Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Clapton Pot

Last night I ventured far far East of London to Clapton to take part in an internet-organised supper club called The Clapton Pot.  Run by French designer Violaine and my friend-of-a-friend, Anna, this was one cool cats affair, designed to bring like-minded foodies together.   Arriving in Clapton (thankfully not in the rain) I rang the phone number as asked in my one of two emails.  Horror movie thoughts entered my mind slightly but once the door was opened by the lovely Violaine and I'd been led up the stairs, I knew all would be a-ok.

When I reached the flat, I was greeted by four girls all with open hands and friendly smiles.  I was concerned the others would be intimidating, but they really weren't - we are all of similar age and life experience.  A little about the initiative: The Clapton Pot is a free supper club that is run once a month and is held either at Violaine's or Anna's house.   The only 'condition' is that you come brandishing a bottle of wine.  Brandished I did, and within moments I was poured a glass.  

The final count of potters was six girls, all designers I believe, and one guy, 32-year-old Ed, an actor (look out for him as Micha Barton's boyfriend in a horror film coming out soon).   Once we'd all made our acquaintances we sat down and the food and conversation took over.

For the starter we had beet root and mozerella salad.  The beet root and cheese worked beautifully together and the dressing was made of the pickling juice slicked with oil.  It worked beautifully.    Beet root is one of my favourite ingredients, even if it does stain everything it comes in contact with fuscia (not always a bad thing...).  

For the main course, we had a Mexican dish passed down to Anna from her mother.  It was a sweet potato and squash bake with eggs cracked onto the top.   A squeeze of lime and a sprinkling of coriander, and you have the dish vegetarians and carnivores alike dream of.  It was absolutely delicious and a wonderful surprise (I would not think to put lime, potatoes and eggs together.  Ever!). As side dishes we had wilted spinach with pine nuts and a black bean mash (which, even with probing, the hosts didn't really know what was in it).

And finally, for the pudding, a blood orange cheese cake with a milk chocolate topping.  Again, another triumph as far as I'm concerned; others thought it was too rich, but I had no complaints, although I did have a smaller piece.  What makes this cheesecake slightly different is the base was made with oats and there was goat's cheese mingled in the cream.  This made the whole combination slightly tarter than a conventional New York cheesecake.  The real gem was the rounds of blood orange decorating the top: perfect to counteract the rich creaminess.

Along with the food there was copious amounts of wine and entertaining (and intelligent) conversation - we covered all sorts, including grammar, accents, writing, acting and, of course, Micha Barton (she's great, apparently). 

The beauty of being in a room of strangers is that you can't 'fall back' on gossip as is so often the way with meals with close friends.

An absolute triumph, I can't wait to go again!


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