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

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Why I love Nigel Slater

I awoke this morning at 6am thinking about Nigel Slater. I watched his new program Life is Sweets in bed last night on my laptop, my husband was snoring and I was quietly watching a man I really love, with the odd bit of weeping thrown in.
 As a costume designer one has a different view on 'famous people'. I have seen a lot of very famous actors and celebs in their pants, you don't just work together you become friends, see they are (mostly) human beings and the feeling of being a 'fan' does not exist. In fact is is an unspoken no no. You must never be a fan if you work in film and TV. It is the height of unprofessionalism.

So I have this odd (obviously one sided) relationship with Nigel Slater. I try not to be a 'fan' of him, but I do really love him from afar. We have never met, though he has worked closely with a dear old friend of mine. Nigel's approach to cooking has always appealed since I bought 'Real Food' in 1998. Nigel taught me to bake cheese in a box, and make potato pizza for friends when we were pissed and needed cheesy carbs to soak up the booze. Nigel taught me what Tallegio was back then, and awakened a life long obsession with Italian delicatessens.

I read Toast, it made me weep. I have a six year old son, the Mother in me aches with compassion for the loss of his Mum, the drastic change to his life as a nine year old boy and his loneliness. Last night watching 'Life is Sweets', it was very touching to see his poignant memories played out by olfactory and taste triggers. I found it deeply reassuring to watch a program that focused on the emotional and psychological connections we make with food. Nigel's ability to show his vulnerability, is most refreshing. I think we need more of this on TV.

I gave up watching TV about 6 years ago, maybe I am cynical, but it is hard to watch when you have helped make TV programs for 15 years. Occasionally I watch the odd thing back on IPlayer or 4OD. I absolutely cannot watch any food programs without thinking of the script, design, make up & hair and of course the clothes. Masterchef is utterly un-watchable, as is I am afraid is Nigellissima, I love her writing, and her recipes, yes she is very beautiful, but the whole sexy/gluttonous rare steak fellating  thing is akin to walking in on your own Mother masturbating. I just cannot watch.

Nigella Lawson is an impressive franchise. Beautiful books, TV shows, kitchen stuff etc. But it's hard not to feel cynical about the tenuous link of building an entire TV show and (just ready for Chrimbo!) book on a teenage trip to Florence working as a chambermaid is rather stretching it. I gave one episode a go. I bailed out at 'Meatzer'...a dish that is a pizza, but rather that bread dough as a base, she has used minced meat. The sort of colon clogging dish that would not be out of place in a middle American school canteen. It is hard not to envisage the initial planning meeting for this show, I can hear researchers 'throwing around ideas'..I wonder who came up with 'Meatzer'....? Get back to Espresso Martini's! That really was a work of excellence. That said I admire and respect Nigella Lawson as a business woman, I am sure she is a lovely woman, a really fun Mother and friend. I just can't watch.

Because I don't have a telly, but do Tweet I observe lots of realtime reactions to TV programs. One tweet that drew my attention this week was by Trish Deseine. I follow Trish Deseine's blog and tweets. Trish has a rather glamerous balance of wisdom, honesty and cynicism that really appeals to me. She has an authenticity about her frankness towards food and the industry that I really admire. And, I hate to be so superficial, but she has a very beautiful face, no relevance at all, but always lovely to see when here tweets appear in my timeline. It was this tweet that made me watch 'Life is Sweets' on BBC.
Twitter is such an unforgiving platform for criticism, and this eventual gracious interaction really struck a chord. This week those who follow foodie stuff on Twitter will have noticed a very ugly and public bullying of a blogger by some of the UK's top chefs. Everyone is talking, tweeting, blogging about it, so I will not. It was not very nice.

I suppose it is exactly what Trish Deseine found uncomfortable about Nigel Slater's 'Life is Sweets' that drew me to it. It is very refreshing to watch a program that is not sexed up, it is about something real, something emotional, maybe not so easy on the eye or heart, but one can empathise and have an emotional response. It is the humanity that is so appealing. I momentarily loved Nigella when she spoke of her Mother, revealing an emotional and sad story of her late Mothers favourite naughty treat being disposed of after her death. It was real, I felt compassion and respect at the sheer humanity and the chink of vulnerability she allowed us to see. I am sure it is not easy to reveal personal moments when you are a TV personality, but it is helpful for all of us normal people to not be cosseted by endless sexed up, hermetically sealed aspirational gluttony.

