Inside My Kitchen: Dee Omole
The best thing about my kitchen is the open-plan layout and big windows. These provide great natural light and make it a really enjoyable space to work in. I wanted the space to be as flexible as possible, so I have a lot of freestanding units which I can move around when I want to change the space up for cooking and hosting.
The element of a professional kitchen I’ve brought into my own are my organisation skills. I run a tight ship in the Dee’s Basement kitchen, and I’ve translated this into my cupboards at home. My top tip is to label everything: all my boxes and cupboards are labelled, so I know exactly where everything goes when I’m done with them.
Ikea has been my saviour in designing my kitchen. It has some great freestanding units with a nice rustic feel. My main island is from Arbor Garden Solutions, and I bought my marble top from a small local supplier in east London.
My three must-have utensils are an offset spatula, piping bags and silicone moulds. Lakeland and Nisbets are my favourite places to buy kitchenware, as they are practical, good quality and always easy to get hold of.
My favourite kitchen gadget has to be my madeleine silicone moulds. If you want to create madeleines at home, my favourites are from Silkomart. I use them on a daily basis, as madeleines are still my most popular sweet treat at Dee’s Basement. The moulds are great because they make cleaning up a lot easier.
Madeleines are my signature bake. They were one of the first products I created, as I started Dee’s Basement in lockdown and needed something that was easy to post. Today, it’s still our most popular product as they’re very easy to customise.
My industrial Blue Seal Turbofan oven has been a game changer. Alongside the madeleines, I create bento cakes, cookies and more, and this new oven has space for me to make more of everything at once.
When it comes to presentation, Anthropologie does a great selection of plates. I’m also a big fan of Soho Home and I love browsing Glassette. Studio Arva is another of my go-to shops for plates. My sister Abi is the creative director, and the brand sells a great curated collection of glass, plates and other homeware that I have at home and in the kitchen for any Dee’s Basement workshops.
I really recommend the Our Place Always pan. It’s as good as everyone says – it makes cooking a breeze and is super easy to clean. I’ll use it for everything, including my go-to midweek meal: an easy, quick pasta dish with loads of veg and pancetta.
I started baking when I was seven years old. The first cake recipe I ever learnt was a traditional madeira cake. I still use the same recipe for my vanilla cakes at Dee’s Basement today – sometimes you just shouldn’t mess with a classic.
Dee’s Basement is growing, so I tend to buy my ingredients in bulk now. I love Marco Alimentari for authentic ingredients. Right now, I’m using a lot of edible flowers as they are finally coming into season. I love adding these to decorate my cakes for the ultimate spring finish. Nurtured in Norfolk or Westlands are my go-to suppliers for these. I also get through a lot of cinnamon and ginger – they’re essential in my cinnamon apple crumb cake.
The cupboard essentials I can’t live without are porridge oats, bananas and maple syrup. Together, they make up my go-to dish for a quick easy meal when I’ve got a full day of baking ahead of me.
If I’m cooking at home, I’ll probably make something like spaghetti bolognese. It’s always a crowd pleaser. Otherwise a traditional Nigerian dish like jollof rice is my go-to – and I’ll always have some madeleines at the ready for dessert. When it comes to signature cocktails, anything fruity and sweet will be a hit with me – like a passionfruit daiquiri.
My idea of a perfect Sunday lunch is minted lamb, roast potatoes, parsnips and carrots with loads of gravy. You can never have too much.
The secret to hosting a good dinner party is personalisation. I think this is key, and it could just mean using an ingredient or colour you know someone loves – I usually do this with my madeleines. I also play a lot on calendar moments and seasons, working these in through colour tones, prints and patterns – my guests always love it.
The best party I’ve thrown was an intimate workshop I recently hosted in my kitchen with a group of lifestyle influencers and press. I served a selection of my bakes with non-alcoholic mulled wine and taught the group how to create my iconic madeleines. Workshops are coming back to Dee’s Basement very soon, so people will be able to get all my tips, tricks and secrets to create my signature madeleines, bento and layer cakes. Keep your eyes peeled.
My go-to cookbooks are A Good Day to Bake by Benjamina Ebuehi and Magnolia Kitchen by Bernadette Gee. I use books as inspiration for flavours and design rather than direct recipes, as I love to experiment and create my own flavours and designs.
My top tip for a smooth-running, stress-free kitchen is to tidy as you go along – so you don’t get overwhelmed with mess. It also saves being faced with piles of washing up a lot after a long day.
To order a bake or sign up to one of Dee’s workshops, visit DeesBasement.com & follow her on Instagram at @DeesBasement
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