I went to my first supper club last weekend! Hosted by Mel and Kelsie of Travels with My Fork. I took along a couple of visiting friends. They whole car ride over they kept asking me about the concept?
- Why do people do this? Different reasons, some are practicing before setting up their own business, some had a restaurant and don’t want the pressure or the hours but want to go on cooking, some people do it to make friends.
- Why do you want to go? Curiosity. It may have killed the cat but I have it on good authority that satisfaction brought it back!
- Do you have to invite them to your house? Nope! You pay a donation to participate in their evening. In this case the suggested donation was €40 a head.
- Is the food safe? This of course varies depending on the supper club. TWMF used excellent sources for their ingredients and Mel not only went to cooking school but used to make lunch in a Cafe.
- Is this an elaborate scheme to murder people and throw their bodies in the river? Hopefully not! Research the place you are going to first. Usually there will be reviews on blogs, media or check them out on Twitter.
Supper clubs were a big thing in London when I left (Ms Marmite Lover is one of the originals). Established restaurants are jumping on the whole supper club band wagon and doing things like Pop Up restaurants that get booked out within hours of people finding out about it! I remember trying in vain to get a spot at one of the first pop ups in London called The Reindeer.
Unlike a restaurant, it’s much harder to form an idea of what your evening will be like. Professional places have multiple tools to communicate their message to you. You instantly get the gist by looking at their signage, interior design, menu, table setting, staff, lighting etc. With a supper club, you only have a website and some pictures and if you are lucky – blogger reviews. As this was the maiden Travels With My Fork Supper Club, there wasn’t much information out there. But I had been following Kelsie and Mel on Twitter and they seemed to Tweet about food a lot!
The dinner took place in a cozy flat in Spandau. The theme for the evening menu was the Dia de los Muertos or day of the dead.
The food kicked off with some outstanding salsas; green tomatillo (sensational), fiery salsa and a chunky guacamole served with tortilla chips. As a starter we were served cubed salmon ceviche with red onion and coriander. Followed by a heaped plate of turkey mole with spicy rice and a vegetable side of corn and courgette. Just when I thought, I couldn’t possibly eat another morsel. The flan came. The flan was a work of art and Mel had gotten that caramel just right, not too sweet but not burnt either. The food was generous, the hosts were happy to serve seconds and probably even thirds if anyone had asked.
The whole thing took me back to when we used to have dinner parties in college except back then I probably wouldn’t have taken the trouble to roast 20+ spices individually for the Mole!
The atmosphere was laid back and friendly. It transpired that the 4 other guests worked with Mel at Nokia. Our group was made up of a Portuguese, 2 Germans, a Fin, 2 Israelis, a Scot (Kelsie) and an American ? (Mel). It sounds like I am about to tell a racist joke, about a boat …
At certain points of the evening I felt like I had accidentally walked into the wrong film! Because you get to a certain age (35) and you have pretty much done most of your friend making. And if you do go through the process of making a new friend, they are usually a variation on one that you already have. These guys were pretty far removed from my regular pals! One guy was telling us about how he paddled from somewhere to somewhere else far away in a collapsible canoe! “Apes in cages, right…” as Limbo said to mark his incredulity at the thought that, back on Earth, it was apes and not humans who were kept in cages and illustrates what I think of going to the trouble to paddle away into the sunset in a collapsible canoe!
I enjoyed the weirdness of that. Of randomly intersecting with people who were wildly different from myself and my ho-hum vanilla ice cream friends. I think it’s a good way to open up the windows in your mind and let the fresh air sweep in.
And in an effort to get as much fresh air around the grey matter as possible, I will be attending another super club soon. This one is called the Thyme Supper Club and is in Prenzlauer Berg. Can’t wait!
If you would like to book an evening at the Travels With My Fork Supper Club follow this link http://www.twmfsupperclub.moonfruit.com
For better pictures of the evening visit Kelie’s Flickr page http://www.flickr.com/photos/silamuta/sets/72157625286657862/