Hi there, I have now put together a menu for November 16th, hope you like it!
There is a choice as I know there are some vegetarians coming, so please just let me know which main course you would like.
Please email me at email@example.com to reserve your place. We’re already half-full! The evening costs £25, and includes a complementary drink and nibbles, and a three-course meal followed by coffee and petit fours.
- Onion, apple and gruyere tart with homemade walnut bread
- Coriander-crusted lamb OR Puy lentil galettes
with roast beetroot, creamy cabbage, fondant potato and a red wine jus
- Poached pear in a spicy caramel sauce with lemon biscotti
I’m sorry it seems like ages since I last posted, but lots of things have been bubbling away in the background, I promise.
Last supper club of 2013 and a new career
The most exciting news is that I’m giving up the day job, to start concentrating on food full time! I am hosting one more supper club this year on Saturday 16th November, and then in January I am off to Devon for five months for intensive chef training at Ashburton Cookery School. Over the years, I have dipped my toe in the food industry, whether it be running the supper club or hosting a ski chalet, but it’s time to take the plunge! I can’t wait to start the course, and spend my days cooking all sorts of wonderful food, chatting to other people who are also obsessed with food, and hopefully graduating as a fabulous chef.
My plans, once I finish the course, are a bit hazy at the moment, but I will most definitely carry on with the supper club when I’m back in June, and eventually I hope to run my own food business.
So, if you keep wondering whether to visit my supper club, now is your last chance for a while! As usual, the cost is £25, and this includes a complementary drink and nibbles, a three-course meal, plus coffee and home made truffles. I will be posting a menu next Monday, in which I promise to delight both veggies and carnivores. However, if you like the idea of a mystery menu, I am offering supper club places for £20 this week only. Please email or phone to reserve your place.
For the last couple of months, I have been hosting private supper clubs for people who have been celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, family get-togethers, etc.. See below for a few of the things they ate. If you fancy a Christmas party with a difference, please get in touch. I can cater for up to 14 people in my home, or alternatively, I’m happy to come to yours, cook for you and leave your kitchen spic and span, so you can relax and enjoy the dinner party.
Ham hock and apricot terrine with homemade courgette chutney
Lemon and elderflower tart with strawberry sorbet
Duo of chocolate with raspberry puree
Look forward to seeing you on November 16th!
I am pleased to announce that the next supper club is on Saturday 10th August at 7.30pm. I am co-hosting with awesome Andy (a.k.a. the Pork Peddler), so you may notice a strong hint of pig in the menu…
Hope you like the menu as much as we do! The marvellous hot weather we’ve been having has inspired us to create a rather American southern-style menu
- Salmon ceviche with mango salsa
- 12-hour smoked BBQ pulled pork with sweet potato wedges, BBQ bacon beans, green apple & chilli slaw and cornbread
- Mississippi Mud Pie
As always, you will start the evening with canapés and a complimentary drink, and a chance to meet the other guests. You will then sit down for a lovely three-course meal, followed by coffee and petit fours. An evening of food and fun, all for £25.
Please email me (Clare) at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place.
Knowing how much I like food and cooking, my friend suggested I spend the day in the kitchen at The Fleet at Twyning, where her boyfriend just happens to be head chef. Having never worked in a proper restaurant kitchen, it seemed ridiculous not to accept the offer, and find out what is involved in being a professional chef.
I felt a little nervous beforehand. Were the chefs going to shout at me? Should I practise my best “Yes chef!”? Maybe I should add a salute, and a little click of the heels? As it turned out, they were all very friendly and easy going.
I turned up at 10.30am (probably hours after everyone else started…) ready to help them prepare for lunch. As it happened, a wedding reception was booked for the afternoon, so I was set to work making lots of Mushroom Wellingtons for the veggie guests.
I also chopped HUGE amounts of veg for the wedding. First time I’ve ever chopped 6 cucumbers in a row (in case you are interested, that fills a large 4 litre ice-cream tub!). Catering for large numbers is all about the preparation. Everything is prepared the evening before or in the morning, so that once the customer orders come in, you are as ready as humanly possible to get that starter, main or dessert out quickly.
