I was asked to collaborate on a Supper Club, for the Kinoteka Polish Film Festival, at a supper club I went to as a guest. That was actually my first ever supper club experience, and now I am cooking at one. Being a home cook, rather than a chef, this is a little nerve-wracking for me. Mainly, I worry about transporting foods and practical issues such as pierogi not sticking together, or spilling the soup en route. However, I will be working with an experienced Supper Club organiser – the lovely Alissa Timoshkina of KinoVino – and that puts me at ease. She is one of the reasons that I said yes to this – her supper clubs are famous for being beautiful affairs. The other reason is that this is the Polish Film Festival, celebrating the work of Andrzej Wajda – this is going to be a really special evening, I can feel it in my bones.
I had such a good time at the supper club I went to – long, candle lit tables, creased linen, subtle flowers and delicious food. A lot of it was fermented, which actually gives you a buzz as you eat it. Alissa is also interested in East-European cuisine – her supper club was Russian food, yet it was all the food that I ate in my childhood in Poland, except prepared in a different way. There is a lot of crossover between Russia and Poland and in terms of culture and cuisine. This mixing of nostalgia and modernity is also what I intend to do with my cooking. Of course, for people that have never eaten Polish food, this will be a completely new experience and I want it to be something they didn’t quite expect, to give a good representation without being clichéd. There will also be ferments – my shed has been turned into a fermentation workshop!
You meet so many lovely people at Supper Club – it’s a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and everyone there is a food lover. I feel like I have made some new friends, which is a lovely feeling in your late 30s, to meet people with the same interests as you, who you feel a connection with… I feel like I am changing and evolving all the time at the moment, and the people who I connect with are a reflection of this change. I hope that this night will do for others what my first supper club did for me – give a taste of Poland that is both homely and unexpected, introduce like-minded people and fill them with a sense of magic. I’m talking about that ordinary magic that comes from sitting around a candle-lit table, eating tasty food and opening yourself up to new people, new experiences, new flavours. This is what you need in an anonymous city like London.
“I was thrilled when Isabel took a chance on me as a new and untried author back in 2012, and since then not only has she helped secure me three major book deals (and counting…) but she is always on hand for warm, professional advice and support.”Michelle Kelly, Creative Authors Client.