Thursday, 10 October 2013

Updated schedule: Supper Club Masterclass for The Guardian

For those who are interested in starting a food business such as a supper club, pop up or simply want to feel more confident about entertaining and hosting dinner parties, book this one day intensive course that I am hosting in conjunction with Guardian Masterclasses. Book here.
Price:  £129 (standard)
Date: 20th October 2013
Where: Guardian building, near Kings Cross.
Time: 10 till 5pm.
Lunch, coffee and tea is included.

It's an all-day fast-paced 'conference' with 12 different speakers plus myself. The idea is to inspire and empower people who attend, to give them the confidence to start something. Or, if they are already running a supper club, to give them more detailed information to improve and expand their operation.
I've picked the below speakers as they are all experts in their fields. It's a nitty gritty primer, what you need to be legal, to look good, to be successful. Get here on time, get a good night's sleep the night before, it's gonna be intense!

1.  MsMarmitelover presents

How I started, what I learnt, what to do, what not to do if you can help it. MsMarmitelover will also explain the importance of clingfilm to your pop up career.

2. Food hygiene and Licensing primer: tips to pass a council inspection: Sylvia Anderson

Sylvia runs the award winning company Anderson Food Hygiene Ltd, which has given food hygiene advice to Channel 4, ITV, the Wolseley, Caprice holdings and others. Sylvia trained as a chef so she knows the business from both ends.
3. The Legal lowdown: Nicky Richmond

Nicky is managing partner at a firm of lawyers, Brechers, who specialise in all things property. She has over 25 years experience in dealing with all types of property transactions, acting for both buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants and the people who fund them.
When not chained her desk dealing with deadlines, she can be found eating her way round London and has devised a cunning plan to combine her passion, food, with her vocation, the law. Nicky writes a fortnightly restaurant column for The Lawyer Magazine, and has her own food blog, The Food Judge.

4. Dealing with the taxman: Linda Williams

Linda is a chartered accountant and MBA. Her MA thesis explored how social media is changing the landscape of food. After 20 years working in finance and senior management she set up Bright Blue Skies in 2008 to work with small businesses to demystify and simplify management. From business plans, web projects and the nuances of VAT to systems set up she’s worked with a whole range of food businesses: artisan producers, farmers markets, writers, pop ups. Her clients include Tim Hayward, Peter’s Yard, Fitzbillies and Bray’s Cottage. Her aim is to make their business life simpler. She loves cooking and sporadically blogs about it. She even manages to make tax sound interesting.

4. Suppliers - how to talk their language: Andreas Veg

How to develop relationships with suppliers, and how to speak the arcane language of New Covent Garden. Know the difference between 40s/50s/60s/80s count sizings, the standard sizes for herbs, fruits and vegetables. Our speaker Andreas runs a successful and top quality grocer in Chelsea, in 2014 he 
will celebrate 20 years in the grocery business.
Originally based in Chiswick, Andreas supplied many iconic restaurants including The River Café, Havelock Tavern, Soho House, Hedone and many other household names.
Now Andreas runs his business from his beautiful shop on Chelsea Green and although he no longer supplies restaurants he supplies famous faces such as Nigella Lawson and supper club luminaries such as James Ramsden, Signe Johansen and masterchef winners Pro and Amateur.
Andreas also helped set up The People's Supermarket and works with charities such as The Food Chain.

6. Making your food look good: plating like a professional: Luke Robinson

Luke Robinson trained as a chef at Jamie Oliver's 15, he is now head chef at the restaurant of former pop up hostess Bonnie Wong Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack, in Hackney. He's going to teach you the tricks of the trade and show you how to make your food look great on the plate. You may be a great cook but skilled presentation lifts your food from being good to sublime. He can also talk you through cooking for large numbers of people.

7. PR for beginners: how to market your part-time restaurant: Dominique Fraser

Dominique won Junior Master Chef in 1999 and since her teens, helped her mother run a family restaurant 'The Wife of Bath', in Wye, where she learnt to do everything, front of house, pot wash, and commis chef. This helped Dominique understand the role of marketing for restaurants from a grass roots perspective. Formerly at Gerber Public Relations, one of the leading restaurant PRs in London, recent campaigns have included Polpo, Bubbledogs, Angela Hartnett, Skye Gyngell, Caravan, Pitt Cue Co., Florence Knight, Wright Brothers, and Ceviche, Dominique has now started her own PR agency, Fraser Communications. 
8. Front of house: José of Moo Grill

A supper club or home restaurant may not be a Michelin-starred restaurant, but a few tips from an expert will make it all go more smoothly. Good service can turn it around if the kitchen has made a mistake. Having worked in the restaurant industry since 2004, Jose Luis de Alza's real passion is for Front of House where his infectious enthusiasm and energy keeps customers returning time after time. This gained recognition in 2009 when his management of Santa Maria del Sur finished 3rd place for best local restaurant in the UK on Gordon Ramsay's Channel 4 programme, The F word.

Those interactions and friendships made Jose want to bring the taste of his home city in Argentina, Cordoba, to the people of London, hence Moo was born. Both critically acclaimed and popular with customers, Moo Grill opened in 2010 and was included in Metro newspaper's Top Ten International Eateries. Three years later Moo now has two venues; two more will open before the end of the year.

