A husband and wife team. Yusuf is a professional chef, Clarissa is a designer, events organiser and very good cook. Regular supper clubs in Norfolk, Suffolk, Devon and London. For bookings and event information email unthanksupperclub@gmail.com

Thursday, 10 November 2011

My Christmas Tail of the Cock, as I like to call them.

 In a desperate attempt to create a nightcap the other night I created what could have been an icky monster, but was in actual fact the  random act of something quite lovely. I had a psychological rummage (too lazy to actually leave the sofa) through the drinks cupboard, I say 'drinks cupboard' it is the cupboard under the stairs stuffed with a hoover, double adapters and toys that make too many sounds. My drinks cupboard is pretty normal. The residue of odd bottles of undrinkable fluids only used at Christmas for cocktails and cooking. Nothing you can just crack open and have a glass of, and odd amounts that amount to not very much. If I were a teenager and this was my Mum and Dad's house I would no doubt make a heady mix of the lot to get pissed while they were out, only to spend most of the night taking the porcelain bus for a ride having my back rubbed by my Mum while she silently took the piss out of me behind my back to my Dad. It's pretty shit.
But I was keen for a sip of something small and heady.
So, in my mind I mixed two drinks. As I imagined the two both very unique and particular ingredients (sheer desperation) I did a flavour check, no...no...no....hmmm...maybe actually....yes...Ok I will get off the sofa.

1 shot Single Malt (mine was Sainsburgers, nothing special enough to really drink alone)
1 shot of Pedro Ximenez

Pour both into a glass and drink it.

For the purposes of beauty I have added 3 blueberries dipped in edible glitter, I love a bit of glitter. (Not the Gary kind)

It is Christmas in a glass, and folks, I have googled it and so far cannot find a recipe for it. So! I am the inventor of the ''Pedro Mack''

Enjoy my festive Tail of the Cock.x

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Smack The Pony and the 'dessert face'..

 Pear Tart Tatin, served with cinnamon ice cream and pistachio brittle..

 When I was working on Smack The Pony the girls did a very funny sketch in a restaurant that still haunts me now. The sketch was about a waitress who, according to her manager did not have a good enough 'dessert face' when asking customers if they wanted dessert. You know when you are in a fairly decent restaurant and your waiter asks you if you ''would like a little dessert?'' the good waiting staff have that ' oooh lets all be a bit naughty now and eat something we shouldn't' look on their face, an almost ..'go on you know you want to..' look about them. The manager in the sketch (and no doubt this is true) insisted it sold more desserts and coffee's if you used the 'dessert face'.
Every time I plan our puddings, this sketch rings around in my head. Last month we had a small disaster when our rose ice cream did not set in time. I made some rose Chantilly creme with almonds as a replacement, which I must say was utterly delicious with the poached quince and crystallised rose petals, the disaster turned in to a very happy accident. I tried very hard as we served our pudding, as I do every time...not to say in a ridiculous voice...''would you like a little desserrrrrrrrrt?''. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


Both Yusuf and I are overly obsessed by the same book at the moment. I bought it for Yusuf last Christmas and he has studied it over and over, he kept silently dissapearing off somewhere, not to surf the internet for sexy ladies or internet shop for kitchen geekery (knives in his case, he can ogle at knives for hours and HOURS!)  he was mostly found with his nose in this book. He practically shudders everytime he reads the slow poached egg recipe. The book is called Momofuku and it is more than excellent.

I scan read it at first, slightly put off by Yusuf's over excitement..I thought it was a bit of a boy's cheffy book, and in some way after the second and thorough read through I was a tiny bit right, but, like Yusuf I found myself thinking of the recipes while on long drives (often when I have my creative moments, well, then and about 5am usually) and taking another look. We have totally changed the way we cook pork belly now, thanks to David Chang.
It is odd to be a fan of a restaurant and cook from so far away. New York used to be a place I would zip off to with a good mate and eat my way round the place for a fortnight, whilst cooing at the 'Cops' and the Hot Dog stands, but alas Motherhood has taken the place of that frivolity.
When I lived in London I would always try out the next big thing on the restaurant scene, always read the reviews and find out the' not so known, but amazing authentic food' type of places. When I moved there in the early 90's I lived in Stoke Newington and pretty much ate Turkish food and Vietnamese food until it came out of my ears. Often seeking out the little known backstreet vendor with the best grills, or salt and pepper squid. Frequenting secret bars open after hours, ones you had to bash a door and they let you in, to find a smoky room, freezing cold Efe's and awesome food. Wagamama had just opened it's first restaurant then and we used to queue round the block to eat really decent soup noodle ( I wish I could say it was as good now, no where near as brilliant as it was then). It changed the way I ate and cooked forever. We eat a lot of noodles in my house. My son learn't to say ''Noodoo'' around the age of two and it is now the family term for all noodles.

