On Saturday night four of us went to the Goethe Institute for their Supperclub Summit. A cultural exchange of food for the Olympics, British food bloggers and supperclub types were paired with German food bloggers and chefs for a series of collaborative dinners in a minimalist space in South Kensington. On Saturday night Ruth (@saffronandsalt), who I know via twitter for her charcutterie and recent bike accident, was teamed up with the Rhineland Rockers, four Germans from Cologne and Dusseldorf. They made us an eight course dinner with wine pairings from Germany. It was fantastic.
Here's the menu:
- Landjagger sausage
- Himmel & Ääd - apple, potato, black pudding and a tempera green onion
- Erbsenparfait & Räucher-Forelle - pea mousse (which I loved), smoked trout and a warm gin trout stock shot of sorts (weird but good)
- Finkenwerder - haddock, bacon jam, little brown shrimp and a fritter thing-y.
- Sauerbraten-Maultäschle - horse ravioli with this neat jelly strip of gravy
- Zicklein - pulled goat
- Schwarzwälder Kirsch - deconstructed Black Forest cake
and the Charcuterie platter which was somewhere in the latter half but I'm not sure where exactly but it was pork scratchings with a sour apple sauce (which I LOVED), a terrine and chicken mousse.
So, dinner was great - lovely, interesting food. Wines were delicious and interesting. All around fabulous. We sat at a table with four strangers and were laughing and raucous together by the end of the night.
But the whole experience got me thinking about supper clubs in general. I love the trust that you need to go and get the most out of the experience. You're going to a strange place, to eat food cooked for you by strangers who have no official designation, there's no health inspector, there's no TimeOut review saying if it's good or not. Few of the people cooking will be professionals. Often the space is a private one that they have invited you into. You'll probably not know what you're going to be served and you'll probably end up sitting with strangers.
I show up and trust that everything will be just fine and I sit back and am open to whatever, or whoever, comes before me. And because of these experiential dinners I have made new friends, real ones too - not just on twitter! and I have tasted all sorts of new foods. You have to let go and be with the moment and the atmosphere and the food and the people. And that's beautiful. And something that is much more difficult to do in the confines and strictures of a restaurant.
Essen gut, alles gut.