Our Thai banquet is coming up pretty soon, and a few people have shown an interest. I need to convert this to bookings, though. In my quest to raise the profile, I have been approached by someone wanting me to write an article for a York out and about website. This is quite exciting for me, being a wannabe hack/scribe. Also, if anyone else who reads this has any bright ideas about reaching out to a wider audience, please give me some tips. Although the concept of the supper club is that it is an underground movement, I don't want it so underground so that nobody knows about it!!!
upper clubs have existed for a few years in this country, although have really started taking off over the last three years. I think the idea was bourne out of a number of reasons: the desire for the hosts to show off their culinary skills; wanting to bring like minded people together to appreciate great home cooked food; to go somewhere to eat that is a bit different, won't charge the earth, and meet new and interesting people; and above all, supper club hosts and guests (the two are not exclusive either) like an adventure! We are a sociable bunch.
The publishing of Kerstin Rogers' (aka Ms Marmite) seminal 'Supper Club' book (Harper Collins) in 2011 set out to explain the movement she became involved in from 2005, provide recipes and tips for hosting the perfect supper club. She also runs a vibrant and essential blog site, which hosts hundreds of clubs from around the world. It is the place to find out where your nearest supper club is being held.
The general idea is to provide top quality food in a friendly atmosphere, at home. Events are advertised online, by email, text or word of mouth, and usually attract an eclectic and loyal following. The specific location is usually revealed to the guests to message a number or personal email. This makes it fairly secure.
Diners like the intimacy, the ability to try something new, and the relaxed vibe. Because it is a 'grass roots' enterprise, guests usually bring their own drinks, and make a contribution to the costs of running it.
The supper club site provides some excellent legal advice for hosts (link below), as it is a developing phenomenom.
The YO31 Secret Diners club is based in York, and was started because my wife, Liz and I have been longing to launch a catering business, but like many others lack the capital to start up. So the easiest solution was to start small and at home, get the experience and build it from there.
Our supper club events are always themed, and so far we have done Italian, Indian, Spanish and Thai. We are planning on hosting a Haloween night, German, Yorkshire, Chinese, French, foraged feast, and many other events to celebrate various events.
The food is always cooked from scratch, using organic vegatables (from our veg box and garden), and top quality meat sourced from local butchers.
We also ask our guests if they would like us to create a favourite dish of theirs, which gives it a bit more of a personal touch. They can also bring their own CDs if they wish!
I do most of the cooking, while Liz makes desserts and hosts. We do all the prep and cooking in our tiny kitchen, so it can get a bit fraught at times! But the satisfaction at the end of the evening is quite euphoric, even if our kitchen has been trashed and we have piles of washing up to do! We like to cook classic and familiar dishes, sometimes experimenting with the format, such as deconstructed chicken tikka masala - chicken tikka pieces, tikka mousse with a masala dressing, or braised chrorizo in a sweet sherry sauce with beetroot jelly. My influences range from Keith Floyd, Ken Hom, Rick Stein, Giorgio Locatelli and Ferran Adria (El Bulli) to name but a few.
I am currently experimenting with molecular gastronomy, so expect to see some melon caviar and dry ice in future!
Previous menus are attached to this message.
We love foraging, and make blackberry vodka and sloe gin from locally foraged fruit, but this is just the beginning of the foraging.
Our next meal is a Thai banquet, which is on Saturday 29th September.
We'll be serving a range of our favourite classic Thai dishes, such as Clam ginger soup, steamed wonton bundles, sweecorn fritters, Crispy fried barley fed wild mallard (plucked, jointed, skinned and prepared by me) with tamarind noodles, Beef panaeng curry, coconut custard squares, and thai coctail sling.
Our ultimate aim is to cook memorable food for our wonderful guests and to create a brand that becomes a 'must visit' experience in York. We would also like to take our club to outside locations or to other people's venues, although there are many permutations to the format.
Message me to book your table!