On June 27th we had our first supper, the idea was food locally sourced and produced with all supplies from the TBFM. All the dishes would be something I had previously not tried to cook/creat/eat myself. It would be a €20 donation towards the costs and that would be it. It was messy, tasty and many things in between. I wasn't too worried I had my friends here. No strangers, no bloggers or journalists. Just friends. They expected my usual fare. Which is good, they had all eaten my food before and no one had had an issue. I sat at my table with 7 of my friends.
We ate wonderful porchetta from Ed Hick, brioche of Le Levain Bakery and vegetable, salad and the what not from Jenny.
It went off without a hitch. Everyone paid and left. I got around to cleaning the next day. It went like this for the next few weeks - mostly friends and mostly 6 people or so. After a while I ran out of people to hassle to come over, the blog was beginning to get rather steady following and the emails started arriving for bookings. they kept arriving...soon we were full of people. So many. This was actually working, my little single night per week showing what the people in Temple Bar food market can supply you to eat at home. Success I say. With all the demand I felt I better supply. Instead of upping our numbers at home I decided to go to another Temple Bar inhabitant, Joy of Cha. One of the sweetest and warmest cafés in Dublin. We could sit 20, but we'd have no kitchen. We could do it on a Friday, but we'd need to get the word out further. Robin designed her first poster for 'The Secret Suppers at Cha'
The idea was a little different from the Wednesday's suppers. Instead of food I was new to, it would be food I was confident with. Also food that could take the periods of waiting between courses. It worked! Wonderful. We kept it up, almost every Friday with the odd Thursday it happened. Then the private requests started, people asking for large numbers that would have to be separate from others. It was great. I was flat out, loving all of it (except when it all got too messy and I would decide to move city) But I'd survive the mean nights, the tough crowds and the guys that just like to sit in my apartment till the wee hours of the morning and Robin and myself are asleep on the couch. We kept going feeding, cooking and enjoying all of it. Then came some wonderful opportunities from some absolutely wonderful people.
In September I was contacted by Nerissa from a new little café venture happening in Dublin. I was asked to come on board as a food consultant. I helped them develop their menu. I was very excited and loved all of it. I was so happy to see people my age out there, doing this. They opened near the end of October to great fanfare.
The best event of last year for me was being asked by Aiobheen of Ardbia Nimmos to come and have a pop up night in her most wonderful of restaurants. On the November 15th we did just that:
We had the privilege of joining up with Pascal from Le Caveau wines in Kilkenny, who paired the most wonderful wines to compliment my food. 32 people arrived and ate, drank and were very merry. I loved the night, I loved the atmosphere and I loved feeding so many people. Who strengthened my wants to have a place of my own. Here's Pascal and I posing....I probably should have been cooking....
On we went to December, Christmas parties and birthday parties. Then a wonderful 3 week break. So here we are, January with another 6 months ahead of me and this time I have a plan. Well more goals than plans but I plan to reach these goals. We're going bigger. There's large event on the way, partnerships and lots of fun.
My biggest decision is that within the next six months I am going to open a pop-up café for a short time. The plan at the moment will be for brunch and dinners. I don't know when on where, but watch this space it is on it's way. I decided on the name long ago for a different incarnation of it. This is kind of an expansion on the idea and some what of a change of ethos. Over the next few weeks/months I'll develop a working menu and and once I've decided on a dates get going with the food market to make it happen. This is the big news and also what I am most excited about getting off the ground. There will hopefully be a return to Ardbia for another night in Galway....really just any excuse to work with Pascal again. Here in Dublin we have a few ideas coming up that should result in some large pop up events around the city. Also we'll hopefully be traveling a little further afield. Then six months will have happened and there will be another and another and another.....
Thanks for reading, thanks for eating and just thanks in general for giving me one of the most enjoyable periods in my life so far. I'd especially like to thank Robin (my seemingly long suffering girlfriend by everyone else's reckoning) for all the amazing design work, cooking and general wonderfulness for the last six months. She's terribly nice, you know. Also Aoife Mc for all the kind words she has written about us. Finally thanks to everyone in TBFM!