It comes down to taste as usual. Of all of the meals I have set down in front of family, friends and strangers I have learnt that one cannot please everyone. I recently made a quince tart at my supper club, it was like membrillio/treacle tart in its texture and flavour, but sweeter with what I thought was just the right acidity. Of the 28 people that ate it, 3 people could not eat it. One person a chef, and a regular to our supper club said it was too sharp for him. Another, who ate the lot and was very drunk, told me it was ''utterly bland and tasteless'' (which was nice) and the third person didn't enjoy the texture. The other 25 people polished off the lot and had many very kind things to say, asking for the recipe and for seconds, which I happily gave. I wasn't offended, my ego was not bruised, I just accept that I can't make every diner happy.

I may be in a minority wanting to see 'real 'people make and discuss 'real' food. My love (yes I know he's gay, a married woman can still love a gay man!) of Nigel Slater is based and has always been based on that. He is honest. He is real. He is not showing off with cheffy and complicated techniques, making the nation all head out to buy ring moulds and water baths. He is showing us how to make food out of simple and honest ingredients, that feed our body, family, friends and dare I say it, minds. Recipes that comfort and will provide my own child with memories later on in life. My little boy gets very excited when we bake a French cheese in a box, something Nigel taught me to do way back in 1998. Thank you for that Nigel.x

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Halloween pumpkin soup fondue

I have been making this pumpkin soup recipe for nearly 10 years now. The basis of it came from a lovely friend called Katie. Katie and I were single girls together. We both worked in the film business. Katie had the good fortune of looking like Princess Diana, and sounding like her too. The resemblance was incredible. Her character however was most unlike the dearly departed Di. 

Katie was a curious wild witch. She had a black cat that could speak and everything. He had names not just in English, but also in Russian and he had his own leather jacket with his name on the back in studs.

We had many silly nights in her minute cottage in the deepest of Bukinghamshire. Drinking too much good wine and moaning about boys, and making each other laugh like wild dogs. Katie was one of those wonderful women who are very capable, more than most. She was witty, clever, immensely talented, compassionate and a fabulous cook. She really made me laugh.

One of the most memorable nights spent with Katie was Halloween. Katie had a very generous sense of occasion. She often cracked out her gun for extra fun, lining up plant pots with eggs on top whilst very drunkenly we would attempt to blow up eggs with the air rifle. I was an awful shot, appalling..Katie was excellent of course. Whenever we wondered what her next door neighbour must have thought I am sure it made us just that little bit naughtier. 
Katie loved fireworks....and explosions. I will never forget the untold abandon and squealing when she insisted on tying toilet roll to the base of a rocket and letting it off. It failed of course and came screeching towards us all screaming like banshees as we just managed to dive across the wet garden into the cottage in our boots. Wonderful madness. Katie liked a bit of danger. 

For some reason I don't see Katie anymore, our lives are different now and we are no longer wreckless, selfish singletons. No doubt like me she will be teaching her children not to play with fireworks and remembering wilder times. 

This soup is for a party, an 'in from the cold' kind of gathering. Increase or decrease the ingredients for the size of your pumpkin. This is for 10 people. The recipe is extremely calorific, so I suggest you all go out for a long walk/slash/ski/snowboard/open water swim/run before you eat it. 


1 litre single cream
300g Gruyere
300g Fontina
5 garlic cloves finely choppes
Freshly grated nutmeg
Slosh of Vermouth
Cup of chicken/veggie stock
2 cans sweetcorn
Flat leaf parsley chopped
Proscuitto, one per serving

Fresh crusty rye bread 
Raw vegatables to dip like carrots, cauliflower etc

Pop your pumpkin into a deep baking tray and cut out a nice lid, so it will fit back onto the pumpkin. 
Carve out the insides and then pour in the cream, sweetcorn, garlic, cheese roughly chopped into cubes, grated nutmeg, vermouth and stock.
It should be quite liquid like, but not too watery, add more cream or stock accordingly fill the pumpkin up to the lid and place the lid on and into the oven on 180 for about 1 hour 45, or until the pumpkin is cooked and almost collapsed. If you lift the lid and smell that the garlic is cooked, it is ready.

