Love seasonal food even more when someone else cooks it for you? Jess Astbury of the supper club platform and our partner Grub Club explains the importance of British seasonal food to their hosts, and how you can dine on the best dishes from around the world and discover something new along the way.
Supper clubs and seasonal produce go together like bread and butter.
Here at Grub Club, we list a huge variety of supper clubs all over London with completely different cuisines and themes. Menus could be based around childrens’ books, undiscovered cuisines or age old family recipes. However, the vast majority of chefs all have a strong passion for local, seasonable produce.
That Hungry Chef, Pratap Chahal, who hosts regular Michelin-quality dinners in his Islington home explains his love of local produce – “Having trained in some of the best restaurants in London, I know the importance of great produce, but also the importance of supporting local farmers. When you get local farmers with great produce, season after season, you’re on to a winner!”
Supper clubs are all about community – attend as a guest and you’ll get the chance to mingle with other guests and get closer to the chefs and producers that get your food from ground to plate. Unlike more faceless restaurants, supper clubs tell the story of the person and recipes behind the meal. It’s only fitting that with such a strong emphasis on personal connections and stories, that the story of the produce is known as well.
As top supper club host and food blogger, Rosie Llewellyn (aka. A Little Lusciousness), puts it, “It’s so important to use seasonal produce. We grow and gather such incredible produce in this country, and using it creates diverse menu ideas throughout the year. It also eliminates unnecessary food air miles, so reduces the menu’s carbon foot print.”
As well as fitting in with the ethos of supper clubs, seasonal produce provides inspiration for continually changing menus. Supper clubs are generally based around a set menu which changes regularly. By shopping seasonally, every few months brings exciting new produce to incorporate into the menu and build a story around. With menus changing so frequently, both Pratap and Rosie have loyal guests that come back to their events for a new adventure every time.
However, whether you’re heading to a farmers’ market to buy your veg or taking an early morning trip to Billingsgate to purchase your fish, visiting individual bakeries, farms, smokeries and dairies to get your produce can be time consuming. For the vast majority of hosts, supper clubs are a part-time project on the side or an after work hobby so they can be hard pressed to spend time shopping around.
To make this pre-supper club prep a little slicker, our top two chefs tried out Farmdrop to see how it all works. Rosie, who fits her supper clubs and blogging around a full time job says that: “Farmdrop make buying seasonal so easy as they collect the finest produce from around the country and deliver it straight to your front door on the day and time that you choose”.
Pratap, whose previous restaurant experience includes working at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, Chez Bruce and Cinnamon Club is also a big fan saying: “Farmdrop have supported us in the past for our Nepal fundraiser dinner which was a huge success and I’m very happy that they’re supporting us again with some fabulous produce for our next dinner”.
With our supper club chefs prizing high quality and local community, supper clubs and seasonal produce have proven a winning combination that we hope more and more of our chefs will continue to adopt!
Grub Club is a platform for supper clubs and pop-ups in London. Chefs are connected to underused spaces to unlock hundreds of nights of unique dining experiences for adventurous foodies.