Been a while….

Just a quick note to say that I am sorry there has been so little emwilco supperclub activity over the last 12 months! It’s not the end though and I am exploring some ideas for new venues and dates and will post more info soon.

May Day! well just past it…

What an awfully long hiatus, apologies for my absence. When I am not cooking, eating, preparing, thinking about, reading about, writing about and sharing my passion for food, I have an alter-ego who goes to work as an arts consultant and producer. I have managed for most of the four years since the emwilco supperclub emerged, to keep the arts and food in perfect balance. However for the past 6 months I have been lucky enough to work on lots of fabulous arts and cultural projects (possibly too many) and the foodie emwilco had to give way.

But May is here! The abundance of the new season’s food and sunshine are calling and we’re all shrugging off our winter despond. So I am really delighted to say that the next supperclub is in the diary, marked in indelible ink and with high walls to protect it from artistic incursions… So please put July 2nd in your diaries and keep your eyes peeled for menu and booking details nearer the time. As ever, the wonderful Macknade are the hosts – thank you to Stefano and the whole team for your ongoing support and encouragement.

Postscript…..actually, in the intervening month, I have cheekily allowed the art emwilco and food emwilco to collide and will be leading a food themed walk around Whitstable as part of the Whitstable Biennale.

Autumn

Horizontal rain, dahlias, jam making, blustery wind, berries and birds, a glut of tomatoes and the sound of shotguns over the woods. It must be autumn and much as I love the seasons and the variety it brings to menus, I am not a cold weather person.

So as autumn heralds winter I need something to look forward to. And so perhaps do you? Hopefully we can cheer each other up with the thought of the next supperclub at Macknade. The date is fixed and the menu will emerge over the next few weeks. For now pop 21st November in your diaries and I will keep you updated with what treats might be in store. As ever, do tell your friends and fellow food lovers and ask them to sign up to my email alerts so they too can book before it goes out to everyone.

In the meantime you can get some foodie fixes with the upcoming Faversham Food Festival from the 18th-20th September across the town. And following that it’s the Canterbury Food and Drink Festival from 25th-27th September in the Dane John Gardens. Neatly sandwiched in between, it is Meet the Suppliers week at Macknade – lots to taste and a great chance to meet and chat with the people who make all the yummy things we love to eat. So you can eat, drink and celebrate all that’s good from Faversham and the surrounding area for nearly ten days in a row! That sounds like a mood improver to me.

Raspberry Jam from the garden

Menu for 27th June – almost

One of the best bits of the supperclub for me is thinking about what to cook. Seeing what’s at its best in the markets, at the fishmonger, and seeing what the weather has in store. I love spending time trawling though books and magazines for inspiration too.

The weather this year is not helping at all, freezing northerly winds one day and baking hot southerly weather and thunderstorms the next. I am however an eternal optimist and so the menu I am pulling together will be summery, suited to hot days and warm (ish) evenings.

So far my thoughts include a Thai inspired beef salad, with lots of fresh herbs, lime and chilli. There’s an abundance of sorrel in my vegetable patch that’s calling out for a lovely piece of local fish – probably sea trout this time and hopefully some samphire from the marsh. The main course might well be based on the French classic of chicken and tarragon, or maybe some rabbit? Not quite fixed on that, but either way they’ll be accompanied by fresh peas and podded broad beans.

Lastly it would seem rude not to include strawberries, sat as I am in amongst acres of strawberry farms and having tasted an utterly delicious variety called ‘Driscolls Elizabeth’ at Open Farm Sunday last weekend at Langdon Manor Farm…..just need to find who stocks them. So I think a berry fool with a wonderful nutty cardamom and pistachio cake I made recently.

The menu will be fixed this weekend and then booking will open soon after.

Getting ready

The brilliant Hope Fitzgerald came and took these lovely pictures of my preparations for the last supperclub, which also involved harvesting nasturtium seeds from the bottom of the garden to make piccalilli with a little local twist. The stock I was making with some truly mighty beef bones and game bird carcasses was to create the sauce for roast partridge  – recipe here. And the ham hocks were for a terrine, recipe by Russell Norman of Polpo

All images are ©Hope Fitzgerald

Menu finalised for 8th November

I’ve been watching the weather and waiting to see if this wonderful and prolonged Indian summer would come to an end and if so would we want to eat rich, hearty stews and pies. But it seems we are in for more of the same for a while and so the menu reflects that cusp of the seasons. Light terrine of ham hock, chowder with seared scallops and then roast partridge so plentiful in the butchers that they’re hard to ignore. To finish, the comfort of rice pudding, a winter staple to keep the chill at bay, but with the exotic twist of cardamom and pistachios.

Date change

The June supper will now be on the 28th, not the 21st. April’s event remains on the 26th, the menu will be finalised in the next couple of weeks and booking will open on April 13th