When you serve, take a metal spoon and gouge out the inside flesh of the pumpkin, so you get a balance of pumpkin flesh and fondue soup

Serve it with a slice of crispy proscuitto and a handful of chopped parsley. Dip toasted sourdough and raw hunks of vegetables in your pumpkin fondue soup.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Cookery Class Norfolk

I will be hosting a cookery class next month. We will be preparing a selection of some of my favourite supper club dishes. There will be vegan, veggie and fish and meat dishes. I love cooking wheat and dairy free so if you are either and want to learn some new dishes then this is for you. We will make 6 dishes and sit and eat them together.
From Supper club favourites such as...
Goi Cuon- Vietnamnese summer rolls and dipping sauces
Crispy tofu with lemongrass and chilli
Chargrilled and marinated aubergine
Roasted bream and gremolata
Crystalised rose petals
Mackerel Bhaji's
Individual pear tart tatin with star anise
Rose cream
Pistachio brittle
Bo La Lot-beef in betel leaf
Roast bone marrow
Red curry crispy sardines
Carrot and chinese leaf rolls with nuoc cham
Spiced grilled leg of lamb with garlic yogurt

Suggested donation £60 From 1pm until 6pm
Email unthanksupperclub@gmail.com to book

I will provide all of the ingredients, my techniques and suppliers. 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Child wielding knife and an octopus

I love this time of year. I think I have said that before..for another season. What I should say is I love the changing of the seasons. The misty mornings here in Norfolk are mysterious and fragrant. I can smell woodburners chuffing away in cottages nearby and the damp cooling earth. It inspires me to fill my cupboards full of staples like rice stick noodles and and bulgar wheat, to stock my spice cupboard, to fill my freezer with fresh squid, sardines, dabs and octopus. The best fishmongers is 30 miles away as is the nearest decent asian shop. I need to do a lot of stashing where my larder is concerned. 

Crispy red Thai spiced sardines

At this time of year with Autumn rolling in towards us and the speedy chill of winter drawing in I like to cook food to warm my body. I like to cook spicy food, topped with plenty of fresh green herbs and good carbs like brown and red rice and quinoa. Nutrition is always paramount as my son requires a high calorie, nutritionally rich diet. So we eat a lot of green fresh vegetable and herbs, lots of whole grains and plenty of fish. I bake bread every day, it is nice to know what is in the bread you eat.

I like ours to be organic spelt/rye/white blend with a variety of seeds and ground nuts which I grind in my coffee grinder. I am aware that I may sound very worthy at this point! I USE A BREADMAKER. I am not a masochist! I chuck it all in every night, no measurements, it's pretty decent and it's the only bread my six year old son knows. How else will he eat almonds, brazils, hemp, flax and sesame seeds every morning? He is a bread monkey, he eats bread until it comes out of his ears so it is a good feeling knowing it it actually good for him and not full of preservatives, stabilisers and crazy amounts of salt.

Cooking for both a chef and a slightly fussy six year old has it's pitfalls. It is like cooking for the culinary equivalent of Bi polar disorder. One of them is a prawn head sucking gourmand and the other will happily make noodle fangs and hiss and dribble at the table.
I have a few ace cards. One of them is involving my son in the preparation. He loves to chop and stir everything. I gave him his own knife aged 3 (it was blunt) but he learnt to cut banana really nicely. He can now cut all of our vegetables and fruit and has cut some meat too. He has never cut himself. I look to the inuit tribe for child rearing inspiration often.

