After having to wait a whole 6 months, I managed to finally pay tribute to our very own Great British Chef, Gary Rhodes with my first supper club which ironically took place in East Dulwich, where Gary grew up.
Originally the event was to take place on the 16th of March 2020 and with just 10 days to go until the 26th, I had to pull the plug on what would have been my very first event and tribute to one of my old head chefs Gary Rhodes, due to the coronavirus. I was watching the t.v and listening to what the government had to say while the restrictions evolved in front of my eyes and I couldn't believe it as I had just sent the welcome email to all my guests only 2 days before.
The month leading up to my event I decided it was a good idea to have a little play around with the recipes and to familiarise myself once again as it had been a while since I had last cooked those dishes (approximately 28 years), so I got cracking and perfected the dishes and I was really happy with the cooking process that I had gone through but then corona struck and so that was that…...
Fast forward and six months had passed and like you, I had this feeling as though we were coming out of lockdown and having always been in communication with the event space organisers, I finally managed to fix a new date in place, ha! Funnily enough it was reset to 26th but it was now September.
Well with just 10 days to go history was about to repeat itself and so soon after feeling as though the virus was lifting, up pops Boris up to tell us about the rule of 6, with hand over mouth I just couldn't believe it, I actually thought to myself is this a wind up, because ironically I was sitting at my desk in front of my laptop literally about to press send on the new welcome email to say it's all go with the event, but no, that wasn't going to happen and that also came an abrupt STOP!
Anyway, trying to not listen too much to this, I was determined to get this off the ground and pushed ahead regardless. I was hoping that we didn't go into another full lockdown as I was thinking to myself at the time that it would have probably been 2021 when I would have been able to do this again. So with blinkers on and constantly with my ears to the radio I kept it moving and started to produce some of the food items that could be frozen. Once the Government had decided on the final outcome to the latest of the ever changing rules with concerns to the coronavirus, I then put in place, with the help of the event space organisers the rule of 6 guidelines and pushed forward once more in the production, so much so it took me until the 26th September to finish the final bits & bobs as well as packing the food and equipment etc, etc.
The day itself went as smoothly as I could have wished for, from the get go until the very end and my guests were so happy, not only to be out and dining in a restaurant but with the food that I cooked and served. I could not ask for a better outcome and satisfied guests, especially as they also had to wait as long as I had, to sit and eat it.
So after what seemed like the longest wait ever, I finally managed to reproduce the skill that I gained from Gary and I am so glad that the tribute I paid to him was not only as good as it could have been, but listening to my guests feedback it was better than that.
Thank you for the lessons Chef Gary and for your patience with me, as this set you aside from other head chefs I worked under and with. You set a benchmark in British cuisine that will never be forgotten and never topped.