The Pantry Supper Club
Last night I cooked the first, of what I hope will be a series, of Supper Clubs. Twenty four lovely guests signed up for the event, unwittingly agreeing to be my guinea pigs as I experiment with how this formula of meals will best work! This particular evening was hosted with Jordan River Wines and featured their delicious new line, JR. While I furiously cooked a total of 144 plates in the small kitchen at Haddad Plaza, Mario Appiani (a transplant from Sienna, Italy) poured his wines, explaining a bit about the history of Jordan River Wines and how they've developed here in Jordan.As many of you know, I've been trying to set up a culinary business of some sort here in Amman, but it's a tricky place. It's difficult to figure out when people eat, how they eat, what they want to eat, where they want to eat. I'm hopeful that by trying out my particular brand of food on customers I'll see what works, what doesn't, and who will come. Plus this is a really fun way to cook the food I most want to cook and have some fun in the kitchen. Some people here have said this is a catering event. No, it's an event that's focused on the food, not a party where there just happens to be food. Somewhat frightening, it gets to all be about me.[gallery type="rectangular" ids="4167,4168,4149,4151"]I only offered a couple of light canapes (roquefort grapes and pea soup shooters with Asian crab) as the guests gathered (I showed some restraint as I tend to overdo it!). As it was my first outing I wanted to food to be particularly personal to me and each course was linked to a place I've lived, been inspired by, and cooked in: a boat in the Mediterranean, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Amman, Decatur (Illinois). While London wasn't included, I did prepare clementine and cranberry scones for each guest to take home for breakfast the next morning....then I forgot to tell people to take them home with them!! Here's a more detailed look at the menu:
Lots of work, but lots of fun and wonderful support from the Amman foodie community who pitched in. A special shout out to Greener Farms who provided all of the beautiful herbs, Jabbok Farms for their gorgeous produce, KitchenAid Jordan for their support always, Kava Brew Bar for the best coffee in Amman, and last but not least, the Haddad family for offering us the space to hold this event and sharing their wines for everyone to enjoy with the food.
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Sakher, a young guy who is in his final month of training at the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts in Amman, was my extra pair of hands in the kitchen. How welcome they were as I managed the table settings, last minute questions from the guests, and menu-printing issues. Finally, a big shout out to my dear, dear husband who took the photos here and corralled a waitstaff and rentals company that needed an electric cattle prod to get anything done. He cheerfully helped me prepare in the week leading up to the event, shopped for ingredients, and made endless phone calls as we tried to arrange everything. In the end he was even in the kitchen giving final approval to the plates before they went out (I've created a monster)!
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A few lessons learned (don't use a deep fat fryer instead stick to the stove top, and be more careful when estimating how much meat to cook), but all in all, I think a successful evening. I hope those of you in Amman will consider coming to my next event, hopefully in early December, at a location yet to be determined! Stay tuned as the Supper Club updates will keep coming. A big thank you to all of the guests - your feedback is welcome!!