I think more cooking happens at home during this season. Less time traveling for food and more stashing away of ingredients. It is an inspiring season. I show a lot of my love through food, feeding our bodies and also our minds at home. Sometimes it is drunken octopus, sometimes it is a fishfinger sandwich with ketchup.
My little chef, handy with an octopus

Crispy red Thai curry sardines recipe

6 sardines gutted with head on if you like
1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste 
Groundnut oil
2 limes
handful of freshly chopped mint

In a pestle and mortar mix the curry paste and 2 table spoons of groundnut oil together so it is a looser paste. With your hand on the back of your sardines push down and flatten the sardine so it breaks the flesh apart, you can remove the spine at this point, I like to leave it in.
In a big bowl rub the oily paste all over inside and outside the fish and leave for an hour or longer to marinade.
To cook
Heat a decent pan on hot with a slug of oil in it. Add the fish flesh side down to the hot pan and leave until brown and sticky then turn, this is about 4-5 mins in my copper pan. The turn over and do the other side. Make sure they are crispy and sticky looking when you flip them.
Serve with lime and mint scattered and squeezed.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Sweet, Tart, Hot, Cold, Crunchy, Soft. AKA The perfect September pudding.

This month I am cooking bang on season, food gathered if not from my own garden, then from gardens or hedgerows very close to home. My 'suppliers' are not often usual. There is a man in the village I live in who I like to call 'Danger Shorts'. If you remember Danger Mouse the cartoon, it has a brilliant intro song that I hum as I see him cycle past our cottage to his honesty shop. He is is prolific gardener and grows lots of fruit and vegetables every year and sells them in a little home made shack on wheels in the heart of the village. He charges 50 pence for a huge bag of runner beans which is bloody brill! He also on a hot day, wears rather dangerous shorts whilst riding his bike and on more than one occasion I have seen slightly more than is polite. (Insert plum jokes here)....

I forage for fruit at this time of year, there are trees and bushes all over the area full of fruit. Lots of it sinks back into the earth or is eaten by birds, so I feel an urgency to stock up and hoard as much as the season will let me. (No I don't make jam I really can't be arsed! way too 1950's for my liking) We also have a lovely egg lady who lives very close and I by and eat eggs that have been laid that same day. I often moan about living so rurally, I miss popping out for a coffee and the rich diversity of London life, but, it is this time of year my grump with the solitude wanes and I thoroughly enjoy my surroundings.
Ingredients for a September pudding

The blackberries are kicking off! There are some rampant bushes not far from home and I have had an urgent picking frenzy every day since the berries became black, fat and juicy. I have been mainly eating them raw for breakfast, my small boy and I have made crumbles and tarts and I served some at our supper club on Friday in which I made what I like to feel is my perfect pudding. I say 'my'...because I like a few things from a pudding. I like hot and cold, sweet and tart, soft and crunchy. All on one plate.
Blackberries from Norfolk
I find it hard to devise a pudding that is just one thing. I like to push my spoon around the plate and pick from a little selection of things. Similar I suppose to my liking of the South East Asian balance of flavours; hot, sweet, salty and sour. I like this principal in puddings. If I make a crumble it has to be both sweet and tart, crunchy and a bit salty, with a massive splodge of cold cream, ice cream or hot custard...if I am super honest ice cream AND hot custard. This is the reason I rarely eat puddings! 

With all of this in mind, and beautiful local ingredients, blackberries, eggs, lavender, roses and elderberries I made what for me is the perfect pudding. It's not neat or cheffy, it is quite pretty though. All elements were at their most perfect and beautiful when picked. The roses in youthful bloom, petals firm and plump and perfect. The lavender neat and tight and hugely fragrant (approach with caution when using lavender in puddings a little goes a long way, my first ever batch of lavender meringues was like an elderly ladies toilet bag). The elderberries where weighing their branches heavy with shiny black berries and the eggs were laid that morning and tart small apples from my tiny orchard of three apples trees.
Caramel apples with lavender meringue, whipped cream, elderberry syrup, blackberries and crystallised rose petals.
Sweet, tart, hot, cold, crunchy and soft.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Papaya Vert

