Hell yes! When I had the bright idea to start my own supper club, it was purely because I wanted to have other people’s homes. I would look into their kitchens and living rooms with green envy. There would be a garden at the front of the house with a pink magnolia tree blossoming over the door. I would see them clink glasses and sip champagne and smell the aroma of lingering garlic and inducing rosemary. I wished so much that it was my house and I were the host and they were my friends. I would think, I am no chef but I can cook. I would think, I am no writer but I can write; I am no photographer or stylist but I can compose and take a picture. So I just said, whats there to lose? Just do it. Fun was the agenda and making new friends while eating well was on top. That was 2009.
Cod Cheeks Fish Cakes With Dill & Chicken Udon Noodle Soup/
Photography By Charlotte Schreiber Copyright 2014
The first set of guests were leaving at 1am as I was doing it with another person at the time and we somehow didn’t really get it together very well although we fast became a much talked about duo. I learnt so much in that time; so much about being a good host and a bad one at some points. I learnt so much about working with other people in the kitchen and the affects that such a change of lifestyle can affect myself and others around me. It was all new and fun and exciting. Things kept happening, out of the ordinary things like how people would help out via Twitter or new floods of opportunities like the legendary Jim Haynes held an event in my living room. Or that we’d appear in Elle magazine, The Evening Standard in the same sentence as Heston Blumental or that Jamie Oliver was at my front door and we filmed in my kitchen. There were so many extraordinary things that kept happening and it was a complete high. One moment, I’d be on the highest point in heaven and the next, my volatile relationship with the person I started the supper club with got me crammed into the darkest, smallest, lowest point of a rock.
From sharing the most amazing laughters and conversations with some of my guests, there were times that I had to wipe away all my tears, shake my body and pulled a massive smile before I opened the door or deliver a dish to the table. At times, it was the most stressful and heartbreaking time of my life. I paid with my mental and physical health but what is it that my mum always says? What goes up must come down and it is how you balance your life, what you eat and drink, what you give and receive that your qi can be in harmony.
I wouldn’t change any of it and am only richer from it all and I had been doing my own supper club with the help from my wonderful mother since 2010 with much more of a balanced lifestyle. With regards to press and extraordinary things, I continued; I became a professional food stylist; I wrote a recipe book and my life is surrounded by the love of cooking. Every day, I am doing what I love and fulfilling my agenda of having fun and making friends. I most enjoy holding my cooking classes and guiding a group of people around the table in my kitchen about eating light and deliciously well with Vietnamese cuisine.
In a personal honour to what I set out to do in 2009, I held a dinner party for my close friends and new friends I had made because of my work. I didn’t make an announcement or anything, but I told everyone to look into my phone so I can take a picture. That moment, I will never ever forget. I saw in every one of their eyes, a certain contentment, a happiness, a hope and an ever lasting youth, of this-is-the-moment, carpe diem… and I thanked all the stars above me, that I stumbled upon the best place I can be on this earth, in this time, at that moment.
On that day, German photographer Charlotte Schreiber & writer, Yvonne Niewerth captured the essence of my need and desire to hold dinner parties and kindly gave me a chapter in their wonderful book, Aus Liebe Zum Kochen which translates as, For The Love Of Cooking, published by Callwey.
The book gives insights to worldwide chefs, authors, critics, bloggers and restaurant owners’ passion for life and their deep attachment to eating. Its about their indulgence of good food and the enjoyment of being together.
Perhaps its an instinctive need to belong to a family, a clan or a community but I love it when we all share stories, a plate of food, a funny joke, slurpings of noodle soup, a song, ice cream from the tub… I absolutely love what I am doing with food. I am incredibly lucky to have so many people help me a long the way and I have met friends for life. Even someone to love. Thank you to everyone whose come to my supper club and those making it such a pleasure to teach at my classes. & my generous loving family and friends.
Creme Caramel & Vietnamese Yogurt/ Photography By Charlotte Schreiber Copyright 2014
Photography by Charlotte Schreiber Copyright 2014
There is a trailer for this book, you can see it here
<iframe src=”//player.vimeo.com/video/80136744″ width=”1000″ height=”563″ frameborder=”0″ webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/80136744″>Aus Liebe zum Kochen</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/hellolotta”>Charlotte Schreiber</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p> <p>KÜCHENBESUCHE BEI LEIDENSCHAFTLICHEN FOODIES –<br /> Eine Reise von Yvonne Niewerth & Charlotte Schreiber.<br /> <br /> Ein Film von Charlotte Schreiber (charlotteschreiber.com). Mit Musik von Eric and Magill. (ericandmagill.com)</p>