On Valentine’s night Sidonio and Karen launched a brilliant project here in Whitstable, a community Supper Club. The agenda is simple, to bring people together through food. Someone puts themselves forward to cook whatever they fancy in the Umbrella Centre, everyone sits down around long tables with other people they don’t know, and they eat and talk and make new friends. Not very British, I hear you say...well no, but so much fun.
Perhaps you’re fed up with your own company, and from waiting for the pizza man whose always late from dogging a million potholes before he gets to you with his wares, perhaps you’re broke and can’t afford Gourmet meals out with your loved one - ‘get your sorry self down to the Supper Club.’ Here’s the deal, people, it only costs £10 a head and half for kids, so you’ve really got nothing to lose.
You eat and talk and munch your way through brilliantly created nosh and go home thinking ‘that was different, and it was actually, a damn good evening’.
If you’re worried about the ambiance, don’t. This is not a bringing together of the knitted cardigan brigade, sipping tea through dentures and discussing the price of gas ( I have no idea what a Community Centre does in the day but the thought did cross my mind). This is an evening of candlelight, an eclectic group of young and old, of people who love food and a vibrant community, eating, perhaps drinking a bit too much, playing music and laughing. And with the twinkling tea-lights, I could go far enough to say, it could be romantic.
It’s not the first of its kind; Sidonio started a supper club at the other end of the world sourcing seafood from Mozambique and preparing creative, artful meals in Johannesburg. The club grew and grew to several hundred members. I can’t see it getting that big here, but you never know. We started with a group of 27 and maybe we’ll spread out through the garden into the car park and perhaps the beach!
Anyway, before I bore you with my ramblings, I probably ought to share a bit of what we ate just in case you too are inspired to try it: there was starters of cod croquettes; a delightful mixture of cod, mashed potato, fresh coriander and spices bedded on rocket; and the main course, an aromatic stew of shrimps, coconut, peanuts and spring onions served with maize and rice. Eating through it stirred up memories of long lost summers back in Africa, humid lazy days by the beach, and then I remembered, I’m here in Whitstable, and it’s just a bit cold outside.
The Supper Club will run on every Thursday night. It’s a great opportunity to bring friends and family together and show off your culinary skills. So before you try your hand at Master Chef, join us at the Umbrella Centre.