On Saturday I had the immense pleasure of eating at another Supper Club in Norwich. In the three years we have been dabbling with our club we have met plenty of people who have threatened to start one and never have. Until now. It can be pretty lonely at times running  supper club. Hearing a good mate was setting one up has given me a lot to be excited about. Officially there are now two supper clubs in Norwich. Exciting news folks!
The lovely Papaya Vert and me
Jaki Clibbon is a beautiful Aussie chic from Melbourne.  Jaki is also an adoptee from Vietnam, so holds in her veins and DNA some culinary magic from that beautiful part of Asia. Jaki cooked some very authentic dishes from Vietnam including Banh Xeo, Goi Cuon, Pho and some rather addictive Imperial rolls...I ate way too many of those and could hardly move on the way home in the cab.
Jaki and her impressive line up of dipping sauces and Goi Cuon
Every dish was fantastic and more than scratched my unending itch for Vietnamese food up here in Norfolk. It was such a pleasure to eat at her table, not only for the great food but also the great service Jaki's husband and sister in law Johny and Lucy provided. It was heart warming to see the family supporting Papaya Vert, with some beautiful style. 
Lucy is the famous Norfolk artist Lucy Loveheart. The guests were lucky enough to be waited on by Lucy and have hand made personal place names..I admit I stole mine. It is so stunning. We were all made to feel very special indeed. One of the most important things about the night was that we were also there to raise money for the Allambie Orphanage. To find out more about more about Jaki and her culinary fundraising please find her here.
Supper Clubs are a great thing, far less formality than eating in a restaurant and great food if you choose your club well. It was a brilliant experience to be on the other side. I am pretty sure I drank far too much and no doubt stayed too long. I came away feeling we had had a very special and rare evening. Which is a very good sign.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

September, the month of abundance and loss.

September always brings with it my favourite flower, the dahlia. Dahlias have always brought sunshine and exotic abundance of outrageous colour at this time of year. I go crazy each year filling the house with these as often as I can, they will decorate every surface and they make me so very happy. They are like a beautiful natural alarm touting '' this is it!!!! this is the end of summer!!!! Look at me I am the finest!!!!.....''

Dahlias also make me sad.
They will forever remind me of a dear late friend and fellow foodie Richard Ludbrook. Richard was a beautiful man. A real life rock and roll star who I met in 2006 just before my son was born. I had moved to Norfolk from London and only knew a few people. Richard and his beautiful wife Joey were Aussies from Melbourne living here in deepest rural Norfolk. They brought worldly wise happiness into my life during a difficult time. Richard and Joey both have incredible taste, not just in food, but travel, fabrics and music. They both loved to cook for each other, and showed much love through food, shopping for it, reading about it talking about. Great stories of Vietnam, of Singapore, Bali, India..Richard had travelled a lot in the 60's and 70's ...he had incredible stories of women, opiuim dens, musicians and food. He was one of the founders of Circus Oz and had an immense spirit of adventure.

Richard and Joey became very close friends, my best friends. It may have been his Beef rendang that sealed it. He was an impressive cook. He always chose the recipes I would never attempt. He was a wheelwright, an incredible carpenter by trade. His meticulous approach was beautiful and thorough and creative. Richard's cooking was just the same. I spent many happy Christmases with them, all foreigners to this land in some way. All enjoying each others excitement at beautiful and simple pleasures. They became my sons God parents or 'G Parents' as I like to call them. (I am not religious). Zebedee and I felt their love through food and laughter for five years.

He was very good at filthy jokes

Two years ago on the 24th of September Richard died. I loved him dearly, just like a Father in truth. I still love him. The space he has left behind is still so huge, and in many ways just increases, he was a rock and brought much stability and calmness and love of great food. I can't make a Vietnamese dish without thinking of him. Every time I open my spice cupboard I smell the tightly packed and heady stink of belachan emanating towards me I think of him. Hilariously he bought it for Yusuf as a Christmas present. It was the perfect gift, we totally got it. It makes the house smell of rotting flesh, but it tastes amazing, we get it.

Richard was also an amazing dancer

When Richard died, I decorated his wake with hundreds of dahlias. After the wake was over..he was a very popular man, hundreds of friends from all over the world came to mourn and celebrate his life...Yusuf and I did not know what to do with so many flowers. I took them in my car and decorated the grave with them, dotted around like bursting polka dots. It was his favourite flower too.

