Namastē (“I bow to the divine in you”)
Topi (Nepali hat) resting on my brow and singing bowl in hand I was ready to host another crowd of hungry souls at the latest Supper Club. This one was personally very special as we aimed to celebrate the brilliance of Nepali cuisine. I spent a unforgettable two years in Kathmandu with my wife. The colours, scents and mayhem of the country can not be done justice with words. You need to immerse yourself in the country to soak up all the charms it freely gives.
This was the fourth monthly meal and again gave us the chance to experiment with the format. The first was a fully extravagant dining experience, but now, as we bring more of the concept and community into proceedings, we wanted offered a more participatory evening.
I was the captain steering the ship from the safety of the kitchen, delicately mixing spices, and plating up plates of flavours that tried to do justice to the culture that lives in the shadow of the Himalayas. Showing off to the waiting guesting I bi-lingually explained the menu in a language that sparked a sense of awe, but would probably have any Nepali rolling around in laughter at my humble attempted to remember the language I have not spoken for years.
The menu was ambitious but came together beautifully, from the empty pots scraped bare of all remnants, it seemed to be a huge success by all. The event from my end was perfect as the soup kitchen-style come up and collect your food system worked effortless as the ever-happy to help crowd delivered waiter perfect plates to their fellow guests. The level of altruism in the people we have attracted to the events so far gives me a massive sense of gratitude and a very positive feeling towards what this community can achieve together.
This months meal was special for another reason, we have become a close enough community to be able to launch the Local Food Community Fund, which will help support local food ideas in Bury St Edmunds.
We live in a world that has misplaced its value in local food and we need to not only begin to revalue it but create ways in invest our time, money and selves in its future. The fund will be a way to begin this conversation.
As all meals should, I will finish with the food. The evening started with hot Tulsi tea, the holy basil, a plant grown widely in Nepali for its cure all properties. The starter was Vegetable Momos, Potato Patties and No-cook Tomota Sauce. For the Main, we had Cumin-flavoured Rice and Lentil Soup (the famous Nepali Daal-Bhat), more Potato Patties, Onion Pickle, Curried Mushroom, Spiced Greens, Mustard Courgette and Hot Tomato Chutney. To finish, we had Spiced Tea and Carrot Pudding.
Dhayanvada – Thank you