SPOTLIGHT // London // Jill's Table


Fall 2018 // Inspiration for the home chef at Jill's Table.

OUR HOMES London Fall 2018
A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of  OUR HOMES London and Middlesex County, p.30. Find local businesses in our London directory.

Jill Wilcox
THE STORY: Jill Wilcox’s love of food is all about the rituals surrounding it. Creating delicious meals and gathering friends and family to enjoy them, that’s what she wants to inspire in visitors to Jill’s Table. Jill started her retail life selling oils and vinegars in a small stall at London’s Covent Garden Market while also working as a food writer for The London Free Press. A year or so later she took over a much bigger space on King Street in a kitchenware store that was closing. “I had no retail experience but I had a love of food and a love of people,” Jill recalls. That was nearly 20 years ago, and while her oils and vinegars remain popular, Jill’s Table today also offers a wide range of other must-haves and coveted items for the well stocked kitchen.
THE SPACE: “We have absolutely everything for someone who loves to cook,” says Jill while she bustles about, chatting with customers and check-listing with her staff, who number 11 in total. The store is tightly curated, with gourmet pantry products and accessories packing the front.
There is also an entertainment area featuring olives, antipastos, bitters and barware. “Everything you’d need for a party,” she adds, moving on to a small refrigerated display of scallops and chorizo. Wood bowls, salad servers, boards and rolling pins anchor the store’s middle alongside the gift area, where Jill’s go-to wood serving board can quickly turn into a cello-wrapped hostess gift with accessories for entertaining.
The back of the store is given over to cookware, including popular All-Clad. Here you’ll also find Jill’s cooking school. “The classes have been a joy to watch grow,” Jill says, adding they account for 20 per cent of the business. Structured for individuals or groups, the classes range from interactive demonstrations and hands-on sessions to food and drink pairing experiences.
THE GOODS: There are her private labels, including a Tuscan spice blend, chutneys and jams. There’s her signature four-and-a-half-inch chef knife by Wüsthof. Then there is her versatile signature red bowl, which was discontinued by Emile Henry then made available exclusively to Jill’s Table by special order. She has sold more than 1,500.
FUN FACTS: Jill has authored five cookbooks, continues to write food columns, runs a charitable foundation and escorts culinary trips abroad. She loves every minute of her jam-packed day. “I never dreamed it would end up like this,” she says, “It’s a dream come true.”
115 King St., London
519.645.1335 |