Bloodshot Supper Club: Let The Cow See The Dairy
What happens when you put Robin Gill of The Dairy and so-hot-right-now Nuno Mendes in a room for an afternoon? Blood Shot Supper Club, obviously.
Intense pressure and arduous hours aside, the hospitality industry includes a bunch of passionate people, like a big convivial family, who all work their arses off and just keep giving. Robin and Nuno saw an opportunity to give something back to those who keep London fed and watered with a supper club kicking off at 1am on the last Saturday of the month; the idea being that you get your guests fed and then make a beeline for The Dairy to chow down on a five course feast created just for you by another chef and served by the Dairy's stellar team.
Every month sees a different chef taking to the stoves. The Dairy's Head Chef Richard Falk set the pace in January, Paddy Powell of Chiltern Firehouse brought Irish charm in February and Shaun Searly of Quality Chop House brought a Highland cow in March. It's been eventful.
In hindsight, I should have given my training for this event some thought. Not eating for a good 24 hours in advance might have been a good start, but my strategy went as far as having a late lunch, finishing off some Very Kerri business, and attempting a nap. This all worked in my favour, but I could have given the strength and conditioning elements in between better consideration.
As revellers fall out of Clapham's finest establishments, Becky welcomes us in from the cold with a terrifically tart rhubarb gin-spiked tipple, which goes down like a homesick mole. You know it's going to get loose when you have an operator, an author, a journalist and two publicans (...oh, and not forgetting the sports agent) on your table. The games begin with gusto, or meat butter specifically. Churned next door at The Delicatessen, no less, I need more of this in my life. Is it wrong that I fancy it on toast in the morning?
Having already ploughed through a few bottles of rosé with gusto, a white from Piedmont is a welcome break. Oh, and let's show the fat hand-dived scallop some love.
As robust stone dishes of monkfish liver with morels arrive, Team Dairy pours accompanying 'mushroom tea' from teapots. Before it all gets a bit Alice-in-Wonderland, an unassuming bowl of lamb sweetbreads and chicken liver parfait packs a punch; seeing so many chefs swoon in unison makes for a very lovely thing.
Just when we're all fairly cooked, Searley's trump card makes an appearance. That would be the eight year old Highland cow, which is served in abundance. How would I describe 'those' confit schpuds? They're sliced like the thinnest layered daupinoise ever and cooked like a the best triple cooked chip-meets-Sunday roastie ever. And that's not even the half of it. Becky brings us seconds, which we attack with a vengeance.
We seem to forget we've been begging for mercy when an apple cake (minus the cake) with Calvados arrives and it's pretty dreamy. Ahhh Calvados, oui oui. I attempt the forced rhubarb with white choc custard but it's all a bit Darty, who swipes it without hesitation. The espresso martini truffles, on the other hand, are right up the Very Kerri street of appreciation.
With 18,000 restaurants listed on TripAdvisor and 60 odd openings a week, it's no secret that London's foodie scene is on fire. This little supper club, where cooks cook for cooks, gives something back to the industry which gives so much.
Shaun Searley brought the goods and he raised the bar. I just can't wait to see what Olly Pierrpoint, Lee Wescott and Ian Scaramuzza have in store.