We were back on the road again this week, this time in Shoreditch, with another pop-up. We were invited to be a part of a new supper club series hosted at Barber & Parlour, a venue that is part of the very impressive Soho House Group. The space has a particularly "Shoreditch" flare to it, but presented as a mature space for guests to grab a coffee, catch a movie in their very own basement-cinema, drink eat and generally chill-out...
Our menu was an ode to the gorgeous Autumn that we have had so far (although as I write this, the bluster gales that accompany winter a battering my winder down on the most miserable day of the season so far) in expectancy of a chilling Winter. There is no doubting the fact that we have been pretty lucky so far, but A and I have still been longing for the right time to enjoy those heartier greens and unctuous meats. Sadly we were unable to actually get any pictures of the main courses (a Sold Out event will do that to you!!) but we did make sure that our beer sticks got their time in the limelight. Charcuterie, curing and preservation is all about patience and A decided that he wanted to get our very first bit of charcuterie on a menu. 12 days of curing these little salamis (think peperami but much more delicious) was just enough to get everyone asking for more. Luckily we made more than we needed!
As always with our popups we took an early-morning trip to New Covent Garden Market to grab all of our produce for the event. A trip to the Mushroom Man always gets Aaron excited especially when we got to see the last of the season's cepes and choose the mushrooms we would be serving the very next evening. A meet up with our veg supplier, Dave Watkins from 2 serve, was a chance to hear about what he has been working on lately. Given that it was the first time meeting face to face (we normally communicate via voice-mail!) it was good to learn that the business was truly a family one as he and his sons were busy working through the night to make sure that restaurants around London will be ready to go for dinner service that day.
A hard day of labour still lay ahead of us as we journeyed to Platform 1 to get our prep done and packed up for delivery that evening to Barber & Parlour, ready for dinner service the next day....thank goodness for Uber! The day of the dinner was made even more eventful when we realised that we had COMPLETELY forgotten to bake our pretzels (it was 4pm when we realised this....dinner was due to star at 7:30pm!). A bit of a scramble later, the dough was busy rising while we ran off to Old Spitalfield Market for a cheeky Bleecker Burger to quench our starving stomachs before what would turn out to be a particularly gruelling dinner service!
I've always been used to cooking on giant, industrial gas ovens and was ready to take on the challenge of using induction stoves. I slightly regretted this when I realised that I would pretty much be using one little induction stove to cook dinner for nearly 40 people! Shit....I've never felt such pressure when I felt A breathing down my back, anxious to get food out to all the hungry guests. One and a half hours later, with some home made marshmallow and cocoa biscuit s'mores devoured, we had fed the whole dining room and received some great feedback......phew! The team at Barber & Parlour were awesome and we can't wait to be back again for some planning meetings over breakfast and coffees in the near future, so thank you for having us. I must rush off now as I'm helping out Perilla on a packed out Friday night at Platform 1! R.