Popular deli goes canary yellow to mark Delia Smith's 80th birthday

Ben Wooles

Ben Wooles with his Delia cookbooks outside The Deli at 80 which gets a name change in honour of Delia Smith's birthday - Credit: Supplied

A popular Finsbury Park deli is hanging out the Canary yellow bunting to mark Delia Smith's 80th birthday.

Deli at 80 will change its name from June 14-20 to coincide with the TV cook's birthday on June 18 - with staff wearing Delia masks and vintage Norwich City football shirts and decorating the store with bunting.

Delia fan and deli co-owner Ben Wooles will be selling meal kits of Delia's classic recipes in homage to the food his grandma served up from her cookbooks. Customers can recreate summer soup, halloumi cheese kebabs, and marscapone creams with fruit puree at home.

The chef, who owns a precious collection of vintage Delia cook books, says “Delia has been pivotal in inspiring generations of Britons to find joy in home cooking, and passing on her know-how to make delicious things. My collection of Delia cook books was given to me by my Grandma, who cooked all my favourite childhood meals using Delia recipes and always used to say 'don't thank me, thank Delia!' 

"I was first inspired to become a chef by Delia and couldn’t miss the opportunity to pay homage on the occasion of her 80th."

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Pina Colada and pineapple slushies - served at Delia's Restaurant and Bar at her beloved Norwich City - will also be on offer at the deli in Stroud Green Road. Co-owner Neil Gill added: "Delia is an icon, she's such an amazing, formidable woman. She owns a premiership football club - normally the remit of oligarchs - and in terms of cooks she's an original example of girls doing it for themselves. Many are standing on the shoulders of giants, there would be no Jamie Oliver without Delia Smith."

Ben with his Delia books

Ben with his Delia books - Credit: Supplied

Ben and Neil took over the deli at the start of the pandemic and specialise in coffee, wine, artisan bread, cheese and charcuterie.

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"We took it over the day the country went into lockdown and it's been so gratifying to be the centre of the community," added Neil. "People living by themselves would come in and need that daily chat, we have been thanked every day by people coming in to buy delicious things to eat and drink at home."

Deli at 80, 80 Stroud Green Road, London N4.

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