When Simon Fernandez gate crashed a dinner party of mine, that day changed both our lives. I fell in love with Simon, his contagious giggles and his ability to have endless fun. One year later, we set up Fernandez & Leluu (we couldn’t think of another name) and we had the most amazing time cooking, playing with food and actually have people come and eat it.
I had the apartment, the props and all the bits. We both put in £200 to buy extras. We started for fun, we both love cooking and I generally have people around for dinner all the time, throwing big feasts. We had no idea that it would explode into such a huge success with word getting mouthed, blog posts and reviews making us bigger than we had anticipated. It was amazing and a real buzz and we both made many friends along the way and did things we never expected to do.
We both threw so much love into the project and it became bigger than us. Not long into it, our relationship suffered more and more, this wasn’t a fairy tale and it was not all glory like it appeared. We were real people who had their own sets of problems and it clashed with each other. Holding supper clubs are extremely hard work – at first anyway, when you are not trained chefs and just figuring it out – it was stressful.
But no matter what, and from the worse circumstances I have ever been put in, in a relationship, we came through for Fernandez & Leluu. We fought for the supper club and left our differences under the rug for when guests would arrive – I became a different person. I remember a time when I was extremely ill but I took a lot of medicine and no one noticed. Simon remained himself and hid in the kitchen. He is very shy sometimes and he had to swallow a few glasses of wine before he could go downstairs and say hi to everyone at the end of the night. It was quite sweet.
After sagas of differences, Simon and I finally parted ways in December 2010. We could no longer hold it together for the sake of the supper club and so I continued to do them without Simon – withholding Fernandez & Leluu – the brand that it became so that he could also make use of and explore avenues. He went off to Switzerland for a few weeks, came back and did his own thing for 8 months. Now he has developed ferdiesfoodlab where he is holding banquet style dinners in a hall. It looks really nice.
Photo By Guilherme Zauith
Simon is one of the most amazing cooks I know. Together we created something really special in Fernandez & Leluu and somehow we made a little history together. He cooked some amazing dishes and loved what he did with a big passion. He was in engineering and now he would probably like to be a chef. I wish him all the best for his ventures. I am sure everyone will enjoy his food immensely as they did at Fernandez & Leluu Supper Club. There is no doubt in my mind that Simon can deliver good food.
And I, I also fell into the food scene, accidentally and I love to be there. It simply started with a blog I poured all my love into: Fernandez & Leluu. We both changed each other’s lives that day we met in my kitchen. The highs and the extreme lows have taught me so many lessons about life, people, disease and love.
We were two peas in a pod but we were cat & dog, Harry & Sally. day & night. black & white. Tom & Jerry, Noel & Liam. Two opposites that really worked in unison, who didn’t really get on. Ferndandez & Leluu –
You can visit ferdiesfoodlab here You can still come to the supper club by emailing me uyen[dot]luu[at]gmail[dot]com