Recipes: Ben Lebus’ MOB Kitchen

Feed four for under a tenner with a little help from the MOB Kitchen founder, Ben Lebus

I have always adored food. When I was much younger, I would often cook dinner for my family. I would always try out different pasta sauces or experiment with the Sunday roast while singing along to my favourite Van Morrison tune.

So, when I moved into my first house at university, I relished the opportunity to cook in my own kitchen. However, I quickly learnt that this enthusiasm was not shared by my friends. The boys would cook bacon sarnies and pesto pasta five nights a week. The rest of the time they would buy a ready-made soup from the local shop. I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand why they lacked the confidence to cook a proper meal. Something needed to be done. I wanted to prove that you didn’t have to be rich or talented to cook a healthy, delicious meal. So I started to write a blog with a series of recipes that would feed us all for under a tenner. In my final year at university, I filmed 20 of the recipes to share online. I came up with the name MOB Kitchen and launched the channel in August 2016.

So what exactly is MOB Kitchen? Young people aren’t cooking. The phrases ‘I can’t be bothered’ or ‘it’s too expensive’ are commonplace in the student kitchen. They needed a site to show them that by using simple, everyday ingredients in the right way, they can cook for their housemates, colleagues, and friends with no fuss. Before MOB Kitchen, this simply did not exist. With real prices, real food, real imperfections and real music, MOB Kitchen is a movement away from the take-away, away from processed food, and back into the kitchen. Thousands of students, young professionals, and families across the country cook the recipes every week.

We are the MOB. We are the students and young professionals. The families. We don’t have a lot of cash to spare. But we want to cook good food. We want to eat a delicious dinner. We don’t want to be told that all we can cook is marmite spaghetti and baked beans on toast. We want restaurant-quality munch in our own homes. And MOB Kitchen has the answer.

MOB Kitchen by Ben Lebus, Pavilion, £14.99. Photo © Haarala Hamilton.

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