I demand epic food every day, the problem is I live in England

1. What’s wrong? My demand for epic food is not being met

I’m a super-taster (I took a scientific test, so I know). It means I have more taste buds than average, and they need stimulating. When it comes to food I demand multi-dimensional, multi-sensory. Epic.


When I don’t get epic food satisfaction, I find it harder to resist snacking on junk. The country is getting fatter, they say, and though I have no problem with that if people are happy, wouldn’t it be more satisfying to fill our stomachs with fine food, rather than poisonous junk?

London is full of world-acclaimed restaurants. Shame though, I can’t afford most of them. I have to do price-quality research before going out the door, I don’t have time for that.

So I must cook epic food at home. I could look for top recipe books, or copy a celebrity chef. I’ve tried Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals, but you can see how that turned out. Many so-called ‘easy’ recipes rely on access to bursting-with-taste fresh Mediterranean vegetables. Good luck with that.


The problem with gourmet recipe books

Gourmet recipe books assume you’re interested in technical terms, which they explain on different pages. They send you to another page to make the sauce. Flicking between pages while cooking makes me mad.

They show a mouth-watering picture of the end result that you never achieve. Feelings of inadequacy result, increasing the need for ego-soothing, girth-widening chocolate. Here’s one of my worst experiences:

This has got to stop.

My husband is one of the world’s best amateur chefs. He taught me great food needs great ingredients, and great recipes. He assured me it wasn’t me, but poor instruction that blighted my cooking attempts and made the kitchen a place of stress, not joy.

Plus books, hello, 21st century?  Books are nice, but we live on phones, phablets and tablets.


2. What’s the big idea? Epic Recipes in Pictures – reppic

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, a whole new way of cooking that will turn you into a super-hero in the kitchen, a naked chef, a joyful chef, perhaps, but for sure: an epic chef. I give you (drum role please): reppic – Epic Recipes in Pictures.

If you can make furniture from IKEA, you can make epic food with reppic.

When I’ve got enough reppic recipes, I’ll publish the best gourmet visual instruction manual ever made.  I’ll put a baby-faced chef on the cover, launch the app, then open chains of epic eateries to give the epic people of England more access to the epic food they deserve.

The first step on that humble road, is this first reppic to show you how to make Pastitsio, a meaty Greek dish to banish bland macaroni and cheese from these isles. The second step is to meet the challenge to produce a reppic of an epic recipe for every country in the World Cup in what we are calling the World cup of Food.


3. How can others help? Test reppic, give me feedback

I need to make reppic the best food instruction concept ever invented, so it needs testing. If you want to help, make the epic recipes in pictures of the World Cup of Food, where we set the challenge to make a reppic for every country in the World Cup, and tell me how it goes in the comments, or on Facebook.

In return you’ll be entered into a mystery prize draw!

  • Francesequin
    June 12, 2014

    Looking forward to trying your some of your reppics. If Wales were in the World Cup I could send you a suggestion. Happy cooking.

    • Emilie J. White
      June 12, 2014

      Thanks Frances! Ha! Yes, no Welsh team, shame for Gareth Bale and a loss for reppic. Maybe next time!

  • Cristy
    May 25, 2014

    Fantastic way to present a recipe! Clear, visual and straight forward! This is what I look for when I am searching for a recipe. I will try it soon… Looks like this could be a family favourite.

    • Emilie J. White
      May 26, 2014

      Thanks Cristy! It will be great to see if this concept will work for master chefs like you as well as for those just starting out on gourmet. Looking forward to more feedback!

      • Cristy
        May 26, 2014

        Emilie, I gave it a go… but only step 14 to 21. There is a reason why. I have leftovers of bolognese sauce that I needed to use it. I thought to replace it for the pasta sauce of the pastitcio, as I used most of the ingredients in the sauce, but decided not to as I wouldn’t have make any justice to the recipe.

        Instead, I’ve turned it into a lasagna but using the instructions of your bechamel sauce. I don’t usually make a traditional lasagna (my husband does) as I am a bit sloppy making bechamel sauce. It’s a hit and miss with me: too runny, too lumpy, too floury and always messy. In other words, I didn’t have a method until I followed the step by step guide of your recipe.

        I’have found really useful that you repeat the measurements of your ingredients in your instructions so you don’t have to keep touching the IPad screen to get back to the ingredients, specially if you have messy food fingers and lots of interruptions from children.

        It turned out to be the best bechamel sauce I remember I’ve made, and there was no mess! It may have helped that the children didn’t interrupt but the point is that it was the perfect consistency and tasted delicious.

        Good instructions. We want more!

        • Emilie J. White
          May 26, 2014

          Great feedback! Thank you Cristy! You have been entered to the prize draw! Again the béchamel instructions seem to be a plus and glad you noticed the repeated measurements. Glad it was helpful! More reppics on the way, building on the great feedback so far.

  • Nick
    May 21, 2014

    A great idea. I had a go making the Pastitsio dish. Firstly, it was the tastiest dish I have ever made and one of the few times I have done any real cooking. Like many areas of life, I suppose you get out what you put in, but in all (including cooking time) it took me 2 hours. However, it was worth it and I am a novice – if I did it again, it would take me a lot less time.

    What I liked:
    – The pictures: make the reppic easier to follow. Seeing that the pictures were similar to what I had made, gave me confidence that I was on the right track.
    – The separates lists of ingredients for different parts of the dish.
    – You can tick off each of the ingredients on the screen as you prepare it.
    – You inspired me to do some proper cooking and now want to do more.
    – You taught me how to make béchamel sauce (which you can use in other dishes),
    – I had a sense of achievement at having cooked a dish from scratch.
    – It was fun.
    – It tasted great!

    Some suggestions:
    – Clearly show preparation and cooking time at the start of the reppic.
    – Give dimensions of dish needed (the one I used was too small)
    – The reppic was enough for 5 or 6 people – reduce ingredients that go in or advertise it as being for 5 or 6 people.
    – Advertise that fact that you can tick off the ingredients on the screen as you prepare them – I only realised half way through.
    – Having never done it before, I took me a long time to make the béchamel sauce. I wasn’t sure how much milk to add at any one time so took a conservative approach. Perhaps I could have added more milk or could have added it at smaller intervals.

    Thank you for this reppic. Looking forward to the next one.


    • Emilie J. White
      May 26, 2014

      Thank you Nick for the excellent feedback letting me know what went well and what was tricky. I’m so glad you enjoyed the end result and can see where I can make improvements to the next reppic – epic recipe in pictures. You have been entered to the mystery prize drawer. And thank you for sending the picture too!

  • Annette White
    May 15, 2014

    What a fantastic idea! Looking forward to doing some testing and tasting!

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