Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Why we do Supperclubs: Yummychooeats

Selina is second from the right.
(Pic taken from her Facebook page and from a recent pop up event in London)

Selina Peri-Peri, or her Twitter handle: Yummychooeats, a fellow friend and fantastic Mauritian supperclub host and pop-up chef, is a formidable individual, whose passion to spread the word on Mauritian cuisine, has taken her through leaps and bounds. Here's what she has to say about doing what she does.:
“I had the passionate aim to get authentic Mauritian home cooking out there to educate people, if you will, as not a lot of people know what it consists of,” says Selina Periampillai, a Mauritian cook now finding her supperclub business branching out into the world of pop-ups.
Selina began running the supperclubs from her home in Croydon, but given its location and the growing popularity of her events, demand lead her to expanding through South and Central London and seeking out perfect locations for a Mauritian pop-up. Her first  pop-up outside her home was set against the backdrop of a cosy cafe in Brixton. With the extra space and covers allowing for more diners and entertainment, it also allowed her to get closer to replicating a laid back Mauritian vibe, Selina says. It’s clearly set a precedent as she’s preparing for her next two pop-ups in Warwick Avenue and Covent Garden, again allowing for added quirks including themed Sunday dinners and Palm House dining for a tropical feel.
A self-taught cook who grew up around food has led Selina to where she is now, through experimenting, eating out, dining in and taking inspiration from restaurants has helped her business evolve. Not to mention, as she puts it, “having the motivation and determination to learn new things and read more cookery books.”
But besides the freedom to tailor each occasion to suit your theme, what can go wrong?
“Lots of small issues can come up,” says Selina. “From not having enough space or having to fit people in, last minute cancellations and having a Plan B in case things don’t work out last minute food-wise. It means you always have the creative hat on to make something out of nothing. You need to delegate in the kitchen for it to be successful and check food goes out on time. Being organised is a must!”
Selina busy in the kitchen during another pop up event
Pic taken from her Facebook page

“Pop-ups have become more about the dining experience as well as the food and everyone offers something unique. There are still so many restaurants to go to, but the amount of pop-ups and supperclubs is increasing and people want to try something different,” says Selina. “It’s great for people who can’t afford to set up a restaurant or just want to test the market. And social media opens a perfect avenue for marketing, advertising and communicating with potential customers.So for a keen home cook, the model of a pop-up has led to Mauritian cuisine gaining good word of mouth and evolving into a full-time business in the form of supperclubs, cooking classes and collaborations with other chefs from the street food market scene and beyond.
“People are tired of conventional restaurants. Pop-ups can give you budding hot new talented chefs and cooks creating menus in quirky spaces — there’s nothing not to love!”
For details about Selina’s upcoming events, visit her Yummy Choo Edible Experiences page, or follow her on Twitter.
Original article from: Digest Mag
Yours in the name of supperclubs,
The Innovativebaker

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Italy meets Malaysia - First collaborative cross culture Supperclub

Yeap you read right! Both Backdoor Kitchen and moi will be collaborating this November in London for one night only.

First of their many collaborations, we have joined forces to represent what both our supperclubs represent. While I represent a very varied cuisine of choice (Malaysian offerings in London while I cook my way through Europe in Malaysia), Backdoor Kitchen have been what I would say the tour-de-force in any Italian supperclub based in London. Rob, the headchef takes you through an epic journey round and across Italy with his traditional dishes derived from inspirations from his family. He even hosted a supperclub in Singapore last September to raving reviews. 

Yes, some of you who do catch up with this blog know I used to host the Budaya Kusina supperclub together with Baz of The Paleo Larder (formerly cheapeatsblog). We of course intend to continue it once we both actually are in the same country for a longer period of time. Lol!

Anyway... this one night only collaboration is on the 15th November somewhere in Bermondsey, London.

Want to know what is featured on the menu?

Drink (Lyn's): 3 Layer Tea (iced -  layer of palm sugar syrup, one layer of evporated milk and one layer of black tea) you can actually see 3 layers!
Caponata di Orata (Rob's) - sweet and sour Sicilian cold salad with courgette, pine nut, sultana, red pepper, seabream, pancetta and basil EVOO
Ikan Masak Assam (Lyn's) - a sour and spicy fish dish traditional to the Malay and Peranakan cultures, it blends beautifully with the Rice herb salad accompanying this dish.
Nasi Ulam (Lyn's) - Malaysian Rice Herb Salad (contains fish as well as loads of different herbs, vegetables and spices) - Nasi Ulam, a tradition to the many Malays in Malaysia may be a laborious dish, but a delight to the discerning eater.
Cous Cous alla Trapanese 2.0 (Rob's) - Cous Cous warm salad topped with a lentil, cherry tomato, anchovy, garlic, chilli, parsley, caper wine sauce and slowly cooked squid. Food rave in your mouth.
Drink (Rob's): Shakerato all'Ananasso - a special Aperol based cocktail with vodka and pineapple juice
Ayam Percik (Lyn's) - Grilled chicken marinated over a course of 24 hours with coconut milk, a mixture of Malaysian spices -dollops and dollops of sauce to go with it from the drippings of the chicken while grilling.
Saltimbocca (Rob's) - Chicken fillet topped with San Daniele ham, mature cheddar and sage and slowly cooked in wine. Signature dish.

Bubur Cha Cha (Lyn's) - a coconut based sweet soup with melt in your mouth tapioca, yam and tapioca pearls.
Secret dessert (Rob's) - as custom with the Backdoor Kitchen
So now you know what's in store. How to book? Click here. Limited to 14 seats. Book now or regret not going. 
The Innovative Baker

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Reminiscing and Contemplating - Why I do supperclubs :-)

Like what Julia Child said, I seem to think people who love eating, seems to always have a jolly smile on their faces. And this is why I do supperclubs. 

