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Monday 28 June 2010

Like A House On Fire

They say that what goes up, must come down. There is a black and there is white, Ying and Yang and all that. There is no one that believes this more than me. After a turbulent ride from the age of 29 – 32, I believe my bad luck years are over. (My Japanese friend, Nobuko, says that her natives believe this is the age women endure most bad luck in a lifetime – I hope that this is right!)

At 33, with Simon we are having the greatest time of our lives, with windows and doors appearing in every direction – all we have to do is open them, with our own hands and look forward to many great things.
Yet again, we had the most amazing supper clubs last weekend and we are astounded that we can still feel so happy about doing them after 9 months of solid work! And a lot of fun too!

-Pea Soup With Ham
-Figs w/ Goats Cheese & Prosciutto
-Tortilla & Tomate Picante w/ Courgette, Cucumber & Feta Salsa
-Deep Fried Lotus With Carrot & Chicken Salad & Prawn Crackers
-Banh Cuon With Cured Ham & Pork Belly
-Tuna Sashimi & Chips
-Beef Pho
-Coconut Sorbet W/ Cointreau
 (Figs w/ Goats Cheese & Prosciutto)

Via Adrian Bevan at Visit Britain (who looks after journalists from all over the world when it comes to food in the UK), Luiz Hara -The London Foodie bought over Annabelle White, New Zealand’s answer to Delia Smith. Annabelle is Author of 10 cookbooks, has a popular TV and radio cook show. It was slightly terrifying.

I spoke to her at some length at the beginning and at the end of the night, she was so lovely. She came in pretty happy but when she left, she was really really happy. She enjoyed herself so much and she kept asking me how I made the Pho – of which I have directed her to here and here. Must repost this with updates.
 (Banh Cuon With Cured Ham & Pork Belly)

Annabelle told me what gives her so much satisfaction is writing recipes so that other people can try to make your recipe at home themselves. She says how thrilled she gets when people stop her on the street to tell her how they made one of her recipes and how it made them so happy to feed their families and loved ones, a great dish.

I told Annabelle that I need more experience with writing recipes (I hardly follow them myself) because its very precise and I have not really had time to test a recipe with measurements before. Simon is better at recipes. I cook instinctively.

She said a great thing, that food needs to be shared. It doesn’t matter if someone can not make it taste as well as you can, but it’s the act of other people cooking what you have shared with them is the most important thing. Food is for sharing.

We totally agree. I will be doing my next pot of Pho with scientific precision so that Annabelle can share it with Kiwis!! Yay!
Not only was Thursday night’s guests were spectacular and Luiz stayed chatting with us, he said, we keep ‘outdoing ourselves’ as we were polishing off all the left over wine on tables.  (Someone opened a bottle and didn’t even touch it – thanks guys!!!)

On Friday, we were expecting Tim Hayward! OMG – he is the Editor of our favourite publication: Fire & Knives and he wanted to record a show for BBC Radio 4 for The Food Programme about Supper Clubs. He should have already been to the fantastic Civet Cat Supper Club in Newington Green and the famous - The Underground Restaurant in Kilburn for the show and we were the last stop. Now that is terrifying!!
Tim & Dan Saladino (the producer) mingled with 24 other guests. The garden swapped with strangers meeting strangers and becoming friends. It was extraordinary to see how people simply chat willingly to other people in a small place because it is allowed and accepted in this space, this supper club.

How often are we packed full to the brim like cattle and sheep on the tube and we only look at the smallest available space to avoid even the blink of eye contact.
To us, this idea of bringing people together is just as important as making the best tasting food we can to our ability. It is such a high to see people get on like a house on fire!

Tim, one of my favourite writers, is as lovely, charming, charismatic as I imagined him to be and he was interviewing us. What the-...

Tim and Dan asked us very sophisticated questions. I like those as we always get asked the same questions. One interesting one, was about supper clubs and what they mean to us – is it a performance art?

To us, creating and continuing to have strangers come into our home to be fed is a lot like a two way affair. We feed our guests, but they also feed us in more ways than food, in which a lot of our guests form many colours on a blank canvas we once started with 9 months ago.

The Food Programme on Supper Clubs will be on Radio 4 on Sunday 4th July 2010 from 12:30 pm. 

Listen to Podcast here 
In picture above: Most people have gone home, but sometimes, a few brilliant people stay behind and talk to us. Its fantastic- the best part of the day! We are tipsy and we are having very funny conversations. We are all either ourselves or we are someone else, it doesn't matter because we can be as we are, as we want, and we all become friends.


  1. It feels like ages since I first visited you, it's certainly hard to believe it was less than a year ago - it's just brilliant to see how well you've done in such a short space of time...Huge congrats- You go guys! XX

  2. Looks and sounds fantastic. I would love to make it one day.

  3. @gastrogeek
    Thank you so much! Can't believe its been 9 months! we only set out to have abit of fun - not this much fun : ) xxx

    We really hope to meet you one day. Make a special trip xxx

  4. Sadly my summer dates are not working out this year. Hopefully when I visit UK next summer (2011!) you'll have a space for me at your lovely table. Good luck - it sounds like you deserve it.

  5. What a wonderful night we had on Friday! Still amazed at what brilliant hosts you both are, and the food was just incredible. Good to see the full menu in black & white too! Will post something this week.

    Oh and btw I'm 33 this year too - hope your Japanese friend is right!


  6. I love the fact that you love doing these so much! It really shines through in your events - can't wait to return for an F and L supper for the third time.


  7. @Sally - Really love your blog - hopefully in 2011 when you come - we will have newer adventures and supper clubbing strong. x

    It is wonderful guests like you and Pip that make these evenings so special. It was lovely to meet you. We're all going to have so much fun together - us girls! : ) xxx

    And you yourselves are great hosts and cook wonderful food. We can't wait to come to your supper club! We have to do everything with love or we should do something that we love. xxx

  8. Thanks for the mention Uyen, I think you and Simon have created something very special and I am so pleased for both of you! Our food on Thursday was the best I have had at F&L, and both Adrian and Annabelle were hugely impressed.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  9. @Sally - Again
    It is so wonderful that you read our blog all the way over in UEA! Wow! Thank you so much!

    Thank you so much for all your compliments. Really happy that you still find the food good. People like you create such a great atmosphere - you are what makes the supper club special by coming to dinner : )


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