Margot Henderson at Rochelle Canteen. Credit: Patricia Niven for Resy

Resy At HomeLondon

Margot Henderson is Bringing a Taste of the West Village to Shoreditch

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As a chef, caterer, and restaurateur, Margot Henderson needs no introduction. Along with her longtime business partner Melanie Arnold, the two set up their catering firm Arnold & Henderson in 1995 while running the legendary French House dining room together with their husbands. In 2004, they opened Rochelle Canteen in a converted bike shed of the Rochelle school in Shoreditch. Throughout November, the pair and their team have lined up a sublime month of dinners to take away for Resy At Home Specials, a series of weekly-changing, globetrotting menus inspired by their chef-friends and favourite restaurants around the world. 

“The idea I think is that you’re sitting at home, you can’t travel at the moment, and you’d dream of going to New York”, she explains. “I suppose the inspiration came from favourite places that we’ve eaten and cooked at in global cities, and trying to bring a little bit of that to peoples’ homes”. 

For the first of four new, standalone menus, Arnold and Henderson have dreamed up a menu inspired by Via Carota, the legendary West Village institution helmed by NYC restaurateurs Jody Williams and Rita Sodi. Henderson is a huge admirer, and pulls no punches when asked about how they’ve influenced her approach. “They’re incredible restaurateurs, and everything they do is just sublime and perfection”, she enthuses. “And if we can try, a little bit, to be like them for a moment, it would be fun — and it’s about having a bit of fun and thinking about what they all do.” 

Credit: Patricia Niven for Resy

“We were at Via Carota the last time I was cooking in New York”, she continues. “Often we’ve worked in New York, cooking for artists and different galleries like Barbara Gladstone, and we often borrow a kitchen in the Village, where Via Carota is near. Anyway, the whole idea is that when we’re cooking, we start really early and get really prepped and so we can rush out to lunch somewhere, and generally we would go there.”

“I mean, just the whole place, the atmosphere, the style of cooking, the drinks…it’s even got a thing where the menu’s in the back of the chair and it’s rolled up — that could be gimmicky, but whenever they do anything, it’s not gimmicky. It all feels really proper.” 

Williams and Sodi are noted for their taste and attention to detail, a point that Arnold and Henderson are also celebrated for. “They have great style. And their green salad is absolutely sublime. The food is very beautiful, it’s big portions, but it’s very delicious so you eat it all”, she laughs. “It’s very good. I wonder how we’ll box that [salad] — we’ll have to find a hat box for it!” 

The menu, which she’s developed with the aid of Rochelle Canteen head chef Ben Coombs, has a natural harmony with the kind of laid-back but precise, seasonal cooking that Henderson is beloved for. She fires off dish names in quick succession, indicating not a little thought has gone into each item: “I’ve had to shrink the menu. But there’ll be a bottle of negroni, some wilted mustard leaf greens and burrata. Vegetables and an anchovy dip. Then you have the salads, sprouting broccoli with chilli and olive oil, carrots with spicy yoghurt and pistachio, braised squid with chickpea and tomato; and then a whole BBQ chicken, borlotti and pumpkin with potato bake, and tiramisu”, she says, quickly noting that such a huge spread is intended for at least two to share. 

An option to go all-in with table settings chosen by Arnold from her years of travelling abroad also comes with a full drinks pairing, with the aforementioned negronis, but also wine from cult Shoreditch bottle shop and wine bar Passione Vino. In this case, a bottle of 2019 Il Torchio from Liguria makes for a natural complement to Henderson’s elegant, earthy flavours.  

“The point is to make it ‘theirs’ and not ours”, she muses. “It sounds quite like us, but it is actually from them.”


Each box serves two people. Some home preparation required.

Standard Box (£80): Includes:

  • Olives & Focaccia
  • Burrata & Wilted Greens
  • Raw Vegetables with Anchovy
  • Sprouting Broccoli, Garlic, Chili & Olive Oil
  • Roast Carrots, Spiced Yoghurt & Pistachio
  • Braised Squid, Chickpeas & Winter Tomato
  • BBQ Whole Poussin, Watercress, Oregano, Lemon & Creme Fraiche
  • Roast Pumpkin, Borlotti & Chard
  • Potato & Olive Oil Bake
  • Leafy Green Salad
  • Tiramisu

Premium Box (£150):

  • Cocktails: Negroni
  • Wine: Il Torchio 2019, Vermentino
  • Olives & Focaccia
  • Burrata & Wilted Greens
  • Raw Vegetables with Anchovy
  • Sprouting Broccoli, Garlic, Chili & Olive Oil
  • Roast Carrots, Spiced Yoghurt & Pistachio
  • Braised Squid, Chickpeas & Winter Tomato
  • BBQ Whole Poussin, Watercress, Oregano, Lemon & Creme Fraiche
  • Roast Pumpkin, Borlotti & Chard
  • Potato & Olive Oil Bake
  • Leafy Green Salad
  • Tiramisu
  • Table decoration item hand-selected by Rochelle Canteen

The Resy At Home Specials takeout package will be available for collection from Rochelle Canteen, only on Resy, on Saturdays (7, 14, 21, 28) throughout November. The Via Carota-inspired package will be available to pick up on Saturday 7th November. To buy your ticket, click here

David Paw is Resy’s International Editor — follow him on Instagram. Follow Resy, too. 

 

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