9. Going pop up: putting on a large event: Tobias Slater

Tobias Slater is the co-founder of White Mischief, the alternative nightlife curators who have hosted cabaret supperclubs; a 100-person interactive dining experience called A Moveable Feast, and country house party The Summer House Weekend, which features feast dinners, breakfasts and snacks from streetfood chefs. Alongside recounting some of his experiences combining big parties with pop-up dining, Tobias will be sharing his advice on producing large-capacity events everywhere from Georgian mansions to 1,000 capacity clubs to festivals like Bestival.
Tobias runs massive parties with performance, lightning, sound, the full works. Once your supper club is successful, you may want to, or be asked to, expand into bigger events... weddings, festivals even. Tobias will tell you about renting an outside location, and the questions you need to ask...

10. Panel: Stories from pop up and supper club hosts: Suz Mountford of Gingerline, James Ramsden, Uyen Luu and MsMarmitelover

Susannah Mountfort (Suz) is the founder and co-director of Gingerline, a nomadic and immersive dining experience, which began in August 2010 with a humble dinner for 25 in a disused building and has gone on to feed over 15,000 diners in 8 different hidden locations throughout East London. In addition to developing new Gingerline 'happenings', Suz also consults on private food projects and designs creative dining experiences for private and corporate clients.
Suz has always been a keen food enthusiast whose menus come from impressive experimentation rather than education. From a long maternal line of talented home cooks, she has no formal background in food, art, theatre or design for that matter, just a ceaseless passion and a natural knack for thinking up new and exciting ways for people to be inspired and have fun.
11. Bookstall: cookbooks by supper club and pop up hosts: Uyen Luu and James Ramsden

We will have a book table with cookbooks penned by supper club authors such as Uyen Luu, James Ramsden and myself. You will have a chance to meet the authors and buy a signed copy.

Uyen Luu is a writer, cook, photographer, food and prop stylist. She trained in fine art film and video at Central St Martins. She runs supper clubs and the UK’s only dedicated Vietnamese cooking classes in her Hackney home, and writes and blogs about food, recipes and travel. She writes for Time Out and her recipes have appeared in the Evening Standard. Uyen's first cookbook 'My Vietnamese Kitchen' (Ryland, Peters & Small), published on the 10th October, will be available to buy. 
James Ramsden is a cook, writer and blogger. He runs The Secret Larder supper club at a coffee bar in Islington. Signed copies of his most recent book Do Ahead Dinners (Pavilion Books) will be available to buy at the Masterclass. He will be joining a panel with Suz, Uyen and myself discussing our supper club 'journey'. 
12. Simply Business supper club insurance: Jasper Martens and Deborah Reid
Deborah Reid, commercial director at Simply Business, has created an insurance package specifically for supper clubs and pop ups and their particular needs. This was an important step for the supper club movement, the last thing you want is to be sued for spilling hot soup over a customer.
Jasper Martens is the head of Marketing and communications for Simply Business. One of his integrated campaigns won him the ‘Best marketing campaign’ at the UK Broker Awards 2013 so he knows his shit.
They will be set up at this conference so that if you have any questions or enquiries about insurance costs for your pop up business, they are on hand to answer them. It's also a great opportunity for Jasper and Deborah to learn about what we do. 

13. Booze with Winetrust100
Most supper clubs and home restaurants won't have a premises license. Selling drink is the most risky thing you can do. Winetrust100, a new organisation that has an Master of Wine select the best 100 wines, with a huge range of price and type, are hooking up with supper clubs to arrange selection and direct delivery to your pop up restaurant on behalf of your guests. There will be a reward in kind for the host. They'll be here to offer a sample of their wares and talk about their scheme. 

Goodie bag including chefs favourites ingredients, Isle of Wight tomatoes and Maldon salt. (PRs if you would like to contribute to a goodie bag, please get in touch)

Other events: 

November 5th: Come to a Guy Fawkes fondue night at MsMarmitelover's supper club The Underground Restaurant Tickets £35 Kids welcome, bring your own fireworks. 

October 27th: MsMarmitelover's Secret Garden club, a monthly workshop/supper club. This time we will be teaching Preserving, salting, smoking, drying. Meal included. Tickets £40
Book here: 
November 24th: Secret Garden Club: kitchen table hydroponics 
An exciting and highly sustainable way to grow vegetables, salads and herbs, both indoors and out ... with no soil required. Find out how easy it is to start your own hydroponicum.  Meal included. Tickets £30


  1. Have envied people starting Supper Clubs - maybe one day I will pluck up the courage.

  2. Wish wish wish I didn't have such a weeny house! Would love to do this.

  3. Love to go to this but it is half term and we will be away for the week. Hope you can run it again.

  4. Come to Scotland PLEASE :-)

  5. its good to read this blog.. i am sure i must helpfull for people who are willing to start business in food industry by the help of these chefs and experinced people..

    must visit here
    Best curry in Manchester


I would love to hear what you think of this post! I try to reply to every comment (if there is a delay, I am probably away from an internet connection or abroad)