With each season there is something new to adjust to, a sign of change just like when you notice your child has grown up a little, there is excitement, tinged with sadness of what has also been lost and will never return. My house is full of dahlias as I type, I will keep buying them from the lady down the road until they are no more. And I will take some to my friends grave, maybe with some summer rolls as a picnic.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Norfolk Food&Drink Festival

During September we will be celebrating all that Norfolk's fertile land has to offer. Amazing lamb from DJ Barnard the award winning grazier and butcher. Locally sourced oysters from Brancaster, apples from our orchard, veggies from the sweet old man down the lane..I kid you not!

The September Menu for London...

it varies  slightly for Norwich and The Sticks, see changes on our Facebook events page please.


Brancaster Oysters

Parsnip veloute

Roast bone marrow on Kate Sullivans' sourdough melba toast with parsley salad

5 Hour Norfolk lamb with fennel, garlic and vinegar
Broad bean spaghetti
Mint and blackberry jelly

Lavender meringues with poached Harling apple, elder berry syrup and a raspberry marshmallow


Parmesan crisp with baby broad beans with mint and lemon

Parsnip veloute

Braised endive and on Kate Sullivans sourdough bread

Aubergine and Norfolk dapple stack
mint and blackberry jelly
Broad bean spaghetti

Lavender meringues with poached Harling apple, elderberry syrup and a raspberry marshmallow

**The menu may change on the day according to the freshest produce.**

Fresh mint tea from my garden

Supper in the Sticks 21st September
Norwich Supper Club 14th September
The London Supper Club 29th September Fully booked

To make a booking please email unthanksupperclub@gmail.com

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Eating out is hard to do...no pun intended!

Eating out for Yusuf and I is very problematic.
We both love food and we can both cook. Recently at one of our gatherings a member named Dave who works at a food institute did a litmus test on all of the guests. There is nothing quite like a parlour game with a scientific end is there? At the end of this test we both discovered that we were supertasters. Which made a lot of sense, as we both have a very heightened sense of taste, and for me a super sensitive nose too. My sense of smell can be so acute sometimes it is quite hard work living in a rural agricultural farming area certain times of year can make me literally gag! SO..bearing all of this in mind we are not easily pleased when it comes to eating out. We are not snobs, we like all kinds of food if it is well prepared and cooked..and fresh.

When we do find a good meal it is a wondrous thing.
We certainly found one at Burnt Enz in what was the Climpson's roastery in Hackney recently. They had built two custom built brick ovens outside with a BBQ grill. Dave the chef and team were serving some excellent food, quality ingredients served very simply.

We ordered the roast suckling pig and a grilled lobster with aiolli and salad, it was so good. Yusuf only had one evening off so we made a 200 mile round trip to eat at Burnt Enz and it was more than worth it.
 I have eaten a lot of pig, all kinds of nose to tail pig, rare breed pig, not so rare breed pig, slow cooked pig, New York bacon, piggy confit, piggy feet, piggy nose and ears, piggy head, liver, heart you name it I have eaten it.

Piglet did not dissapoint.
The flesh was soft and almost buttery, and the cracking was light and crispy and delicious. Yusuf ordered the lobster next, he took advantage of my striking up conversation with a restauranteur also sat at our table and nearly polished off the whole thing while I was chatting. The lobster was dispatched just before it was cooked so it was VERY fresh, and very sweet and beautifully cooked.

The restauranteur sat with us explained Nuno Mendes was sat in our seats just before we sat down, this was a pretty positive sign the food was going to be good. Yusuf and I have not eaten at Viajante, but we had a cocktail recently in the bar of The Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green and it was out of this world good.
The demolished suckling pig
Burnt Enz were serving some great real micro brewery beers and cocktails, unfortunately I was driving so I missed out on the rather yummy looking espresso martini's. Shame! What I loved about his place, and about what is happening all over Hackney is that incongruous places, industrial units, railway arches, old car showrooms are turned into semi make shift venues, bars, cafes and restaurants. All usual formality is suspended and there is a laid back scruffy make shift style. No million pound makeovers, no chandeliers. Just awesome food and drinks.

While we were at Burnt Enz we bumped into the lovely Leluu a fellow supper club runner, amidst many other talents. Leluu cooked for my hen party, the most delicious ten course Vietnamese feast which will always be a truly unforgettable memory.

