Welcome to my website. I am the author of ‘Vietnamese – Simple Vietnamese Food To Cook At Home’. I am a photographer and film maker. You can book into my supper club, Vietnamese cooking classes, buy my book, check out my photography and lots more here.
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Its been a week since we hosted an evening for After Eight’s new campaign featuring Supper Club maestro Jim Haynes in association with Qype. Every day since last week we have been reading so many great write ups about this event. Electric shock waves run through our bodies as I read out loud to Simon all the reviews and blog posts. Our faces light up instantly and we are chuffed by every kind word that is written, that is spoken or said.
Thank you so much.
We feel truly honoured to have been asked to host such an event with the wonderful Mr Jim Haynes. As previously mentioned, he has been holding his supper club for over thirty years. Over thirty years!! (To those who ask how long do we think supper clubs will last – it seems like the good ones do – everybody loves a good party)
From talking to Jim at some length on the night as I was on front of house duty (yeay!), I found out that he is more than I expected. Not only does Jim ooze in charm and great charisma, Jim is inspirational as a human being, promoting peace, love and kindness to those standing nearby him with a smile or a giggle at the end of all his sentences. It is no wonder that people love to go to his supper clubs – it must be a place where one just feels really good!
What better, to go to a place and meet a bunch of people whom can end up being your life long friend, your wife or husband, your fling, your friend for now. Add in the atmosphere and good food and drink, makes a perfect present, a perfect memory.
For us, this is something that we will treasure forever. A perfect and beautiful milestone to the Uyen & Simon who sat back in the garden last summer, eating each other’s cooking, having who-makes-the-best-roast competitions to the ones who can not think of a better name for a supper club than that of our own, to the ones who couldn’t get anyone to come to the supper club to the ones who were asked to hold an evening with Jim Haynes for After Eight. – its like a dream we dare not dream coming true.
We worked on this project for 2 weeks solid. It took about 4 days to get the flat in order, employing removal men to lift things, get rid of things to prepare for our supper club to be turned into the way Jim has his. No tables. You stand and mingle. We had to change a lot. Didn’t mind – What a great idea!
The menu was dependent on fork only or finger food. And we were asked to do a slightly different format, three courses! This is what we decided to do:
Second Course Carpaccio of Argentinian Beef Fillet Rolled in Black Pepper With Raspberry Jus Mashed Garlic & Spring Onion Inside Baked Potato Skins Lambs Lettuce In Olive Oil & Lemon Garlic Foccacia
Dessert A Trifle Of Croissant Bread & Butter Pudding With Whisky Raisins, White Chocolate Custard & Strawberry, Raspberry & Blackberry Soaked in Cointreau
Chris & Lacey – cool love birds
We wanted to serve really successful dishes we have previously made. It was for Jim Haynes for goodness sakes! We wanted to do our famous Fish & Chips but due it being the Easter weekend, we could not get fresh fish that had just been out of the sea. We could have got fish but it would have been sitting in the Steve Hatts fridge for 3 days.
We planned the menu and times like a major operation. Simon composed a 7 page hit list of things to do, who does them, at what time and for how long. It was great! And we obliged to it with precision except the night before, Simon and I went out to the pub and indeed messed up on the timings somewhat the next day : /
But we did it, with help from our friends, Chris & Lacey (they’ve been to the supper club since the beginning – something like 4 or 5 times and now are our dear friends) and Claire from Green Onions Supper Club and her/ our waitress Lucy.
Before Jim arrived at 6pm, the atmosphere was calm yet electric in the kitchen. We were all so excited and proud to take part of such an event. We all felt so honoured to do this for Jim and for all the Qypers and bloggers who made it through to the list. We only wish that we had as much room as Jim and could have invited so many more you, and our friends too.
It was a very unique experience and such a great party. You can read all the blogs on your right about the evening. Great pictures from The London Eater, and lovely write ups from One Million Gold Stars & The Grubworm. You can visit Qype for more too. It was fantastic to meet bloggers and qypers that we have only met on Twitter and bonding face to face. There are great friendships to be made from this event.
Jim has been in contact with us, saying that his Sunday dinners are getting ever so popular. He had 100 guests last weekend after turning away 40! “I hate to say the word, ‘No’”. We hate it too –
Amongst some great advice about parties and how to deal with these supper clubs, one important lesson Jim taught me is ‘acceptance’ of people. People are who they are and you got to just accept them as they are. Also, to ‘look forward’ and never look back. Enjoy.
We gave him a doggie bag to take with him back to Paris of which he said he enjoyed the evening after. Jim has invited us to stay with him in Paris where we can cook for his supper club one Sunday. How exciting is that? Will keep you all posted.
We have traveled so far and we are so proud of ourselves too. We only hope that we can continue to meet the expectations generated by guests reviews of our food, thanks so much by the way, and yikes! We are loving what we are doing at the moment. Thank you to all who have come, had a great time and are spreading the word. Thank you so much.