June 19 2013 Latest news:
Sarah Ingrams, Reporter
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
A Dalston supper club has raised over £20,000 for charity and delighted diners with its delicious international cuisine along the way.
The Parkholme Supper Club, in Parkholme Road, has brought together groups of 14 people, sometimes strangers, on a weekly basis to share an ambitious menu since September 2010.
Businesswoman founder Alicia Weston tells the stories of the dishes she cooks and donates all proceeds to Medcins Sans Frontieres which provides medical care around the world.
She believes it is the world’s first charity supper club and intends to raise the target to £40,000 now they have made the first milestone.
She charges around £40 per person per meal: £5 goes towards food and the rest goes to the charity.
She said: “That was one of the problems at first. People thought that if I only spent £5 on food they wouldn’t get a good deal compared to other clubs. That was my biggest hurdle and in order to get over this I had to have a better offering than everybody else.”
Ms Weston has now hosted over 40 supper clubs with 10-12 themed dishes ranging from China to Georgian England. Her most recent dinner followed the food trail of 14th century traveller Ibn Battutah.
Born in Malaysia, Ms Weston is inspired by the food of the eight different countries in which she has lived.
“I have always been interested in cookbooks that tell you where the food comes from,” she said. “So I started to tell stories about where the food came from.
“Mostly we cook what I know which is an enormously large range. I enjoy doing it and trying new recipes. It’s quite a sociable thing and it brings people together on the dining side too.”
Guests around her dining table have included BBC newsreader George Alagiah.
“It’s a really interesting mix of people but the reality is that I’m in the kitchen. I had naïve ideas that I would cook dinner and sit down and eat with them but the stress levels of getting all the dishes out mean I’m not hungry.”
Parkholme Supper Club meets weekly and places fill up quickly. For information and bookings visit http://www.parkholmesupperclub.co.uk/