Local artisan bakery, Breadren, is starting a quiet food revolution from its West London kitchens. After three years of trading at some of the most iconic Farmer’s Markets in London, Salima Dhalla, founder of Breadren, understands exactly her customers’ daily struggles with food – whether it’s trying to deal with dietary restrictions or simply a lack of inspiration. Thanks to its fad-free, inclusive eating philosophy, the local business is going from strength to strength, and is now launching a series of cookery classes designed to promote natural, unpretentious food and demystify ‘free from’ cookery.
Championing a new concept and style of cooking, Breadren produces a range of sweet and savoury baked goods (both naughty and nice), and many of its recipes naturally don’t require ingredients like wheat, dairy, eggs or sugar to make them delicious. Rather than replacing these ingredients with processed substitutes, Breadren’s chefs draw on a broad range of cuisines and cooking techniques from communities and cultures across London, using local, seasonal produce, to develop unique recipes that transcend cultural boundaries and can be universally enjoyed – termed #bakingwithoutborders.
This new approach to the ‘free from’ diet sector shows people that it is possible to avoid the trap of trendy food fads and getting pigeon-holed by your diet, and the new cookery classes will help customers to follow this at home. Classes are available throughout the year from Breadren’s Fulham location and include courses such as ‘Finding Flavour – Seasoning and Spice’, ‘Vegetarian Feasting without Gluten’ and ‘Vegan Seasonal Cooking and Baking’ – where the menu promises to deliver a feast of roasted cauliflower with tahini, quinoa with roasted brussel sprouts, crispy kale & fresh pomegranate, Vietnamese-style summer rolls, charred sprouting broccoli with harissa, and a matcha and coconut mochi cake for pudding.
Salima Dhalla comments: “Dietary restrictions can be unnecessarily politicised and exploited. But there is a natural way to address these restrictions without being faddy. Breadren draws on different ingredients from around the world including our mixed British/ Gujarati / East African heritage, to offer unique products like our fennel and cardamom cookies. They’re one of our most popular products as they’re clean and nutritious but taste indulgent – treats without the guilt. The ingredients simply happen to not contain gluten or cane sugar and are vegan. But I can guarantee it’s not just our vegan and gluten-free customers that are disappointed when they’re sold out.
Here at Breadren, we love to eat, learn and talk about all kinds of food with our customers, and be inspired to develop recipes that cater for different diets without slaving exclusively to those categories. We hope that, through our cooking classes, we can enable our customers to bring this philosophy into their own kitchens and experiment without fear.”
Breadren uses local and seasonal ingredients wherever possible – sourcing primarily from London & the South East; from Shipton Mill and Dove’s Farm flour (Gloucestershire, Wiltshire) to fruit & veg from Chegworth Valley (Kent). The company supplies a number of businesses across the City, from luxury catering companies to cafes, and is in particular demand for its grown-up celebration cakes, which offer a different take on the usual icing and glitter creations.