Sunday, 20 March 2011

What is an Underground Restaurant I hear you ask?

Ok so loads of people have asked me what an Underground Restaurant is. So I thought I would give you lovely people a breakdown of what specifically Nottingham Underground Restaurant is. An Underground restaurant is a restaurant that is usually run from somebody’s home. However because my house is too small to fit all Simons bikes and 30 odd diners, I have opted to run them from community centres and other community based venues like disused shops. 
Underground restaurants are also referred to as supper clubs (for about six months my dyslexic brain could not understand why they were called super clubs!), pop up restaurants or guestaurants. Apparently the Underground restaurant phenomena really took off in Latin America and infiltrated in to the US. However I would suspect that this sort of dining has been going for years. Only the other day I was chatting to the butcher about the concept and he explained that he had been to one in the 80’s out in Clifton village. However since the recession the underground restaurant scene has really taken off in London, and like every thing it takes a while for towns north of Luton to get with the programme!

Underground restaurants defiantly offer good value for money, for a recession busting donation of £15 pounds Nottingham Underground Restaurant can offer you 3 scrumptious courses and entertainment. However the dining experience is different to what you would get in a regular recession busting high street restaurant. At Nottingham Underground I aim to offer the diner a different and intimate dinner party experience. At the first pop up event I notice initially people found it perhaps a little odd sitting with people they did not know. However after the first complimentary glass of bubbly people started to chat, by the end of the night one lady was getting plumbing advice, another group of people were discussing palates moves and others were finding out where all the cool kids go to watch new music. So you never know who you will be sitting with!

Another thing that will make your experience very different to your high street restaurants; is I try to involve as many local producers, artists and performers as possible. At the last event Daisy Cope fashion designer made some funky napkins, Tracey Mcmaster did a sterling performance art piece , Penny Spreadbury provide jewellery for the staff and Ed Bannard performed. So it gives the diner opportunities to experience local talent that may not have been unearthed on the high street.

When developing the menus I really try to offer the diner and experience that they would not find on the high street of Nottingham. As the menus are set I offer a meat option and a vegan option; I often can when informed beforehand adapt the menu to accompany wheat free and other dietary requirements. I enjoy the challenge! I made lush wheat free dairy free syrup cake last time! Also when developing menus I try to think of experiences we may not get on the provincial streets of Nottingham. I like to offer world food cuisine: the last pop up was Middle Eastern the next on the 29th of April will have a Mexican theme arriba arriba! 
                                                        Wheat free Dairy free cake looking 

The whole concept of underground restaurants is really to provide interesting good quality “home style” cooking to encourage interaction between the tables. So there will be loads of “pass the sauce” moments. Surely the Underground Restaurant phenomena is the speed dating of the twenty tens!  

Nottingham Underground is eventually set to run once a week in different venues around Nottinghamshire. Some weeks we will be reaching out to the small villages, who perhaps miss out on the bright light of the city centre! Other weeks we will be sticking a little closer to home. My events will be advertised on my blog , face book, twitter and word of mouth so to see this text you have to be in the know! I hope to see you at the next underground event on the 29th of  April, where we will be having a Mexican themed alt royal wedding event! 


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

You got to love Fennel

I love fennel it is one of my fave veggies, it adds so much scrumptiousness to such basic recipes. So when I found out that Fennel seed, Onion seed and Black sesame seeds are considered to be basic bread spices in the Middle East I could not wait to have a crack at baking bread with them. Check out my attached recipe, this is the rustic olive and fennel bread I made at the 2nd Nottingham Underground Restaurant event,. I hope you like it.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

1st of March

Thought you might like this calendar for March, designed by me, I ment to do it for January and February but forgot! I will remember to do it next month!