Launch Party – Flavour Expats by Backdoor Kitchen:
It takes a lot (of food?) to get this West London girl across London to happening Clapton. In this case curiousity got the better of me and I ventured East to find myself in a large open kitchen and dining area on top of a delicatessen just off the Lower Clapton Road, Palm2. Rather appropriately it was for an ‘East vs West’ Cookery battle – although in this case based on countries and continents rather than London boroughs.
The concept – to pitch Supper Club chefs from different parts of the world against each other in a kind of virtual battle, was explained by a passionate Rob from ‘The Backdoor Kitchen’ representing Italy. We were lucky enough to be invited to taste just a little of what is in store over the next few months. Tasters from most of the chefs involved in the series of events and an introduction from each of them about their own country’s food. What makes this kind of event special is a genuine passion from those cooking to introduce us all to their own regional specialities.
We started in Japan. Erica’s supperclub is Tacochu and she’d prepared a delicious warm salad of tempura squid with Aonori, wasabi mayo and what the menu described as ‘mind-blowing dressing’. I was more impressed by the delicacy of this dish than the mind-blowing qualities, but perhaps that is just as well since there was a LOT more to come.
Next up was the considerably more robust Kangaroo Pie with home made ketchup and brown sauce. Alex from the pickled fork explained that Kangaroo was a common meat in Australia
I think we all enjoyed this comforting dish – boy food at its best, the pastry was light and flaky while the filling was deliciously robust. And even I liked the ketchup:)
Alex explained that it should have been made with ‘Roo tail, but that he’d not been able to source any in the UK. I suspect we’d have been presented with an even more robust version of this dish had the tail been available.
Mussels in coconut milk with tumeric, leeks and shrimp paste gave us a taster of food from the Philippenes. Mae quite rightly observed that we really don’t know much about the food they enjoy – with a wealth of seafood, spices and vegetables that we know little about in the UK
Next up was the lovely Selina from Yummychoo Eats serving us a Mauritian dish that she’d learnt from her mother. Vindaye Poisson is made with Trevally pieces in a turmeric and mustard seed marinade. She’d kindly served it warm for us because the weather was really NOT Mauritian – utterly delicious and perfectly spiced.
I’ve known Selina since I started writing London-Unattached and I’ve watched in awe as she’s tackled larger and larger culinary projects. A star in the making perhaps? Selina explained that Mauritian food had strong French and Indian influences, showcased in this comforting yet light dish. I loved the coconut and spinach dhal and could happily just have dined on that!
I only managed one of the desserts – the beautiful poached pears from ‘The Candlestick Maker’ representing Great Britain because I needed to get back across town. But, to be honest I’d had plenty of food by the time I left.
Flavour Expats at Palm2 is running over a few months, with a different pairing of chefs for each event. It’s a great way to explore and learn more about the cuisines of different countries, cooked for you by expats keen to showcase the best they can do in this ‘battle’ for culinary dominance. The next event is on March 29th and will be Australia vs Japan. Find out more and book this or one of the other dates on the Edible Experience website. At £35 a ticket it’s something of a steal!