In March, I attempted a plant-based supper club in collaboration with my good friend Buffy from Be Good Organics. It was a (deliciously) fun eve! Below is a lowdown on the event.
While living in London in 2018, supper clubs were a dime a dozen. Prior, I hadn’t been properly introduced to the concept, and fell in love immediately!
Supper clubs are essentially an informal (or formal, if your vibe) pop-up restaurant, kinda mixed with a social club. They’re an opportunity to mix with like-minded people, and give chef’s and home-cooks alike a chance to play in the kitchen. They’re often themed, sometimes even held in peoples homes. Kinda fun and groovy right?
Once back home, I suggested the idea of a collaboration to my good mate and Nutritionist buddy Buffy from Be Good Organics, and she was all in! Phew, because cooking for that many mouths would be Christmas dinner on steroids.
We thought we’d centre our supper club on celebrating plant-based foods.
Their importance is drilled in during nutrition studies, as well as both directly and indirectly when working with clients in the industry. Clients in nutrition practise might be struggling to hit the recommended amount (5+ or more a day!), and I’ll often spend time in consults chatting about ways to bump up their intake or suggesting small tweaks to their current diet – simple changes can be transformative.
If you follow my blog you’ll know I consume an omnivorous diet. However, I agree full-heartedly in the importance of eating more plants, no matter your dietary preference – for the dietary fibre, for the vitamins and minerals, for the antioxidants, for the environment…and because they taste amazing too!
We wanted a natural, chic vibe; so went for an earthy palette, linen everywhere (table clothes, napkins…) and stoneware plates and mugs with slightly irregular shapes – nothing too polished. My grandmother came to the table (metaphorically) with olive branches cuttings and mason jars stuffed with fresh lavender from her garden just to spruce it all up.
Beyond just being plant-focused, we decided on doing a theme within a theme – plant-based Mexican! #themeinception.
We were lucky to have the epic crew at Countdown on board to support the event, and shopped the menu exclusively there.
Given we were preparing a four-course menu from scratch, the trolley was quickly loaded with a mix of ingredients; mainly fresh colourful produce, tinned items (e.g. pureed tomatoes) and dry goods (e.g. almonds, brown rice) from their Countdown and Macro range.
For our guests goodie bags we decided to use their nifty reusable shopping bags – why not give the bags a second life!
We individually plated mushroom mince taco’s topped with vegan sour cream, chopped tomatoes and plenty of coriander (surely the most polarising herb EVER – but fortunately, no complaints). You can find the recipe here.
For the main event, we did build-your-own loaded plant-based nachos complete with vegan chilli, a zingy tomato salsa, pineapple guacamole, vegan sour cream and dairy-free cheese, and, of course, a few bottles of hot sauce to varying degrees of spiciness…¡Arriba, arriba! You can find a link to the vegan chili here.
For dessert we plated a slice of zingy key lime tart topped with fresh berries and a dollop of coconut yoghurt. Fun fact: for several decades Mexico has been the world’s largest producer and exporter of limes! You can find the recipe here.
To finish up the feasting, we served two variations of flavoured dark chocolate buttons – a lime and chilli, and cinnamon and cacao nib.
On tap was chilled still water, orange and rosemary infused sparkling water, a selection of wine (I learnt though this gig that you have to check wine is indeed vegan, as it can be processed with animal products), and a chamomile and lavender herbal tea.
This was our first event of this kind, so it’s always a little nervy to see how it’s received. But fortunately, the support was incredible.
A big thank you to our partners – Countdown for supplying us with food and bevy’s (for readers beyond NZ, they’re one of our biggest supermarkets over here), as well as treats for our goodie bags. To Coconut Bowls who kindly supplied all of our guests with a matching coconut bowl & spoon to take home. Also to Auckland-based interior designer Shona Shanks for invaluable styling advice.
Finally, a big thank you to all of our willing guests who trusted us with their evening and came along. We sold out in the lead-up, which was exciting to see people interested in the concept – a promising nudge to run another one! x