As well as offering a full à la Carte menu, The Fleet do a fine line in sandwiches and burgers. My next task was to make all the burgers for the following day. I also helped plate up the sandwiches and chips. I’m not usually a fan of chips (I know, I’m a little bit weird), but I have to say that these ones are excellent. All chefs tend to use their (immaculately clean) hands a lot, so I quickly realised that I need to develop asbestos fingers for such things as delicately arranging chips, if I’m ever going to succeed in a professional kitchen. Ow! The other thing I noticed is that there was a distinct lack of wooden spoons! I could not survive without my spoons when preparing for supper club, but the boys in the pub give the pans an expert shake and rattle, and magically everything is mixed. I crept off to find some spoons, knowing that my attempts to shake the pan would end up with most of the contents on the floor…
Last time I ate there (as a guest), I ordered pan fried seabass with a crayfish butter sauce, which was absolutely delicious. So I wanted to see how they did it… Best things were the new potatoes – pre-cooked in a saffron stock, then sliced in half before frying in a hot pan to get a lovely crispy bottom. All fairly simple stuff, but this dish tastes amazing!
|Seabass and scallops with a crayfish butter sauce|
In the afternoon, I made the fatal mistake of saying I knew how to make risotto. So that was me – now in sole charge of making the risotto for the evening menu. I got into proper chef mode – making an onion veloute on one hob, risotto on another, and doing a sea bass order, all at the same tim. Thankfully, everything turned out well!
At 4.30pm, it was all hands on deck to get forty starters out for the wedding breakfast. One of the starters was this lovely chicken and ham hock terrine, served with plum chutney. It’s not something I’ve ever made myself, but now I feel inspired to give it a whirl.
The wedding puddings were fantastic – if I was a wedding guest, I would be very hard pushed to choose which one to order – but the chocolate and orange brownie is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Sorry – no pictures of that one – went far too quickly! I can only offer you a photo of the lovely Bailey’s cheesecake that I plated up, practising my cheffy swirls and smears.
Finally, the chefs work very long hours, but after the lunch rush they do find some time for a bite to eat. Could this be the biggest sandwich ever! Well, I think they deserve it.
|The world’s biggest meat sandwich|
Exciting news, the next event is going to be something a little bit different…!
With the help of the Red Hen Cookery School, I will be hosting a pop-up supper club at their superb cookery school in Worcester on Saturday 11th May.
As well as cooking you all a wonderful three-course meal, I will
also be doing a short dessert demonstration for you while you enjoy a
welcome glass of bubbly and canapes. You will also have the chance
to mingle with the other guests, before sitting down together for some
delicious food. All this for the bargainous price of £25.
- French Onion Soup with Gruyère Croutons
- Spiced Slow-Roast Lamb or Moroccan Vegetable Tagine served with Herby Lime Couscous and Chargrilled Vegetables
- Chocolate Brandy Torte with Raspberry Purée
- Coffee and Petit Fours
For more information, please contact me or Naz at Red Hen. You can book your place through their website.
Look forward to seeing you soon!
After chatting to my yoga teacher Hilly about supper club, she asked if I could do a yogic feast for her and some of her students. No, I’m not incredibly bendy – I’m afraid to say I’m much better at cooking than I am at yoga!
So, the aim of April supper club is to provide a thoroughly chilled evening for them all. The trick will be to provide my guests with a scrumptious, yet healthy menu, sticking to the yogic diet principles.
I did a little bit of research to find out what sort of thing yogis eat. The yoga (or sattvic) diet is vegetarian, with an
emphasis on fresh, unprocessed ingredients. I understand a little bit of
dairy is allowed, as long as it is from a happy cow, obviously. I always use
organic dairy, and wherever possible, use local, seasonal vegetables. I
discovered another important part of the sattvic diet is that food has
been prepared with care and love – well, I hope that is definitely the
case with me, as cooking is my passion! I love making everything from
scratch too, so the bread and cheese will be home-made.
The evening kicks off with a welcome drink of Melon & Ginger Sharbat with canapés. The sharbat turns out like a rather nice smoothie.
Starter is a mezze of fresh salads:
- Celeriac with Apples, Raisins & Parsley
- Red Cabbage, Carrot, Orange & Date Salad
- Herby Tomatoes and Roast Red Peppers
- A sprinkle of ‘Dukkah’ (an Egyptian aromatic seed & nut mix)
|Red Cabbage, Carrot, Orange & Date Salad|
|Celeriac with Apples, Raisins & Parsley|
Main course is paneer and pea curry served with moong dal, chapatis and cucumber salad.
I thought this would be an excellent chance to try making cheese! I was pleasantly surprised how easy paneer was. Basically, you gently boil milk, add some lemon juice and watch as it curdles immediately before your eyes. Drain the now slightly yellowy liquid (whey), and leave the curds to drain for 15 minutes in muslin. Next, weigh down the curds with something heavy, say, a saucepan full of water. Half an hour later, ta da! Homemade paneer! Chop into squares and you can eat it just as it is, but I always like to fry it to get that lovely golden brown colour. Yum! After experimenting with cow paneer and goat paneer, goat was definitely the tastiest.
Pudding is cardamom rice pudding with pistachios and rose water. Now, I have horrible memories of rice pudding from school, so I’m hoping this rather more grown up version will cure me of my phobia…
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 canapé, 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.