Flicking through a shiny magazine borrowed from a Marylebone pub, I came across an article about Jackson & Levine, East London supper club gurus.
Laura Jackson, TV presenter, and Alice Levine, BBC Radio 1 DJ, run sell-out supper clubs that serve three-course seasonal feasts. Everything about them is freakin’ cool. Their food looks incredible, their dinner tables are always beautifully decorated, and their whole atmosphere is laid back and honest.
After reading the article I researched Jackson & Levine some more. Here is a list of things that are great about their supper clubs:
- They pour out welcome cocktails upon guests’ arrival to make everyone feel comfortable. Their signature is a cocktail of prosecco, gin and elderflower cordial. Yum.
- They decorate their table a different way for each supper, put a lot of thought into each detail and put great effort into the sourcing of the right napkins, glassware and so on.
- They serve seasonal produce, which not only means that their food is fresh and super tasty, but they need to be creative with their menus.
- The soundtrack is toe-tapping soul music.
- Neither has had formal chef training, so each event requires two weeks of recipe tasting beforehand. In an interview with The Telegraph, Levine said that they “just make food we like to eat: honest, home-cooked, nothing too hard”.
Serving your friends good food on a beautifully decorated table seems a simple, and popular, thing to aspire to. But I may find this tricky – I can’t really cook.
Although I want to go into the food business, and love food, I’m missing a fairly crucial skill. I’ve been fairly resigned to this – it’s very possible to know a lot about food and hospitality without having to cook anything.
But Jackson & Levine have not had any formal training either, and they manage to create amazing dishes. So I thought – why not at least try to learn to cook well? In five years’ time I could be at their standard. Even if I never need to cook for other people, wouldn’t I want to be able to cook well for guests at home? I decided that yes, I would want that.
So here I go. My first step into the food industry. I’m going to learn to cook.
And then I will host my very own (very small) supper club. In a month I am moving into a new flat, one that has a dining table, galley kitchen and a courtyard. It’s the perfect reason to invite a few of my friends over for a celebratory dinner!
I have one month to become a dinner-party-ready cook. That’s a big challenge, but an exciting one. And if that supper club is a success, what next? Hopefully another one. And another!
Right now I’m thinking fairy lights, a trip to Borough Market, cocktail testing (of course) and hitting the charity shops for extra crockery.
I’m super excited.
I just need to learn to cook first…
Jackson & Levine just published their first cookbook Round To Ours. It looks great. I’m buying it in a couple of weeks as a treat.