This is Momofuku Ramen, it literally kicks the arse out of the shitty (meaningless watery stock and crappy noodles) ramen found at Wagamamas now, not even comparable. And I am just going by the picture! (and I have made it from the book). 
I just love seaweed, I love cooking with it and have been adding it to everything over the years, sea lettuce in salads, Nori sprinkled on most savoury stuff. It is the best thing to begin a stock with, some nice fat kombu. Nothing quite like it. I love the smell of it ad the feel of it's slippery thick skin when you take it out of the water. It is a wonderous thing.
So this book has made quite an impact. There is a great section on very light and sweet/ sour pickles and it has given me much inspiration for the winter. Noodle on!
If I was in New York, I would be checking out all of David Chang's places. His food and writing certainly rock.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The mysterious and delectable quince..

A few weeks ago I went on my annual hunt for quince. They have always seemed the most exotic and allusive of our native fruits, and I get a bit obsessed by gathering a few when they are in season. There has been a year or so when I have failed, time or luck have been factors. This year I knocked on a few doors, a couple of beautiful old country gardens I know harbour the elusive quince tree. These are my gatherings!

If you have never tasted a quince before, they are perfumed delight. The texture and flavour is like no other fruit. The hard woody uncooked fruit is inedible until poached in water and sugar. I am a purist and will not add any other flavouring such as vanilla or star anise, but one could. I love to enjoy the rare and delightfully fragrant flavour just as it comes. I will be serving them poached with rose scented ice cream, pistachio brittle and crystallised rose petals...a sort of heady Middle Eastern/English country garden treat. If there are any fruit left I will make a quince and treacle tart and maybe some Membrillo.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Prohibition Supper Club Nov 25th

This month we are throwing a prohibition party! WE will officially kick start the winter party season with a riotous BANG!
The Unthank Supper Club will transform into a Speakeasy for the night! I spent many years as a costume designer working in film and TV. Combining my love of food, meeting people and dressing up is my idea of a brilliant night.

We will drink our Moonshine from jars and pretty vintage tea cups (BYO of course!) dress up and listen to some fantastic music from the 1920's qnd 30's. Tonight will be a chance to dress UP ! Retro glamour and fun and frolics abound! Flappers, suits, feather boa's you name it, it is time to swing! I mean swing in the best possible taste I hasten to add.
Expect a wild night of good food, new friends, brilliant music and I am guessing some dancing too.

Pork Rillette bon bons in Panko bread crumbs, boudin noir, apple and ginger puree on a green salad

Beetroot and goats cheese begniets, tempura cauliflower, apple and ginger puree on a green salad


Pheasant two ways. Pan fried breast and a confit leg with roast pumpkin puree, beetroot fondant, braised cavalo nero and jus

Brioche and aubergine stack with safrron aiolli with pumpkin puree, beetroot fondant and braised cavalo nero


Chocolate tart, pear and chilli jelly and whipped cream

Pots of fesh coffee and tea

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Thinking about winter..

Currently we are experiencing a heatwave here in the UK. I have just harvested my Turks turban squash and my beans have all gone dry to seed now...and yet my tomatoes suddenly no longer require a kitchen window sun bath in order to bloom red, they are going crazy on the vine. It's balmy and barmy...! I am not sure if I should make a pot roast and sort the log pile or get the BBQ fired up...we did that twice last week. I am in culinary confusion.
Last month I looked at my Christmas decorations, items I have loved since childhood and collected over the years. I had a thrill of excitement on a chilly day, imagining nips of Port, planning festive menu's and making my home festive and beautiful for Chrimbo (as we call it in my family).

I LOVE Christmas. I love Autumn, I love mushroom hunting and watching the leaves turn and fall...bedding in for the winter, getting cosy, baking with my little boy and having good friends over for roasted meat, red wine and maybe a lazy DVD in front of the fire. Simple things.

Yusuf and I are trying to plan our winter menu's, it has not been easy with this warm weather. The September Club was an excellent evening with some brilliant newbie Supper Clubbers. It is a joy to meet real foodie enthusiasts out here in the wilderness. I truly enjoy meeting all of our new members and often wish I cooked less so I could chat more. But, I do love cooking.

We are a major fan of Vietnamese food and have become more than fans of Luke Nguyen's book 'Songs of Sapa'. It is an exquisite book of not only wonderful recipes, but Luke's journey through family, heritage, history and of course Vietnam. The photography is utterly beautiful and I find myself often drawn back to the book for inspiration. A while back I decided to cook every recipe in the book, for no other reason than pleasure. So far I have cooked about 10 recipes, food I share with my family. The savvy part of me (which is actually not very savvy!) should be sharing this on the blog. I will do my best to try.

