with my friends after nights raving.”

Mystic Borek

Spasia Dinkovski has spent time working in a deli and running sandwich pop-ups in New York, working in kitchens in London (like Bodega Rita’s) and private cheffing, and now she’s started up Mystic Borek. Inspired by her Macedonian roots, Mystic Borek does whole filo pies – seriously they’re enormous – filled with things like feta, roast cauliflower & pickled cucumber and potato, parmesan & creamed spinach. She does drops in South, East and North London.

The Big Biang

After mastering pasta whilst being Head Chef at Artusi in Peckham (and working on her noodle-making skills) Emily Sansom has pivoted from Italian to Chinese with The Big Biang. As well as hand-pulled biang biang noodles with toppings like cumin lamb & cabbage, nine hour braised beef shin, and sesame peanut aubergine, she’s also cooking up dumplings and fried chicken. And you SE London folks can get it all via Deliveroo.

Bellong Dining

Based right by Columbia Road Flower Market, Bellong Dining, founded by private chef Long, is serving up Taiwanese bento boxes (varieties include Hakka tofu, curry beef burger, pork chop and braised pork belly) and sides like popcorn chicken and golden egg potato salad. There’s a 2.5 delivery radius for the hot food but they also do Long Là John chilli sauce and that goes nationwide.

Burritos Machete

Venezuelan chef PatXi Andres had been working at Black Axe Mangal before starting tie-dye business Princess Tie Dyana, during the first lockdown. And now a second lockdown has meant a second business and this time it’s food, although not the initial taco pop-up he planned. Instead he’s doing the “tastiest, most dirty” burritos in town with Burritos Machete and he ain’t afraid to mash-up cultures, creating fillings like kimchi fried rice, rabbit birria and lamb chicharron.

Hot 4 U

Hot 4 U, aka Matthew Scott (previously of Cub) and Eddy Tejada (previously of St John), launched during the first lockdown with a weekly changing set menu with ambitious and creative dishes like pomme bear crackers, mouth numbing tendons and bone marrow & whisky luges. Not only are the boys back with those menus, they’re also slinging out dishes like ox tongue reubens, Hot 4 U pancakes and fried doughnuts from the Prince Arthur pub.