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64
4.8 out of 5 stars
Supper Club: Recipes and notes from the underground restaurant
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2011
This book is unique - not only is it incredibly beautiful, full of Kerstin Rodgers' whimsical style (think French vintage with an edgy, slightly subversive twist), it is also eclectic in terms of recipes. This is because it is based upon The Underground Restaurant - the author's supperclub which is never allowed to rest on its laurels, but is constantly coming up with interesting themes. The book includes some of these, including a Midnight Feast of black food (Black Russians, Squid-ink Tortelloni, Marmite Chocolate Cupcakes) and Elvis Night (Deep-Fried Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwiches, Blackened Catfish) and the ridiculously pretty Flower Menu (Stuffed Courgette Flowers, Marigold Bread, Elderflower Fritters, ice cream served in a Flower Ice Bowl). Other interesting ideas include making butterscotch schnapps with Daim bars, vodka and your dishwasher, flavouring popcorn with butter, chilli and lime as well as taking lots of things back to first principles - candying citrus peel, for example.

This is a lovely cookery book, full of things I personally would like to try, but it's also an excellent read, offering as it does a glimpse into what is clearly a fascinating life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 December 2011
Kirstin Rodgers aka MsMarmiteLover is the figurehead of the supper club movement in London. Her Underground Restaurant was the first supper club we went to and we loved it. It even contributed in a way to me making Secret Dinner Party, so I was pretty excited to hear about her book. When it arrived, the first thing that stuck me was the high quality production values of the paper and cover. There's a kind of homemade, French, shabby chic feel to the book which actually reminded me of her beautiful house in Kilburn. The colours and illustrations really work with the style of the writing and it's a book that I'm proud to show off to friends and it always has them instantly intrigued.

The content of the book is excellent. The first 75 pages are devoted to the history of the pop up restaurant and, my favourite subject, tips for hosts. Although the tips are for pop up restaurant hosts, they also apply to hosts of secret dinner parties, for example, plan your meal around your oven/cooker/fridge capacity. The only difference really is that pop up restaurants are generally for larger numbers of people (12-35) whereas secret dinner parties are more likely to be for 4-8 guests (the most we've had is 10, but we do have a large dining table).

The next 200 pages are recipes taken from Kirstin's supper clubbing experience and a few recipes from other pop up restaurants. One of the contributors are friends of Secret Dinner Party, Rambling Restaurant with their pork belly and black pudding, thyme and honey parsnips and cider gravy (you can see what Abi thought of one of our dinner parties by reading her review on [...]). MsMarmiteLover's recipes are varied and interesting, with plenty of vegetarian options and even cocktails. The thing I like the most are the imaginative themed menus towards the end of the book, like the Black Menu, where all the food is black (who knew you could buy black carrots from Fortnum & Mason's?), or the Flower Menu, which all the food is made from different types of flowers (like marigold bread and courgette flowers stuffed with goats cheese) and the Elvis Menu, made from all his favourite fried food.

The last few pages is a list of supper clubs ordered by city. The list is on her excellently maintained Supper Club Fan Group social network, which she runs with Lynn Hill from Leeds' Secret Tea Room. It's become a go-to resource for everything to do with supper clubs, and if you're at all interested in the scene then I recommend you sign up and say something about yourself. And don't forget to sign up to [....] if you haven't already.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2011
Having visited Kerstin's amazing supperclub last year, I was so excited to hear that she had a book coming out. The book arrived a few days ago and it is gorgeous! The design is beautiful and even has a lovely ribbon. But the best thing about the book (other than the delicious recipes, of which there are many) is Kerstin's writing, which is friendly and funny. It's a cookery book but it's also a glimpse into what it takes to run a restaurant from your own home, complete with a how-to list and a directory. This is the perfect book for the aspiring supper club chef (and for the rest of us who want to make something a bit special at home).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2011
This book is colourful in every way, with some personal history about Kerstin, how she became interested in Food and Cooking. Some little anecdotes about her events. There is a full section on How to Start your own Supperclub. Which is a must read for all those wanting to set up their own Supperclub

Each chapter has different colourful pages with pictures and drawings. Adventurous Recipes with accompanying notes and pictures to whet the appetite along with a World Wide Supperclub Directory, essential for all those interested in visiting a supperclub in their area.

This is a lovely book, clearly showing the passion Kerstin has for her food, her Underground Restaurant and all other supperclub.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2011
after visiting kirstin's restaurant for the first time aaaages ago, i was very excited to learn of her cookbook coming out. and i can tell you i am completely thrilled with it. filled with gorgeous photographs of the food and her beautiful home and evenings at her supper club, and cute illustrations throughout and also fascinating stories, it is like being at one of her amazing dinner events. so beautifully designed too, it would make an amazing present for anybody (including a gift to oneself!) It is a magical book with many delicious recipes to try. i look forward to visiting the underground restaurant again very very soon after reading this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 4 May 2011
This book is simply lovely. Great recipes anyone can make, witty, clever writing, and loads of tips for would be Supperclubs. Have already made the Popcorn, Pork, French Onion Soup and the Salted Caramel sauce, completly delish!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 April 2011
Having become really interested in secret supper clubs recently I was overjoyed to hear about this book coming out, especially as it is written by one the original founders of supper clubs in the UK. Visually it is an absolutely stunning book, from the pretty front cover, to the pictures of the food, to the lovely extra touch of the pink ribbon as a book mark. It really sums up the magic and thought that goes in to making supper clubs what they are. The recipes are all really interesting and creative without being too challenging for those who already have a passion for cooking and working with food. It is also a book that you want to to sit down and actually read as it gives a really good background of supper clubs and Kerstin's own experience in them as well as tips for setting up your own and is such an inspirational and funny read that by the end I was desperate to set up my own!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2011
I bought this book about 6 months ago, since then it's become my favourite cookbook of all time. Why? Because it's so much more than a cook book. Yes, it has wonderful recipes, that really do work. Not only that it has a step by step guide to setting up a supper club. Which is exactly what I've done! Even if you're not interested in setting up your own supper club, it offers great advice for hosting dinner parties for large groups. With Christmas on the way, we all need a bit of that. Kerstin is a fascinating character and her foodie stories are a delight. I love the photography and design as I'm a complete sucker for vintage chic. Kerstin has even taken some of the photos herself (the nicer ones, in my opinion) which shows what a multi-talented individual she is. A steal at £12! Buy it, and buy some for your friends while you're at it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2011
I was very excited about this book arriving and it didn't disappoint! Firstly it is beautiful to look at, with gorgeous pictures and illustrations.
I also loved the lay out; with an introduction to the world of supper clubs and a useful how to guide for those inspired to have a go themselves; and then a selection of recipes. It feels much more personal than a normal cook book, with anecdotes and advice written with wit, wisdom and soul.
There isn't a single recipe I don't want to try! They are written in a straight forward way, and most aren't massively complicated; where they are tricky or time consuming Kerstin is honest enough to say so. One recipe even includes a bottle of wine for the cook as it takes a while, brilliant!
I can see this book becoming a firm favourite.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2011
Nowadays too many cookery books are cheap tie ins with TV series, cookie cutter products that are a dispiriting read. Kerstin here has produced the antithesis, A book where her joy of cooking and life shines from every page. Of all the cookery books I have read in the last year I'm sure that this one is the one which will still be in my kitchen in five years.
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