I made his Cassava cake, which I served with coconut ice cream, pineapple and passion fruit salsa and passion fruit syrup. I wish I had taken a photo, all I can say is it was delicious and I now keep frozen Cassava in my freezer (along with lime leaves and banana leaves) at all times. Damn yummy!

With this wonderful heat and sun I have been drawn back to Luke's book and I would like to create a special menu over winter inspired by his collection of recipes. I will try to convince Yusuf that this Christmas should be Vietnamese....

The October Menu

Halloween special.....

There will be a Pumpkin carving competition this month. Bring along your pumpkin creation and have the chance of a free meal for one at the January supper club! Last year there was an exciting array of pumpkins lighting the Supper Club dining room, from Lional Richie to modern art! The winner gets a free pass to our January club!!


Figs with Pecorino and honey with freshly baked lemon bread

Osso Bucco with Rissotto alla Milanese
and Gremolata

Shallot Tart Tatin with Rissotto alla Milanese
and Gremolata

Poached Quince with Cardamon ice cream and Pistachio brittle

Pots of fresh tea and coffee

Monday, 19 September 2011

I am a hopeless blogger!

After our break away from our little supper club over the summer I have been trying to catch up with all of our members old and new. We have had so much interest and I realise I have utterly abandoned the blog! So I am here and will attempt to keep you updated with our events.

We are fully booked this month, but as always we can squeeze you in last minute if you want to drop us a mail.

We are surrounded by wonderful produce were we live and I am excited to announce my first success at growing squashes will be debut at our table! I have been growing vegetables for three years now and have failed with squash every year. This year I took action and hacked some trees down to let in more sunlight. I have tended to my babies all summer, feeding them, even singing to them! I have three beautiful 'Turks Turban' squashes that will grace our meal. That makes me very happy indeed. All of the fruit and vegatables this month will be found locally, which also makes me very happy! Such a wonderful time of year.

Yusuf will be creating the most visually spectacular pudding this month, what that man can do with a pear and some pastry is quite exciting I must say...I am looking forward to it.

September 30th 2011


Pan fried red mullet with fennel, orange and carrot salad

Slow roasted shoulder of lamb with
cauliflower cous cous, beetroot puree, braised celery,
confit garlic and roasted Turks Turban squash

Wild mushroom tart with
cauliflower cous cous, beetroot puree, braised celery, confit garlic
and roasted Turks Turban squash

Pear tart tatin with star anise and cinnamon ice cream

Pots of tea and coffee

Saturday, 19 February 2011

The February Menu 25th Feb 2011

The Menu

Fresh rolls with peanut sauce
Fresh rice paper rolls with rice vermicelli,prawn,mint,basil,coriander,carrot and peanut.
Veggie option-as above with mung bean shoots


Stuffed Squid with Sesame dressing and fine ribbon salad

Bobby Chinn's Chicken wings
Skewered wings with lemongrass,oyster sauce,chili and honey

Rice Noodle Salad with green papaya

Spiced Roasted Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps
with sweet and sour sauce

Vegetarian Option

Wok Tossed Asparagus in Garlic

Grilled Aubergine with Nuoc Cham

Deep Fried Bean curd with Lemongrass

(Salad and noodles above included)


Cassava cake
with Coconut ice creme and caramel peanuts

Fresh pots of Tea and Coffee and jugs of water on the table

Friday, 7 January 2011

We take a small break..

During January Yusuf and I will take a break from cooking at our Supper Club. Yusuf had the busiest month of cooking during December and is well overdue a rest in the kitchen, as am I. We will be cooking in February again with a South East Asian inspired menu. Vietnamese fresh rolls will be making a come back. (a personal favourite of mine!)
Our Christmas club was great fun and we met some wonderful new foodies. Secret Santa was a great hit..though a few people did forget to bring a gift and it was left to me to 'create' the odd gift here and there...dried shrimp was a successful one, a tin of condensed milk was not quite as well received.
Cooking churros con chocolate for over 30 people was rather overwhelming I must say..by he final batch I was wishing I just had a big fat Churros van outside the house, like I have seen late at night in Spain. Maybe next time.

This month I will be detoxing. No meat, dairy, wheat, coffee, tea or alcohol. Lots of vegetables, brown rice and fruit with the odd bit of fish. Understandably this goes against most of our days of experimenting in the kitchen and cosy nights drinking a glass of red. It will be rather a large challenge I must say, but I will endeavour to have a very healthy month in preparation for our next event, where no doubt all of the rules will fly very quickly out of the window.