Recently, I attended a vegan supper club event at 113Eatery hosted by Penny Hagekyriakou of Drool and Nadia Fragnito of The Vegan Italian Kitchen. At the event, Nadia launched her latest book A Vegan Summer in Southern Italy: Recipes and Culinary Adventures.
At the end of the night, I chatted with Nadia and Penny about the concept of supper clubs. This was Drool’s first ever supper club event; a concept which is – apparently –all the rage in London.
So, what exactly is a supper club?
A supper club is a traditional dining establishment that also functions as a social club. Basically, a supper club is when good friends meet over good food. Generally, supper clubs have a high-class image and date as far back as the Roman Empire. Supper clubs often spanned social classes and only served all-male members.
In more contemporary and inclusive times, supper clubs re-emerged in the U.K as a way to bring the local underground scene to a more accessible entertainment environment. Here, patrons eat an informal, intimate dinner whilst enjoying live music.
Supper clubs are now in the mainstream though some are still hosted in more underground settings. The ‘prestige’ stereotype is long gone, but the fun times and good food remain. The supper club concept is relatively new in Australia and is yet to gain momentum; something I’m sure Drool is keen to get going.
Go for the vegan food, stay for the company
At the Drool Supper Club X Nadia Fragnito event, you bought a ticket for a set menu, access to an exclusive curated cocktail menu (items purchased at an additional cost) and goodie bag. All food was vegan and there were gluten-free options, too. 113Eatery is relatively new to Northcote and specialises in vegan and gluten-free options.
The event was hosted on the mezzanine level of 113Eatery where you could sit, eat and connect with guests over a common shared interest – vegan Italian food and Nadia’s expertise in this genre. While guest numbers were limited to the event, the vegan food was in generous supply.
The evening’s scrumptious vegan supper menu included:
- Saffron, asparagus and pine nut arancini with caponata
- A spread or rice crackers and smoked hemp seed mozzarella from The Vegan Dairy
- Paccheri Alla Norma
- Orecchiette with broccoli, black olives and capers
- Pizza Ortolana
- Pizza 113 with mozzarella, whipped ricotta, pistachio and lemon zest
- Sicilian chocolate cannoli
At a vegan supper club like this, people gather over a common love and you have such a wide variety of people from different walks of life. Some are vegan and some are not, some are gluten-free and some are not, some who have been to Italy and some who are still dreaming about it.
A vegan supper club can break down barriers
Over the course of the evening, Nadia shared her experiences from her vegan travels through southern Italy. There was also time for guests to ask Nadia questions; many were interested to find out how to cook and eat vegan in their everyday lives.
The evening offered a warm and safe space in which people could share their food experiences, learn about vegan food, and talk about food culture which I think is something to celebrate. A vegan supper club like this was a fabulous way for people to try vegan food if they are not vegan, too.
You can make new friends and spend quality time with loved ones
A vegan supper club gives you the opportunity to treat a loved one to a fun night out over a delectable set menu. Plus, you get to spend time with new people and share vegan eating and travel experiences. You may even offer your own vegan expertise to someone who is keen to learn more.
Guests at Nadia and Penny’s vegan supper club event were all seated at communal tables, lovingly decorated with vibrant table cloths, vases of flowers and warm candles. The space provided an intimate area where you could mingle with guests alongside you or swap seats in between each course.
You just might meet some new people with some fascinating vegan food and travel stories to share. I was lucky enough to meet Elizabeth from @mexchamoyritas . She makes vegan Mexican lollies and she recently moved to Melbourne from California. You just don’t know who you’ll meet at a vegan supper club like this!
Keep up to date for more of Drool’s vegan supper events by signing up to their mailing list. You can learn more about Nadia’s latest book by reading her interview with Fire & Tea. You can also learn more about 113Eatery’s vegan gluten-free options by reading my recent review.