How did I get involved in one, why did I even consider hosting a supperclub are all the questions that many have asked throughout my last few months in London and ever since I got back to Malaysia and decided to feed my passion for cooking. Mind you, I will never open a restaurant, so you would have to bear with the fact that my supperclub are far too scarce (once in 2 months) but once you're booked in, and do come, you'd be a very happy bunny...

Well firstly what is a SUPPERCLUB? There have been many definitions from different people. But the best of summing it up is from Wikipedia:

"A supper club, traditionally, refers to a dining establishment that also functions as a social club. The term may describe different establishments depending on the region, but in general, supper clubs tend to present themselves as having a high-class image, even if the price is affordable to all."

My definition? well, I'd say that a supperclub is a gathering of like minded people wishing to experience new things over a table of great food cooked by an avid home chef. And since my embarking on this endeavour, I have met a ton of like minded people, became good friends with great home chefs turned cookbook writers, pop up hosts and restaurateurs, cafe owners, pastry chefs and most importantly home chefs. The hard part behind it is the preparation, the blood, sweat, tears and kitchen failures that we do get when cooking for a supperclub. Why? Well, a supperclub can range from 4 to 30 people. Essentially 10 is the maximum number of guests I'd think is ideal to produce some delectable food for, but the evolution of the name has since seen the number rake up to 50.

But put that all aside...the whole point of this post is to say why I do supperclubs and why I still do them. From the chef's point of view (taking a moment from my last supperclub in September 2012 where the guys in the kitchen called me chef and I had like the biggest most gleeful smile ever being called one), it is a time when you decide what dishes you as a chef would like to cook and that can best represent your skills as a chef. I got into it purely because my friends, far and wide, said COOK FOR PEOPLE ALREADY!!! Ana and Teresa of Flavours of Spain can attest to that along with Mark, one half of the Mark and Ce team and Jeanette, a fellow foodie. They were the first ever supperclub tasters and the results were phenomenal. Well at least in my books. That started me on my journey of hosting my first supperclub together with Baz, my partner in crime in the kitchen, that resulted in 2 other supperclubs before my final adieu from London.

Those three supperclubs sealed the deal for me. The smile on people's faces when they eat your food, puts a happy smile on your face. But of course the butterflies in your stomach always strikes just before you serve because you don't know whether your guests would eventually love what you've dished out. My cooking skills were put to the test including time management, budgeting, organisation and being patient and calm. Oh my lord, if you could only hear the curses coming out from my kitchen (it is true when Gordon Ramsay swears when something doesn't go right in the kitchen) especially when my desserts don't go my way, you'd wonder why I put myself through it. 

Despite all the kitchen mishaps, the cuts, the burns, the OMG moments when you run out of ingredients, I still love having a supperclub. I meet the most amazing people. They come from all walks of life, professions, mindsets, countries, cultures and well eating habits! But...we all share one common passion - FOOD! And for what its worth, the blood, sweat and tears that we put into having a supperclub is only because we love sharing. The beauty of seeing the coming together of your menu and the fact that it does what it does, and keeps people coming back just goes to show that it is 100% satisfaction...for me at least and hopefully my guests who are now my fellow friends, foodies, mates and kick-ass buddies. 

So a huge shout out to my great great great friends in the foodie world -

Marta, Ce and Mark - whose constant encouragement and willingness to be guinea pigs every time I cooked truly paved the way to my wanting to actually have a supperclub
Wen - for having given me that benchmark to have my last supperclub in London before I left for good together with Baz.
Jason - for being the guy who said come on over and join me at my Peranakan Palace supperclub together with Goz.
Goz - for setting the tone for Asian supperclubs and now having a cookbook to his name
Selina - my Mauritian sexy chef foodie mate who never stops smiling and was definitely the hostest of the mostest!
Ana - one half of Flavours of Spain who encouraged me to have a supperclub and now is a great friend
Teresa - the other half of Flavours of Spain who adds the crazy in the Flavours of Spain and also supported my decision and didn't mind being fed to the brim
Rob and Fabio - you guys are like the epitome of Italianness. I truly enjoyed our time together!
Jaime - The awe inspiring Le Cordon Bleu pastry chef graduate whom I met over Twitter and is now a great friend!
Shuhan - for sharing an equal passion for the love of cooking
Christine - for her bubbly nature and sexy steamed buns that somehow I never got to taste
Greg - for assisting Baz and I when we needed a car to shop and a car to transport ourselves to our supperclub locations
John - who became my eating buddy every time we needed to go somewhere. And for definitely showing me the ropes when I went back to London for 2 weeks and had the eating time of my life
Sam - the micro brewer whose beers are sure to take the world by storm.
Erik - the quiet subdued Swede who definitely shares a love for food and a passion for life much like mine.
Cherry - the great Cantonese chef whose food I still remember and salivate to this day.

and to Baz - if not for you and your SURE WHY NOT attitude, we wouldn't have had Budaya Kusina in London and your patience for letting me run things. You are a great chef!

To those whom I haven't mentioned, not that I haven't forgotten you, but there's just too many of you to name in person. But thank you to every single one of you for taking the risk in eating Baz and my food. And for insisting I still run a supperclub here in Malaysia. 

It has been a rollercoaster of a year but this has been the best year yet! Here's to a year's worth of Supperclubs but more importantly here's to all the PEOPLE who make SUPPERCLUBS what they are!

Much love from the Straits of Melaka,
The Innovativebaker

Stay tuned for a guest post from Selina, the Mauritian Supperclub host hailing from Croydon.

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