If you follow me on one of those social media things, or ever look to the bottom of this website at the ‘Recommends’ section, you will have noticed me banging on about something called the Supperclub Summit. It struck me that, to date, I haven’t mentioned it on the blog properly. This is probably because it’s taken up so much of my life, that to spend more time writing about it might have been the death of me …
However, now the kitchen’s finally been sourced, begged, borrowed, stolen, wired, plumbed, built and scrubbed, the light fitting made, the wine sampled, and the plates and lash vessels purchased (there was also the small matter of jumping in as a replacement first night), I think I’m finally mentally ready to talk about it.
So, basically, @Siepert and I are running an event on Exhibition Road in Kensington. It’s in a room that forms part of the Goethe Institut. There are 16 nights in total, with different supperclubs from London and beyond cooking for one or two nights each. Some are sold out (sorry), but there are some cracking ones with tickets remaining: this Saturday there are seats available for the second night of a collaboration between Mama Lan, Wild Serai, and Two Hungry Girls (Beijing via Brixton / Malay / mainland China respectively); there are also a few remaining places next Saturday for my second night cooking with a Berlin Supperclub called Rollin Restaurant; I cannot wait for the Russian Revels on 15-16 August – that’s going to be such a fun evening; 17 and 18 August sees a Meat Feast with Saffron and Salt and the ‘Rhineland Rockers’ (a collective of German supperclubs) with horsemeat ravioli and pulled goat amongst the offerings; Simon Fernandez has got a few places left on 21 and 22 of August; and we’ve two special, ‘to be revealed’ nights lined up for our last Friday and Saturday on the 24th and 25th. The sold out Backdoor Kitchen, Asma’s Darjeeling Express and Goz from Plusixfive make up the roll call. I am really looking forward to cooking with them all.
Follow this link to the website for full background, menus and bookings – putting as much bias aside as I can, I genuinely think these will be great evenings.
Anyway, enough with the plugging. Last night was the first night and it went pretty well. I served up a heritage tomato salad with olive soil, mozzarella, dehydrated onion, pickled cucumbers and popcorn shoots (look them up, they’re awesome); a warm mackerel and beetroot dish with mooli, kohlrabi and a wasabi cream (horrendously over ordered on mackerel – anyone want some?); a really good, even if I do say so myself, slow cooked lamb shoulder dish with 3kgs of borlotti beans (6kg before podding – thank you Dad); and a vanilla pannacotta with cooked peaches, almonds, raspberries and shards of frozen marscapone.
For my part, I thought it was decent, though it was predictably difficult to prepare, cook and serve 28 dishes of each of the four courses on my own, save for the amazing help of two friends helping out when they weren’t clearing dishes. So a bit slow, but no complaints so far and plenty of lessons learned.
I would put some pictures up of good looking food, but was a little bit too occupied to snap away … instead, you’ll have to make do with a snap of yesterday’s staff lunch – rejected mozzarella, spare tomatoes, popcorn shoots, crusts. Today it will be mackerel, mackerel and mackerel.