Leluu and I have a few things in common. We both set up supper clubs in 2009 with our partners, we both have a fashion/clothing design background, we both cook and take pictures and we are both Hackney girls so it was lovely to finally meet her properly and experience what she does, so very well.   I thank my wonderful hens for reading my mind on that one. Amazing bunch of girls I have in my life.

The hens, or as I named the The New Bridal Army gave me a surprise whirlwind tour of London on a black gothic routemaster bus full of margaritas, drag queens, disco, gay strippers and  actual magic (a card trick that burst into flames inches from my face!..no idea?!). One of the surprise stops was Leluu's place in Hackney, my old stomping ground. She has a lovely home and is a fantastic cook and host, her Bo La Lot (beef in betel leaf) nearly made my sister cry with joy when she ate it. I kid you not.
Leluu very sweetly said she would come to my first London supper club in Hackney on the 29th September, how exciting! It will be a pleasure to cook for her after such a joyous meal at her place. I do so hope I don't get stage fright and burn everything..

Spaces for my London supper club are very limited and are already almost full. Email me to make a booking.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Enjoying what you do

Recently I cooked at home for a table full of wonderful people.
The Menu went...
The Carnivores Menu
1.Mushroom barley miso with sea lettuce and fish balls
2.Summer rolls
3.Lemongrass seafood lollipops
4.Pomelo salad

5.Salmon in banana leaf
6.Rice vermicelli with coriander and spring onion
7.Trai cay with Mochi

The Veggie Menu
1.Mushroom barley miso with sea lettuce
2.Summer rolls
3.Mooli wontons
4.Pomelo salad
5.Tofu in banana leaf
6.Rice vermicelli with coriander and spring onion

7.Trai Cay with Mochi

I don't mind admitting that I am way behind on Twitter and have only just really started using it to A. be of any interest and B. be useful. This tiny supper in the sticks owed half of it's guest to Twitter. Thank you Twitter! Courtesy of a wonderful woman named Kirsty at TiddlyPomDesign I had four rather fabulous guests at my table. It has not been easy living in the sticks after years of London and travel...it can be mono culture-ish..it stifles me somewhat. The lack of diversity I find really hard sometimes. What was truly wonderful was that through a tweet I met four wonderfully creative and hilarious people some of whom live in my own stomping ground of Hackney. We sat in my garden smoking fags and drinking wine until the early hours. It was lovely. We ate..

Salmon in banana leaf with tamari, ginger, garlic, chilli and kaffir lime

Vegan wonton, a project I have been working to perfect. It want very well.

Pearl mushroom barley miso with fish ball

What was more lovely was Kirsty sent me this illustration..penned by her own fair hand of me doing what I do. Glass in hand...
I must confess, I had a tear in my eye when I opened this. And she very sweetly made me look quite a lot thinner! Thanks for that.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Next events are..

Supper in the Sticks August 17th limited spaces in South Norfolk Fully Booked

Gourmet grills and BBQ 24th August Central Norwich 2 spaces left

The London Supper Club 29th September
5 courses of amazing Norfolk produce, oysters from Brancaster, and my five hour lamb with fennel, garlic and vinegar.
We will be celebrating all that Norfolk and this opulent season has to offer.

Email unthanksupperclub@gmail.com to book

When booking please email food advice like allergies, veggie etc and leave a contact number. Booking will not be accepted without a contact number.

Cooking alone and Supper in the Sticks

At the tender age of 40 I had an epiphany last night whilst cooking a 7 course meal for my Supper in the Sticks event. 


I thoroughly enjoy cooking alone, it makes me very happy. As I am now married to a chef this poses some problems...we are both very strong characters. He is calm and deeply grounded, I am calm with bouts of hot headed passion (the fun kind and the not so fun kind...I am a fire sign, big temper! and really silly) 
Recently my husband and I had a disagreement over a risotto, there were 3 pans of risotto on and we were deep frying two other pans. My lovely husband gestured crossly at me with a slotted spoon which...and here is the flash point, had just come out of the deep frying pan, flicking hot oil down the centre of my body. I did what any woman should do at this point and kicked his arse really hard in flip flops (yes I know I should be wearing more sensible shoes in the kitchen) and called him ''what have you F**ing T*at''...in front of two friends at the kitchen sink.

