Poppy and Liv are the amazing duo behind Trough Supper Club. Here they go into what made them get into the rapidly expanding scene and give a few tips on how you can do it youtself!
Trough Supperclub was created a little more than a year ago, after the two of us met at Edinburgh university and have been good friends for 7 or so years now.
The idea for the Supperclub came about as most of our ideas come - after a few too many drinks! We both absolutely adore cooking and wanted to host lots of dinner parties in South-East London, but we couldn’t really afford to put them without getting our friends to pay up! So we thought that setting this venture up was the perfect way to get around this problem, while allowing us to indulge in our passion.
At £30 a head, the Supperclub experience is tremendously good value for money for a 3 course meal and the fact that it's BYOB means that it can make for a fairly affordable Saturday night!
We never imagined that Trough would take off quite in the way it has done so far but we've been pleasantly surprised by the fact that our guests keep coming back for more! They seem to love the Supperclub concept of being sat next to someone they don’t know (yet), with copious amounts of wine swashing around for everyone and, of course, the food!
Trough has escalated rapidly since it's foundation in 2015 and we’ve since cooked at Gosnell's brewery in Peckham, a country home for a large charity with the Syrian Supper Club, various people’s lovelt houses throughout South-East London and the next one will be in a beautiful garden full of hives owned by Urban Bees.
We absolutely love the idea of making the whole evening a collaborative effort and the next stage will be introducing more artist's works to decorate the rooms, which we did at our Mexican Trough recently in a café in Nunhead. And next time we'll be having live music played by our musician friends!
Like many people who run Supperclubs, we both work full time so it’s a bit of a struggle finding a balance, but we honestly don’t know what we’d do without it! We’ve met so many incredible people and everyone has been hugely supportive. The food world is a friendly one!
Advice to anyone setting up a Supperclub: use your personality and make friends with everyone who comes along. You have to fully love doing because people will notice if you don’t. At supperclubs you are just as much part of the dinner as everything else and unlike a restaurant, where the chefs can hide in the kitchen you have to put on your hosting hat and people absolutely love you to get involved. It just puts everyone at ease and we want to be part of the fun!
Questions from Feast It:
What's your favourite food to eat at home?
Poppy - I love vegetable curries, aubergine and butternut squash or anything with paneer (fried!) I try not to eat much meat when cooking for myself. It’s not good for the environment and there are so many interesting vegetarian recipes around.
Liv – Coming back from work I do love to make pesto. I’ve got a huge pestal and mortar either with brown rice pasta or marinate mozzarella with some tomatoes. Big flavours I love.
Growing up, what was your favourite food?
Poppy – I was brought up pretty healthily, the only crisps I had were those salt and shake ones and we were never allowed fizzy drinks. I loved my mums' red lentil dhal and homemade brown bread covered with so much butter it looked like cheese. I was lucky to have a very healthy relationship with food growing up and I could eat as much of the good stuff as I liked.
Liv – I was born in Portugal and my parents have always done this spatch-cocked piri piri chicken they picked up whilst living there with lemons. Beats a roast chicken any day!
What do you most enjoy to cook with?
Liv- Lemons and onions/garlic always find their way into my basket.
Poppy – Eggs and onions. You can do so much with both.
What food would we find in your fridge?
Poppy – All the white food… cream, yoghurt and cheese.
Liv – Condiment queen! I like Pops, Hellman’s Mayo has got be in there and capers.
What's the worst dish you've ever served?
Liv – I was cooking for a lodge in Scotland; firstly when I arrived I hadn’t worked out how to use the ancient oven and I burnt the pavlova to within an inch of its life. As all the guests were arriving the whole lodge was billowing with smoke. I rallied, but then over cooked the pheasant the guests had brought up with them. Disastrous start, but had it sussed by the end of the week.
Poppy – I tried to recreate the Chiltern Firehouse crab doughnuts. It was for Christmas and I went all the way to Billingsgate market to get the crab, not knowing that on Christmas eve they open an hour early. I missed all the fresh crab and just got the packaged white meat. It smelt bad but I still soldiered on. They looked pretty but no one wanted to go near them sadly, the smell was really off putting. The dogs loved them though.
What the most exciting food on London scene?
Poppy – I think BAO’s new place XU on Rupert St in Soho is really exciting. The food there is like nothing I’ve ever eaten before – chilled clams, cuttlefish toast and amazing rare Taiwanese sparkling tea, all in a beautiful setting. Also Llewelyn’s in Dulwich; the pastry chefs Instagram is the dream, and even if I don’t like puddings hers look amazing. It’s good to see a proper pastry chef in a small local restaurant, the skill is dying out.
Liv- Recently I went to Carousel- Gezelig. The food was incredible, but I found it was more about the atmosphere they created. It was just brilliant; so buzzy and friendly it literally just hummed. Similar to Made of Dough, just opened in Peckham. Everyone loves pizza but the vibe is just exciting, it's so fast and loud. It's not always about the food, the atmosphere has got to be fun as well!
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