Monday, 19 March 2012

Review: Kitchen Porter Supper Club

Last night I was brave. Or foolish, depending on your sense of adventure. I went for dinner with 19 people I don't know, in a stranger's house.I discovered the Edinburgh Cake Ladies via a blog, and last October went along to a meeting, clutching my cake nervously. I was welcomed warmly, given advice on how to stop my frosting melting, and went away feeling inspired. Since then, I have kept an eye on their events and been disappointed that I have been too late in applying for places... until the invitation to the supper club arrived in my inbox.

I arrived nervously, clutching my bottle of wine, and was welcomed in by Mark, the chef and host at Kitchen Porter. We collected in his living room, where we sipped Prosecco and nibbled canapes.
Delicious cheese pastries, olives, and Parmesan baskets with pine nuts, basil and tomatoes.

After some chatting, laughing, and mingling, Mark introduced himself and told us a brief history of Kitchen Porters. As a professional chef who has turned to teaching catering students, he missed the buzz of cooking for guests, and along with his wife, decided to set up a supper club.

We were ushered through the kitchen, to our places at the table. We ate...
 Cream of Artichoke Soup
Delicious brown bread rolls
Pan fried red mullet, with pickled vegetables, spinach and fennel puree
 Borders Lamb two ways, with creamed potatoes, peas, garlic wild mushrooms and a beautiful jus 
 Deconstructed Carrot Cake - complete with candided carrots and a refreshing sorbet
 Our meal finished with tea and coffee...
 ...served with delicious chocolates

Earlier on during Saturday morning, I'd been looking at another post by the Cake Ladies, which mentioned a pudding club hosted by The Inside Out Chef. I had a look at the website, thinking that an evening of puddings sounded like a dream, but too nervous to put a deposit down on a ticket. I decided to see how Kitchen Porters went first. On her website, Wendy described her first experience of a supper club, which alleviated my worries. Until I was on the bus, clutching my bottle of wine, desperately trying to work out where to get off.
I needn't have worried. The food was lovely and the company warm, fun and chatty. At one point, I ended up having a lesson about twitter, after confessing that I wasn't entirely sure how it worked. Someone commented that it was rare to get 20 women in a room without bitching - there was none, only laughter and chatter. And - it turned out that to my left was Wendy herself. Needless to say that by the end of the evening, I'd handed over my cash and was excitedly planning a car share to Supper Club experience number 2!

Kitchen Porter Supper Club, Edinburgh
twitter: @kitchenporteruk

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