The Launch of Grazing Asia – A Pan-Asian Supper Club in London
Grazing Asia is a new and very unique supper club. It’s a pan-Asian concept where the menu is created, sourced and cooked by four successful and well-loved London based food bloggers. They bring their individual and distinctive flavours from different corners of Asia and each one of them contribute with a complementary dish to the final menu.
The idea started when the four friends, who have cooked together in different occasions, decided to launch a supper club with all profits going to charity. Their aim, apart from the charity fund raising, is to create an enjoyable environment for creating freshly made Asian food for people who love and appreciate this type of cuisine..
The first event took place on the 19th June 2011 at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen test kitchen above the restaurant of the same name in Shoreditch, London. The Fiffteen team(website editor Danny McCubbin, Joe Gray (Fifteen Graduate), Jai and Emma (Fifteen Apprentices)) helped the Grazing Asia team and together they raised £1,290 for charity from this lunch.
This particular event’s proceeds went to the Jamie Oliver’s Foundation to fund the Fifteen charity running team at the New York marathon this November. The Grazing Asia team successfully got donations for all the ingredients used to make the dinner. The generous donations came from fishmongers Fin & Flounder, Naked Wines, Oriental supermarket Wai Yee Hong in Bristol, Eurofrutta and Japan Centre.
The Grazing Asia team comprises of the following people:
Luiz Hara, also known as The London Foodie, who I met through his food Blog, was born in Brazil to Japanese and Italian parents and just like me he has been living in the United Kingdom for the last twenty years. Luiz also hosts the London cooking club once a month at his house. He is a really accomplished cook.
Uyen Luu, was born in Vietnam and hosts the Fernandez and Leluu Supper Club, with some ‘singles themed nights’ in East London. Uyen also writes a food Blog at www.leluu.com, and organises foodie events. She is trained in Fine Art Film & Video and has been involved in the fashion and retail scene designing her own clothing and jewellery brand called ‘Leluu’.
MiMi, originally from Burma, writes Meemalee’s Kitchen blog, South East Asian recipes for Channel 4 and is currently working on her Burmese cookbook.
A fan of Slow Food Movement, May is an expert in Malaysian food and writes the Slow Food Kitchen blog. Food obsessed, recipe tester, gadget fanatic and restaurant reviewer. There’s no end to this lady’s talents.
The afternoon started with a drink reception with wines donated by Naked Wines. The location, Fifteen’s test kitchen, a former warehouse, is very airy, light and bright. A big theater kitchen area faces the windows and the three tables which accommodated the 35+ guests. Since we were in the kitchen we could see the last finishing touches to all the dishes. There is another kitchen with a brick wall off this room where some of the dishes were prepared. Before each course each cook introduced his or her respective dish.
The menu was as follows:
Seared Tuna with Yuzu Ponzu & Sesame Dressing by Luiz Hara. Four generous pieces of seared fresh tuna served on a bed of fresh watercress and rocket salad with the most marvelous citrusy dressing. This is a recipe by Reiko, who holds a Japanese cookery course in London and helped Luiz out on the day. The textures, the freshness of the produce and the dressing struck the right note with everyone. We all loved it.
Spicy Burmese Fishball Salad aka Nga-pè Thoh(k) by MiMi. I am not familiar with Burmese cooking, but really enjoyed this dish. The salad was vibrant, bursting with different textures and freshness. I am looking forward to learn more about Burmese cooking.
Baked Crispy Pork Belly with Banh Cuon, Pickled and Fried Shallots with Vietnamese Cured Ham, Thai Basil and Coriander by Uyen. This was a lovely plate with a varied and good selection of meats. The pork was tender – extra points for that – and the Banh Cuonwas fresh and tasty.
Malaysian Curry Laksa by May. This dish tasted better than it looked. I had seconds of this spicy coconut curry soup with noodles and that says it all!
Green Tea Pannacotta with Summer Berries by Fifteen head pastry chef. It was served in a rather deep glass so lots of it – no complaints from me. It was really delicious.
I am rather picky when it comes to table settings, however, on this occasion the mismatched crockery, cutlery and the new tea towels used as napkins added to the quirkiness of the event. The execution, the menu and amount of food were perfectly balanced. The atmosphere was buzzing and loud, you could hear the noise of all our conversations and enjoyment from the street, a sign of a really good party! The dynamics between food, hosts, guests and location worked brilliantly. I would happily go back for more.
This particular event was by invitation and aimed mainly to press and food bloggers.Some of the guests, mainly the wine experts, brought along some really delicious wines for us all to taste. The food was expertly cooked, an explosion of tastes and textures in our mouths, created by the exotic ingredients.
Grazing Asia will be popping up at different locations across London. The next event is scheduled to take place in August. If you would like to take part, then you can get more details at: www.grazingasia.com.