All of the London Supper Clubs we're loving right now
In a chaotic and bustling city like London, it’s easy to feel lost and disconnected. This may be the reason why the supper club trend has been so popular in the capital. Solving the need for a more human and personal dining experience, supper clubs have taken London by storm by offering unique food concepts from dinners in old tube carriages to intimate suppers cooked by Michelin-starred chefs. We sat down with four supper club hosts to find out how they came up with their out-of-the-box experiences and how supper clubs are bringing Londoners together around the table.
When asked about the inspiration behind her food, Emilia Strazzanti is quick to share that it’s all about family. “I'm British Sicilian/Neapolitan and very close with my family,” she says. “My grandparents moved to the UK in the 60s and my grandad would cook every night. He would make homemade peasant dishes using the Italian ingredients that we had so that we could still embrace the culture and flavours of our native Sicily and Naples.”
A classically trained chef, Strazzanti has worked in the kitchens of The Dorchester Collection in London, Paris, and Milan, before eventually looking for a way to share the Sicilian recipes she grew up with to a wider audience. “The Sicilian Supper club is a way of showcasing the best of Sicily in East London. We bring together a community of like-minded people who love to experience heartfelt food in a convivial setting,” she explains. Working with local artisans and venues like the Hackney Coffee Co and McQueen’s Flower School, Strazzanti is able to host events that are community-driven and purposeful.
The next supper club in the Strazzanti series will be based around the 18th century Sicilian puppet theatre tradition “Opera Dei Pupi”. Strazzanti has partnered with East London puppet maker Clea Raquideau to create bespoke Sicilian puppets which will be hanging over diners as they feast. Tickets can be purchased here.
In 2016, Suha Shariff volunteered at a refugee camp in Greece where she cooked meals for over 300 people. It ended up being a life-changing experience for the management consultant who has worked with senior management teams across the food and beverage industry.
“I started the Culinary Discovery Club last year as I wanted to showcase all the different cultures and countries that are represented here in London through cooking classes and supper clubs led by refugees and migrants. Through these events, people [can choose to] cook or just share a meal in a supper club environment and discover more about the chef's country and culture through the shared experience,” says Shariff.
Her supper clubs feature a different refugee or migrant chef each time and the team goes the extra mile to hand out “discovery cards” with fun facts on the country of the evening, play traditional music, and keep the evening interactive for all participants. Past dinners have been hosted by chefs from Zimbabwe, Syria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and more. Additionally, for every ticket sold, a hot meal is provided to a London charity that Shariff volunteers at.
Stay updated on the Culinary Discovery Club’s upcoming dinners here.
Originally from Russia, Alissa Timoshkina’s life used to revolve around movies and cinemas. With a PhD in film history, she coordinated film festivals around the UK and also taught film at different universities in London. “I am a professional film geek, and food was always something that I felt deeply about. It is something that gave me a much-needed creative and social outlet,” she says. It was during her time working at film festivals that she realised that despite the excellent movies and atmosphere, the food served was often quite underwhelming.
“I began to think of a better way to marry film and food. Then one day, I was on a holiday in Cape Town doing a lot of wine tasting, and I had a bit of a Eureka moment — what if we were to pair wine tasting with films? What kind of wine can enhance your appreciation of, say, an Ingmar Bergman film? So the name KinoVino was born. And the more thought I put into the idea, the more I felt like I should pair an entire meal, not just the wine, with a chosen film” she explains.
KinoVino has since turned into a four-hour celebration of Timoshkina’s two passions: film and food. Everything from the cocktails, to the nibbles, to the main dishes are thematically connected to the film of the evening. Timoshkina gives an introduction to the film beforehand to set the scene, and after the screening, guests are welcomed to the candlelit dining room to share their opinions and critiques with their fellow diners.
KinoVino’s next events with Emilia Strazzanti and Sanaz Zardosht can be found on their events page.
Known as “The Hungry Chef," Pratap Chahal has a resumé that includes some of the capital’s top eateries such as Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, Chez Bruce, and Cinnamon Club. He has a BA in English Literature and decided to spend a year traveling around the world where his palate was introduced to a myriad of flavours and ingredients. Soon after marrying his wife Nikhat (who heads up the front of house at the supper club), they decided to bring a new and exciting dining concept to London.
Held in the couple’s Islington home, the Chahals have created a dining experience that is full of surprises. “Some of our dinners are also multi-sensory immersive experiences as we incorporate storytelling, scent, sound and other interactive elements to the evening. But, more importantly, it's about great food and a great evening out,” says Chahal.
His latest Alice in Wonderland-inspired dinner invites guests to travel down the rabbit hole and embark on an 8-course gastronomic feast including dishes like the “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” and a “Drink Me” gin potion.
Bookings for the next Alice in Wonderland supper clubs can be made here.
Words by Ina Yulo
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