Inspired by the feasts and food of Georgia and also by some of the tapas I recently had in Seville, last night I created a menu for a Natural Wine dinner at the Large Glass gallery near Caledonian Road. Large Glass is a new gallery, open less than a year, curated by Charlotte Schepke. The idea behind Large Glass gallery was to create a space, on a street which isn't known for galleries, very different from the art world establishment in the West End or East End. The latest show, about postcards, is very accessible. Postcards, a relic from the pre-digital world, can be described as 'small intimacies', a specially chosen image with thoughts from another part of the world, they connect people and places in a lovely way.
The postcard heyday was the early 20th century, many obviously featured landscapes but some were also illustrated by food; one postcard featured a couple of punnets of the first strawberries from Tennessee. A seemingly mundane image but food, noise and smells are our most intense souvenirs from a trip...
Packing eggs for England: a flourishing industry.
So this meal was comprised of edible postcards from my 'holidays', an uncomplicated connection with the theme of the current exhibition.
Here was the menu which was served 'supra' style, small plates coming one after another:
Georgian cheese bread: khachapuri with egg
Plates of fresh herbs including summer savoury (like stinging nettles!), purple basil, sweet basil, tarragon, coriander, parsley, mint.
Sunflower oil brought from Georgia (unfiltered, cold pressed)
Plum and chilli sauce: green and purple from Georgia
Beetroot and walnut balls
Aubergine rolls stuffed with spinach and walnut
Beetroot pelmeni stuffed with goat's cheese and walnut
Georgian egg salad
Georgian potato and walnut salad with sunflower oil dressing
Pomegranate, cucumber, onion and parsley salad
Lobio bean stew
Yoghurt with sumak
Pickled peppers stuffed with saurkraut
Pickled garlic and mushroom
Pickled green tomatoes
Georgian folded mozzarella and mint dish
Rrom Spain: clams with mini artichokes in olive oil
Spinach with cumin and chickpeas
Napoleon cake with hazelnuts
Roast quinces with honey and all spice
Dried Sharon fruits
1. Zanotto, Col Fondo, Veneto, Italy, 2010
2. La Biancara, Sassaia, Veneto, Italy, 2009
3. Antadze, Mtsvane, Kakheti, Georgia, 2010
4. Aleksi Tsikelashvili, Rkatsiteli, Kakheti, Georgia, 2010
5. Nika, Saperavi, kakheti, Georgia, 2010
Isabelle Legeron matched the meal with a succession of rare and interesting Natural wines from Georgia. If you want to know more about Natural wine, there is a 'RAW' wine fair in London on the 3rd weekend of May.
I am grateful to food bloggers @foodstories and Sarah Lohan of http://servedfamilystyle.blogspot.co.uk/ for helping with prep and cooking. It's much tougher doing supper clubs in another location, you have to be very organised and take everything you need with you.
Pic: Niamh Shields of Eat like a girl
Making pelmeni pic: Kerstin Rodgers
Beetroot walnut balls Pic: Niamh Shields of Eat like a girl
Georgian egg salad Pic: Niamh Shields of Eat like a girl
Rolled aubergine slices with spinach and walnut. Pic: Niamh Shields of Eat like a girl
Clams with mini artichokes Pic: Niamh Shields of Eat like a girl
Lobio/bean stew Pic: Niamh Shields of Eat like a girl
Beetroot ravioli/pelmeni Pic: Niamh Shields of Eat like a girl
Stuffed pickles Pic: Niamh Shields of Eat like a girl
Napoleon cake pic: Kerstin Rodgers
Napoleon cake being cut up Pic: Niamh Shields of Eat like a girl
Myself, Isabelle Legeron and Helen Graves. Pic: Niamh Shields of Eat like a girl