It was embarrasing. I wasn't proud of myself. But worse than that, none of it was enjoyable. We both said sorry,  but it was not a great moment.

I will now be cooking alone, in my home once or twice a month. Last night saw the launch of my first 'Supper in the Sticks'. I cooked a 7 course Vietnamese meal in my home and it was a great success. It is a treat to meet some rather dynamic and very beautiful (such an attractive table last night!) women. South Norfolk clearly has a hidden bevy of beauties.

The Menu was...
Goi Cuon
Summer rolls
Kohlrabi salad with perilla and peanuts and hot and sour dressingBap Cai Don
Carrot and cabbage rolls
Tomato and eggflower soup
Dau Phu Chien Xa Ot
Deep fried bean curd with lemon grass
Ca Nuong
Grilled Aubergine with soy
Goi Cuon

Summer rolls with pork and prawn
Kohlrabi salad with perilla and peanuts and hot and sour dressing
Bo La Lot
Beef wrapped in betel leaf with dipping sauce
Bo Nuong Xa
Chargrilled lemongrass beef
Tomato and eggflower soup
Salt and chili prawn
Trai cay

Fresh fruit with cinnamon and lime dressing
Fresh mint tea from my garden

We are still running our collaborative night in Norwich every month as per usual, and I will be wearing much more sensible shoes next time. 

LONDON is also calling! I am establishing a London Supper Club too....watch this space.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

August 24th Gourmet Grills and Que

The Menu

Stuffed baby squid with prawn and lime leaf

Vietnamese noodle salad

BBQ Pork belly Ssam with lettuce and pineapple salsa

Char-grilled and marinated aubergine with chili, ginger, garlic and soy

Slow cooked lamb with cumin, shaoxing rice wine, black vinegar and cumin

Bay tree beef kebabs 

Falafel and carrot and caraway salad

Salt and pepper tofu

Home made lemon rolls

Garlic yogurt

Pots of fresh mint tea and coffee and jugs of fresh water


Please state if you are veggie or meaty

Suggested donation £25 cash

Monday, 14 May 2012

June 1st South East Asian fusion

The Menu

 Deep fried jumput-spiced deep fried dumplings with dried shrimp and spring onion and a dipping sauce



Pork 2 ways. Spiced and caramelised marinaded pork belly and spiced pork mince with lime leaf and lemongrass lettuce wrap, with Asian basil and perilla

Ca Nuong La Chuoi-Grilled fish in banana leaves with Malaysian cold pressed rice and hot satay sauce with wok tossed asparagus

Banh Chuoi-Baked banana cake with coconut Chantilly cream and lychee delight



Goi Cuon- Fresh rice paper rolls filled with bean shoots, mint, basil, carrot and noodles with marinated silken tofu lettuce wrap

Grilled spiced tofu in banana leaf with Malaysian cold pressed rice an hot satay sauce with wok tossed asparagus in garlic

Banh Chuoi-Baked banana cake with coconut Chantilly cream and lychee delight

Jasmine Tea and fresh pots of coffee
Jugs of water
Email to book at unthanksupperclub@gmail.com

Thursday, 19 April 2012

April 27th Celebrating asparagus!

Steamed local (2 miles from my house local!) asparagus with a poached egg and tomato concasse and white onion puree V


Asparagus, tarragon and pecorino tart, char grilled asparagus, wilted cos lettuce and crispy polenta

Slow roast pork belly, char grilled asparagus, wilted cos lettuce and crispy polenta


Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, carrot jelly, raisin puree and Cinnamon ice cream

Fresh pots of coffee and jasmine tea

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The February Supper Club 24th

Bookings now being taken for our Vietnamese celebration. Just on the tail end of The New Year too...year of the Dragon!

Summer roll (V) with Hoi sin dipping sauce
Tamarind Beef and cucumber salad /Veggie is without beef

Din Daeng Fish Cakes with rice vermicelli noodles, perilla, mint, Vietnamese mint and dipping sauce

Cassava cake with coconut ice cream, caramel peanuts and pineapple and passion fruit salsa

Jasmine tea

 Bookings at unthanksupperclub@gmail.com