The Ginger Pig Customer Tales: Meet Isaac

Meet Isaac Joseph 

 

Isaac Joseph, a wonderful gentleman we recently had the pleasure of meeting, has been visiting London from LA for the past ten years, working as a consultant. His love for London grew and he has now moved here permanently a year and a half ago. Over this time, Isaac has become a very familiar face at our Moxon Street shop and has built a lovely relationship with the deli ladies, sharing stories, experiences and bonding with them over a mutual love of good, simple food that the deli team cook so well. Isaac reached out to share with us his appreciation and gratitude to this group of fabulous ladies, lovingly written in his own words…

‘The ladies of The Ginger Pig in Moxon Street have been keeping an eye on me for years now. Ever smiling and incredibly generous, they have become like family and have been there when I needed it the most. 

I am a Californian and on frequent visits to London I stayed in the neighborhood and always made a point of stopping by for the famously elegant pastries, warm and always very fresh beef pasties, my Mother’s favourite spicy lamb roll, or a perfect chicken tarragon pie with thick, unctuous gravy wrapped in paper, with a handful of extra large napkins. The well-coiffed blonde ladies behind the counter would smile and laugh, inquiring about where I had been or asking about my parents. Shopping is a particular specialty and there were many packages of traditional pies that are sadly unavailable in the US, which make excellent and much requested gifts. I have also been known to hand carry the cookbooks, aprons and jars of chili jam in Ginger Pig tote bags on long-haul flights, much to the delight of my family and friends. 

Spend a minute in the busy little shop and you will see that regulars definitely go as much for the friendliness and warmth, as for the delicious cooking. Even with a long line of students and workers who come for lunch or families on busy weekends - the ladies make time for everyone. They know when you need something particular to keep you going, the dishes they prepare are their own brand of Lithuanian/ British home cooking and their generosity and charms matter as much as any high quality ingredients. 

I am an international traveller, passionate about food culture and well-acquainted with a plethora of legendary restaurants and specialty shops. I am discerning, particularly when it comes to customer service and have much to say about high-profile butchers, farm to table eating, small-batch local products, sustainability, organic growers and generations of boutique purveyors from around the world. Then last year I relocated from Los Angeles to London and spent the first six months living in a hotel in Marylebone, with no kitchen. 

Everything I ate came from The Ginger Pig. The ladies encouraged me to try the latest creations inevitably sending me off with more than anyone could finish and eventually I moved to a flat around the corner. With the exception of pork, which I do not eat, I have sampled every dish more than once. They expect me daily and will often save specials they know I love, like the beef stroganoff or chicken with coconut curry. Last Christmas Audra whipped up an especially beautiful chicken wellington (without ham) as well as a tray of lasagne with that gorgeous béchamel and a number of salads so I would have enough to eat while the store was closed. 

 

For months, I would pick up three chicken breasts in a tin box  prepared by Vida, Audra, Christina or Emma, seasoned simply with olive oil, salt and pepper. Sometimes with diced shallots or a handful of cherry tomatoes, along with an array of balsamic, dressed beetroot or chopped with gherkins because Vida says I need iron or mushrooms because of the vitamin D, a few red peppers for vitamin C or the fresh sauerkraut which makes for good gut health - those chicken breasts saved my life. Each of the ladies has provided for me many times, spoiling me on occasion with their delicious chicken soup, which they prepare for their own meal, an offering they know I so love.

The ladies are the soul of The Ginger Pig. They have come to my rescue on more than one occasion, listening and sharing their own stories and encouraging me to continue when things were tough, offering much more than just the best traditional pies in London. I am truly very lucky to be able to see these wonderful ladies every day and I couldn’t thank them enough for their warmth and kindness.’

 

Isaac Joseph.

 

Thank you to Isaac for taking the time to share this story, with such kind words and fondness for our ladies of Moxon.