What can I say, I’ve just been to an amazing event down at Waitrose this evening…

I joined Simon Spooner (Masterchef 2018 competitor) and 23 other guests for a unique Supper Club at the Waitrose Peterborough Café. Simon presented a sumptuous menu using seasonal ingredients all from the Waitrose store perfectly paired with wines from their Wine Department.

Located in the Cafe area, which had closed earlier, we were greeted with one long table, decorated simply for perfectly with orchids and fairy lights, of which to all sit together and enjoy our evening. At 6pm guests started to arrive and were offered a glass of prosecco or an elderflower substitute. Arriving early it did mean that I had chance to chat with the organisers Seni & Sophie from We-Fi-Fo (relating to We Find Food) about how it came about and the uniqueness of this and more events coming up at Waitrose. The idea is that everything that Simon was preparing for us to try today had ingredients only taken from the shop floor including the wines to go with the meal. Now that doesn’t mean that I’ll be able to create these dishes tomorrow, but it certainly means that I can buy the ingredients if I want them.

We all seated ourselves around the table along with Seni & Sophie who get to also enjoy the evening and ensure that it is kept on track. After some informal introductions to people around us – we sat with Nigel & Christine and Tim & Claire. The canapés were brought out and served by the Waitrose staff: Smoked chicken wing croquette with tarragon emulsion. A ball with a crispy exterior which when cut into was a smooth mixture of flaked chicken in a creamy sauce. It was a great start of what was to come, we all agreed.

We were then served a glass of Triade, Fiano, Falanghina from Greece [Worth every last penny, this is a beautifully crafted blend of the southern Italian grapes of Fiano, Falanghina and Greco that delivers ripe pear and citrus notes.] which was a very smooth and light white wine ready for our starter of Cauliflower risotto with nduja crumb which was a small portion of risotto but mighty on taste – not created with traditional Arborio rice for risotto but instead with spelt. A very thick and creamy texture which wa highlighted nicely against the nduja crumbs on its top – luckily for me it was not too spicy and again everyone agreed that it was very tasty. The wine matched it perfectly in being a very gentle white wine complimenting the cauliflower.

During the break in dishes I took the opportunity to take a few photographs of the remaining guests who I’d not caught earlier, all obviously quite happy to have their photograph taken at this lovely event. I even came across Brad Barnes from the PT…of which we had a chat about Peterborough’s Christmas Tree news!

Red wine was offered next, this was Climbing Shiraz, Orange [The Cumulus’ vineyard is located in the Orange wine region 600m above sea level. The cool climate of the area produces elegant wines such as this one, which shows plum, dark cherry and blackberry fruits with hints of pepper spice and dark chocolate.]. Now the problem is that I don’t like red wine, so I left my judgement until I’d had some of the main dish so it would compliment it. The main promptly arrived: Glazed beef short rib, smoked bone marrow mash, mushroom ketchup, parsley emulsion and a beef sauce. What can I say..? I actually got a smiley face on my plate, did you notice? The beef short rib piled up on top of the mash with sauce around the base was my smile with 2 circle eyes of ketchup and emulsion. The meat just fell apart as you touched it – tender and succulent – devine. Some of us in our set of 6 had mixed feelings on the ‘marrow bone’ flavouring to the mash, but it wasn’t a problem it was simply a nice tasting, extra creamy mashed potatoes. The beef sauce really did add to the dish when taken on the fork altogether… beef, mash and sauce – a wonderful combination – Everything went together well.  Back to the wine and I’m afraid it wasn’t for me, but around the table and those that come regularly to Waitrose’s wine tasting on a Friday, thought it had a good taste that went well with the main red meat dish.

After a breather and refilling of wine glasses, if it was wanted, our dessert arrived: Pistachio and orange tart with lemon cream and pomegranate molasses. A lovely slice of tart with a heavy compact filling and a very light cream. A bit like ying and yang – they were made for each other. A wonderful base (no soggy bottom there) and the filling was sweet enough for anyone’s sweet tooth, but not overpoweringly so. Definitely a winner for me and I’m ususally a chocoholic.

We all sat back and chatted about what we’d eaten, the portion sizes and we were all in agreement that you don’t need lashings of food if the quality is good. You come away feeling satisfied and full but not overly full. We all said how exceptionally good the food had been created. Jokes around on which of us could now go out into Waitrose buy the products and make the dish at home, err No I don’t think any one of us will be attempting it, but it certainly gave us all some ideas. Simon came out to have a chat with tis guests and enjoy the excellent feedback on his menu creation.

The evening was certainly entertaining, once you get in to chatting with the guests next to you, you actually forget that you’re in a supermarket! The location is perfect and the service impeccable by the Waitrose Team tonight – thank you. We Fi Fo really have come up with a unique idea on getting people to talk about food, enjoy food and have an evening complimented by Chefs who really have a fantastic talent for creating a great menu. Simon’s choices of dishes were amazingly tasty. An evening that I would certainly recommend to anyone that loves food and enjoys trying something new.


To go to an event yourself: www.wefifo.com
To purchase any wines: www.waitrosecellar.com/all-wines
For more info on Simon’s business see https://knifeforkandspooner.com/
For more info on Simon and his experience on Masterchef see www.pridemagazines.co.uk/stamford/2018/06/11/simon-spooner-the-stamford-masterchef/

#WeLovePeterborough #WeLoveFood #SimonSpooner #Waitrose #FineFood #QualityFood #CelebrityChef #MasterChef #KnifeFork&Spooner

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