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Friday 21 November 2014

Craft And Curry Night

Curry and craft is now a thing...well I've made it into a thing so prepare for the takeover! The concept is based on the supperclub idea where chefs (both amateur and professionals) hold intimate dining experiences. At its most basic this may involve someone cooking and serving dinner in their own home and members of the public booking to eat there. Menus are set in advance so you know what you're getting and the fee is usually much cheaper than eating out at a restaurant. For the chef it's a chance to cook their signature dishes while entertaining at the same time; some chefs hire spaces in which to hold their supper clubs; as long as there is a kitchen and seating then the space can work.
One of the most interesting elements of the supper club phenomenon is that if you book to attend one, you'll most likely be dining with strangers - conversation is an important as the cuisine; supperclubs aren't for those wanting to enjoy a quiet meal alone, interaction with, and getting to know your fellow diners is part of the experience. I met Nilanjani who runs the Damn Good Curry Supperclub (monthly in Walthamstow, East London), when I attended Rajiv's Kitchen Nepalese Supper Club earlier this year and last month for Diwali we joined forces to create a Craft & Curry Night.
Guests got to enjoy a delicious feast cooked up by Nilanjani while I set up a craft area where diners could do some crafting as part of their evening. As it was Diwali the workshop kept within the theme with guests decorating their own Diwali diyas. These were made using empty ramkins (the type that come with Gu-Puds inside, you eat them then wash the glass containers out which can be re-used - turns out I had 16 empty ones in my cupboard!). They make perfect candle holders.

I provided trimming, sequins, gems, Indian motifs and shisha mirrors which were taped (using double-sided) and glued on. 

As a quick and easy craft it worked really well, most got made in the period before starters, after diners had arrived and got a drink ,though some made their's inbetween courses. Some diners even placed in on their tables while they ate.

The food was exceptional (I can see why it's called 'Damn Good Curry', it really was one!)

A yummy meal to end the evening was served by by Nilanjani's assistant Zoe aka The Spice Scribe.

It was an insane and busy night for one person in particular - the chef herself!

All in all it's what I'd call my dream night out - great food, friendly people and the chance to make and take something unique. I can definately see Craft and Curry nights catching on - it's a step away from what I'm doing running The Make Escape Craft Night - that for me will always be voluntary run - I'm extremely proud of the model we have) but in terms of a business idea I'm keen to explore more ways for me to combine craft and curry by working with different chefs.

In fact if you are a chef and would be interested in discussing a craft and curry night then I'm all ears! Get in touch. Find out more about The Damn Good Curry Supper club here - and if you're feeling inspired; there's no reason why you can't start up your own Craft & Curry Night - I would love to hear about it.