Since announcing my Autumn Pop-Up run and the (temporary) transition from a pay-what-you-want, set menu Supper Club to a fixed price, à la carte Pop-Up Restaurant, people have had questions. Questions like: why do I have to change everything they like about what I do?
Aside from a perpetual dissatisfied restlessness that results in my pathological need to fix things that aren’t broken, I do actually have some good reasons as well.
I am incredibly proud of the dishes I’ve created over the past four years of doing supper clubs, but until now they have always been works in progress, with dishes moving OUT of rotation as they are perfected. The number one impulse driving the Autumn pop-up is that I wanted to bring back all of my favourite creations in their best form and give them the chance to shine.
Whether it’s my pumpkin curry that’s been years in the tweaking or the smoked eel and celeriac that was basically perfect right out of the gate (only needed more black pudding), every dish that I am featuring over the Autumn Pop-Up Run is one that I want to show off at the peak of its potential.
I’ve been cagey about this in the past but not any more: I do want my own restaurant one day. But I know that just wanting it isn’t enough and I have to prove out loud what I know in my heart: That I can deliver, not just dream. That my people are out there, they can recognize quality, and they will seek it out.
Down the line I will be scouting neighbourhoods and checking out premises, picking out china patterns, killing rats, smothering grease fires and firing waiters but for now it’s all about the fundamentals: cooking the best food I know how and keeping it all together, one night at a time.
The best thing about the supper clubs has always been the people it has attracted.
That’s not me saying that either – I get told time and time again by guests that they’ve loved the communal experience of meeting and talking to new people, of sitting down with strangers and getting up with friends. I can’t claim any credit for this – I’m usually not even in the room when it happens.
But it seems that the supper clubs exert a gravitational pull on friendly adventurous foodies who enjoy making connections with others like themselves. More than anything, I want to expand Smoke and Thyme so that this space, that you all have made, can continue and grow.
Book Now for a seat at the table of our Autumn Pop-Up run.