28th January 2013
Supper Table Blog

I have been cooking as long as I can remember, taught by my mum who has also always loved cooking.  I remember as children, my sister and I would pretend to be Delia as we made brownies, cookies, honeycomb, etc, while talking to the invisible TV camera!

At university and beyond, a group of us would take it in turns to put on a dinner party, with ever more complicated dishes and adventurous menus – we were a competitive lot!

After nine years of engineering and computing, both as a student and a research assistant, I felt it was time to do something a bit more fun.  I headed off to Val d’Isere to work for YSE, a chalet company that prides itself on its trained staff and restaurant-quality food.  Although all of us were experienced cooks when we arrived in the resort, we were then put through our paces on a gruelling month-long training course.  Despite the long hours, I found it great fun, and learned an awful lot – although I do have a tiny idea of what it might be like to be on MasterChef, as the boss and head chef would detail every tiny thing wrong with your dish!  I also spent a summer in the Dolomites, honing my chef skills for a chalet of 12 guests.

When I was settled back in England, I realised how much I missed my university dinner parties, and the lovely social atmosphere of chalet hosting.  Quite by chance, I found out about the supper club phenomenon – I think I spotted a review of MsMarmiteLover‘s cookery book and supper club guide.  Also known as ‘underground restaurants’, the idea is that people open up their home, and cook for a bunch of strangers! 

They are different from a restaurant, as people tend to sit down together on one big table, mingling with and meeting new people.  In fact, the social side is half the fun of a supper club, perhaps giving you the chance to speak to people you would not otherwise meet.  Obviously, the food is also a big part of the evening, with the emphasis on good, home-cooked food.

I host a supper club once a month, and can seat up to 14 guests.  On arrival, everyone is given a complimentary drink and a canap√©, before sitting down for a three-course meal, followed by coffee and homemade petits fours. Everyone sits together, so it doesn’t matter whether you come on your own, with a partner or with a group.  Halfway through, everyone change seats so that they get the chance to speak to everyone – it’s a very social affair.

If you would like to join us one evening, or be added to the mailing list, please email me at malvernsupperclub@gmail.com.  You can also find me on facebook, and on Twitter as @malvernsupper.

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