A series of “firsts” all round this week - and in my case a first time at a “supper club” in Peterborough.
It was also the first time that WeFiFo - who connect home cooks, supper club hosts and food skills event organisers with diners in their local community - had hosted at Peterborough’s Waitrose - the cafe area to be precise.
And it was also the first time they (it is actually WeFindFood) had used Simon Spooner, who showcased his skills in the kitchen to great effect to a huge television audience on MasterChef at the beginning of last year.
The “supper club” concept isn’t anywhere near as stuffy as it sounds - in this case 20-plus people, mostly couples, seated at one long table.
And although the majority had never met their fellow diners, they all had one thing in common - a love for good food.
And here, WeFiFo and Simon, who regularly hosts similar events at his home in Ketton, near Stamford, in particular didn’t disappoint.
As an aside, he turned out to be a terrific host too, popping out of the kitchen during and after the meal to chat to guests.
So to the food: After being greeted with a glass of fizzy stuff we were seated and the canapés arrived - smoked chicken wing croquette with tarragon emulsion. A nice crisp, crunchy coating, an oozing soft meaty centre and the great taste of tarragon.
This was followed by a subtly flavoured cauliflower risotto with nduja crumb. It is not a dish I would have chosen from any menu - but that is the beauty of these events, as you get to try something new.
The main event starred a melt-in-the-mouth glazed beef short rib, sitting atop a smooth-as-can-be smoked bone marrow mash - with super mushroom ketchup, parsley emulsion and a beef sauce that weren’t just there to make the plate look pretty. Delicious.
Finally, we rounded things of with a crunchy pistachio and orange tart - that packed plenty of zing - with fresh lemon cream.
And each course came with a wine to match.
If you are curious about the venue, all the ingredients used by Simon (his private dining/supper club business is called Knife, Fork and Spooner by the way) and the wines came from the shelves at Waitrose.
Find out more at www.wefifo.com and www.knifeforkandspooner.com