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

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