Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gastronauts' Supper Club: June 2011

Last Saturday night, I was lucky enough to attend my second Gastronauts' Supper Club. Read about the first visit here. Gastronauts was inspired by Jamie Oliver's visit to a New York supper club in his American Road Trip Show - if it's good enough for New York, it can happen in Brisbane. The general idea is that dinners will be put on at Gastronauts' homes around Brisbane, with the odd special occasion for variety. They email out the menu for the next dinner - and if you're interested, all you have to do is reply to the email. Diners are then be selected randomly, and you'll be sent the location on the day of the supper club dinner. Once you have eaten, a pot is passed around where guests make a contribution to the host to cover the cost of ingredients. Gastronauts is an opportunity for foodies to enjoy a fantastic dinner, while at the same time meeting new new people who are equally keen on food.

It seriously is a great idea, and both times I have been surprised at how easily the evening flows. I have met some fabulous new people and now am considering becoming a host for one of the dinners. If only my kitchen wasn't so hideously small. Richard (one of the key Gastronaut's) very kindly offered to lend me his kitchen, but I wouldn't feel right doing that! I feel like I should host the evening in my own home.. I'm going to start thinking about my options and Camb and I are considering moving (not till later in the year though), so maybe I could host a supper club as my first function when we move. Anyway, clearly you don't want to listen to my ramblings, but rather, want to see what I ate!

Richard aka Food Bling and his wife Rebecca hosted the evening and did a fabulous job. The theme was Spanish food and Richard used a couple of Ferran Adria recipes as well as some Spanish classics. He talked us through the process of the El Bulli recipes and pulled out some packages to explain how he had completed each recipe, but it was pretty well lost on me. Molecular Gastronomy is far too complex for me to attempt but Richard managed to pull it off with some great results. Don't panic if you were thinking about hosting a supper club and have visions of horror about molecular gastronomy -The Gastronauts love all sorts of food, home cooked/rustic are just great!

 Melon with jamon 2005: This was the first dish- sort of like an amuse bouche - and was a Ferran Adria recipe. Syringes, white powders and some sort of gel were all involved in creating this little wonder. The melon balls were amazing and the texture was like nothing I had ever experienced before. Served in shot glasses, it made for an impressive sight.

Next up was a tasting plate which contained deconstructed gazpacho, prawn stuffed cherry tomatoes, Saffron tortillas with smoked paprika aioli and chorizo with apple cider. The deconstructed gazpacho was amazing. Again using some crazy techniques, Richard managed to get the tomato into tiny balls which were full of tomatoey flavour. Speaking of tomatoes, the prawn stuffed cherry tomatoes were so delicately done - they had their skins peeled off and were cute like packages. The smoked paprika aioli was seriously good- I'm sure lots of efforts went into making it- but it worked well with the saffron tortillas.

Next course was the pea and sherry soup with chorizo oil and croutons. This dish was my fave of the night- the soup was thick and really fresh with the chorizo and croutons adding some nice little highlights.

By this stage, I was getting quite full, but then Richard and Rebecca pulled out the pyrenees style lamb with sherry and paprika, poor man's potatoes and broccolini. Although I couldn't eat all the potatoes, some of the other guests were raving. The lamb was really tender as a result of being slow cooked for ages.

As a palate cleanser, pineapple infused with fennel was served, which was quite interesting. The freshness was a great contrast to the lamb and almost the polar opposite to the Crema Catalana which was served for dessert.

I didn't manage to grab a photo of the Crema Catalana, but by this stage, I shared a dessert with Camb as I was so full I almost felt like I couldn't sit down comfortably. I have to admit, prior to going to the supper club, I had been at the Brisbane Food Blogger so I was at my limit. The Crema Catalana was really great, very rich and almost everyone agreed that it was one of their favourite dishes.

As if we hadn't eaten enough already, Richard and Rebecca pulled out the 'petit fours' to just finish everything off. At this stage, there was NO way I could eat another thing, so had to leave the toffee eating up to the others. 

As you can see, we were treated to some fantastic food and importantly, the conversation and company was just lovely. I'm so thrilled that events like these are happening in Brisbane. If you are interested in getting involved in Gastronauts - please visit their blog and register your interest. They are on the look out for new guests and hosts all the time and they really are lots of fun. If you think you would like to do something similar i.e. start your own supperclub within your own group of acquaintances (I suggest extending outside your immediate circle- this is one of the major benefits), please let me know. I would love to let G.G. readers know about the event.

3 fabulous comments:

rhubarbwhine said...

I want to make it to a gastonaughts dinner. The timing is always out for me. I loved reading about this one - thanks GG

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

What a fantastic idea. The spheres are very fancy and the lamb sounded amazing!

Renee said...

I will have to get on the list for these events- I love the concept- especially the part where the food is amazing but you don't have to put up with pretentious waiters (as per many restaurants in town). lol!

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