Wednesday 19 June 2013

Four Fine Foodies Supper Club

When I was invited by Hilary O Hagan from Blas Catering to the first Fine Four Foodies Supper Club, I couldn't say no. Spending the evening at a street food inspired supper, chatting to strangers sounded like my kind of evening. We didn't know what we'd be eating prior to the meal but were advised to bring 'refreshing beers or a crisp white', we were really excited as you can imagine.
The weather was perfect that day: warm and sunny. When we arrived at Good Mood Food we were nicely greeted with a glass of prosecco. Pure bliss!
We sat next to strangers, of course Mr. FFID and I are polite and sociable, so we introduced ourselves  to our table companions for the evening and talked to them throughout the meal.
We started off with a Vietnamese spring roll, filled with crunchy vegetables and served with a soy and chili marinade which was light and refreshing on this warm summer evening. Then I ate a beautifully presented tempura salmon with lime and wasabi mayonnaise, crunchy pickled radish and black sesame seed  served in a cone. Mr. FFID got the courgette version as he doesn't eat fish, both were equally delicious.
The mains were clearly inspired by Middle Eastern food: a huge dish of harissa spiced slow-roasted lamb came first, the meat was so tender, flavoursome and easy to tear from the bone. Next I dipped the gorgeous Za'atar flat breads in sumac with rose yoghurt and the beetroot hummus. It felt like I was eating one of Ottolenghi's Mediterranean feasts. On the side, there was a fennel, orange, pomegranate and radicchio salad that Mr. FFID found a bit bitter, but I liked it. The vegetarian dish of spiced, roasted aubergine and cauliflower with golden raisins and pine nuts was also amazing, full of flavours and a wonderful accompaniment to the lamb.

The mains were served 'family-style' so we passed the dishes around the table, creating a nice communal atmosphere. There was a lot of food and we could have had a few servings of each dish if we wanted.
We were spoilt with two lovely desserts: a small doughnut with spiced chocolate and almonds and a summery dessert of strawberries, lemon curd and meringue with basil leaves scattered on top.
We ate so much food that evening we had to roll home! We both agreed that we would have been happy to pay the full price of €45 per person. The meal included 5 courses, a glass of prosecco, tea or coffee plus a chocolate treat to bring home in a goodie bag.  I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys going to food events and isn't scared of sitting with strangers. It's an original way to spend an evening, an opportunity to meet people while enjoying delicious food and it doesn't cost more than a night out or a meal in a restaurant, plus it's BYO.
As I enjoyed the whole experience I asked a few questions to Hilary afterwards to find out a bit more about the Four Fine Foodies. Here are her answers:
Who are the Four Fine Foodies?
Four Fine Foodies Supper Club was the brainchild of Hilary O Hagan (Chef, cookery tutor, food stylist, travel junkie and owner of Blas Catering) and came to fruition with the help of her foodie friends Natasha McGowan (Chef and cookery tutor from Little Cake Girl and wife of talented chef Stephen Gibson of Pichet Restaurant), Jill Rath (Chef and cookery tutor) and Holly Kenna (Chef, cookery tutor, and blogger at Holly's Pantry).

Why did you decide to start supper clubs?
The concept developed very organically. We are 4 chefs who have worked together in various chef/cookery tutor jobs over the years, but most importantly we are friends. Once a month we meet up in one of our houses and cook food for each other, like a dinner party but we all help cook the food on the night. It is always really special and reminds us of what is important in life: good food shared with good friends & family. This is where the idea came from, we decided to share this special experience on a larger scale and Four Fine Foodies Supper Club was born.

What's your inspiration?
Our food is inspired by our travels around the world and we are committed to using seasonal ingredients in creating an eclectic menu. Our supper clubs are a celebration of food we love to cook, that will feed your soul. We like to serve the food family style which creates a relaxed atmosphere and encourages everyone to enjoy the evening.

The Four Fine Foodies are already planning their next event, follow them to keep updated.

Disclaimer: Mr. FFID and I were invited to this event free of charge.  I gave no undertaking to write a review and the words above are, as always, my honest opinion.