Other exciting news for Kentish foodies, the newly launched Faversham Food Festival, a wonderful idea brought to life by a small and passionate group who are aiming to deliver the first fully fledged Festival in 2016 and will work towards that goal with series of events between now and then.
After a very successful summer event in the beautiful village of Ickham, the supperclub is returning with an autumnal feel. The dinner takes place in the beautiful village hall on School Lane.
Mackerel tartare with horseradish cream and dark rye
Game Pithiviers with Port and elderberry sauce
Slow roast pork belly with quince and seasonal greens
Sticky toffee pudding and creme fraiche
I live down a long lane with strawberry fields on either side and at this time of year and especially with such incredibly warm weather the air is filled with the scent of ripe berries. I plan the menus for my suppers about two or three weeks in advance of each event so I can be as sure as possible that I will be able to get wonderful local produce at the peak of its season. This weekend the pudding features gooseberries, which whilst less fragrant in the field have a wonderful and unique flavour when they have been gently stewed with a little sugar. But the strawberries are calling out to be used too. Lucky then that the next supperclub is only three weeks away and I will certainly be looking to use them.
So if you missed out on tickets for this weekend and fancy a meal that so far is built on the idea of strawberries, them make sure you keep Saturday 10th August free and keep an eye out for more details here.
I had an amazing time at the finalists’ day at Waitrose Cookery School.
Huge thanks to the team especially to Elizabeth Carter, William Sitwell, James Campbell and Rochelle Venables. It was a wonderful mix of treats and tests, such as these tomato lollipops
and with a glass of wine at 11.30 in the morning, followed by lunch and a chance to construct our own pudding, all very relaxing.
I met some great people, tasted extraordinary flavour concoctions and learned some new techniques which will certainly feature at the next supperclub.
And the result….?
Well it was all very ‘Masterchef’ as they made the ten of us line up and then called three names out to step forward. Mine was one of them which was an extraordinary feeling, but I was pipped to the post by Laura Lebeau aka @FSWlove for Twitter fans.
We all left with a great bag full of books and a very warm feeling….or was that just the wine?
Next supperclub will be on Saturday 9th March at Macknade in Faversham and there are plans afoot to head east to Margate too and west to Ickham so watch this space and if you haven’t signed up to receive email notifications then make sure you do here.
The supplies are in, all bar the fish which will be coming straight off the boat in the morning. The rhubarb has been picked from the garden and gently poached with vanilla sugar. The bread has been baked; what a great day for sourdough, these high temperatures have helped it rise beautifully. I even managed to fit in the first ‘sea’ swim of the year with a wonderful half hour in the creek at the bottom of the garden.
So it all happens tomorrow, and how exciting it will be!
There are bound to be numerous tweets from my stalwart @mikeywil and I will post pics and links after the event.
A question I have been asked numerous times over the last few days, supper clubs are also described as underground restaurants, pop-ups. There are many different types and styles of supper cub and there’s a great site run by Kerstin Rodgers aka Ms Marmite Lover which will do a more thorough job than me of explaining. But at its simplest it is an informal, usually fairly regular and small-scale series of dinners, often held in the host’s home or other unusual location.There is a fixed menu and as they are mostly unlicensed you are free to BYOB.
I often describe myself as someone who is almost entirely motivated by food. Good food, food whose provenance I know and can celebrate, which has been prepared with care and is presented with passion and love. I am lucky to live somewhere with a huge array of places to shop, eat and drink; close to the sea and surrounded by productive fields and orchards and with Britain’s oldest brewery at its heart. Over the past few years I’ve spent time getting to know the farmers, butchers, fishermen and bakers who sell high quality, carefully produced food in and around Faversham, often straight from the farm gate and then I’ve used their produce to create great tasting food.
With loads of encouragement from family and friends, including the very lovely A Kentish Kitchen I can now reveal that I have been working on exciting plans for a new supper club in Faversham to celebrate the wonderful local producers. Details will emerge here. Keep watching.