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The Perfect Supper Club With Spread London

Stylish caterers and supper club supremoes Spread London share their secrets with TOAST

With Easter feasting fast approaching TOAST caught up with stylish London caterers and supper club supremos Spread London to hear how they go about serving up the perfect spread.



Hosting a successful, stylish supper club that tastes as good as it looks is most definitely a challenge in itself, but to do it so well that your guests start asking you to cater their own events…well, that’s another level, and it’s exactly what Emma and Jess, also known as Spread London, managed to achieve.

In the early stages Spread was a supper club series - the focus was on introducing guests to different producers or products every month via collaboration dinners,” explains Emma.

And then guests began hiring us for private events, so it happened quite organically. We’re just very lucky that the word of mouth spread from there.” adds Jess.

Emma and Jess had known each other for around 10 years, having grown up in the same area of South West London; two years ago Jess was running a small pickle business selling at markets and online, whilst Emma was working in restaurant and events marketing, so it was a natural transition for the pair to start cooking and working together.

We quickly realised that we both enjoyed running these events more than our day jobs! So it was just a case of working out how we could make it into a viable business,” explains Jess.

“We loved it and saw it as a real opportunity to work together, and for ourselves. And we’ve both always shared a love for creating and eating delicious food with family and friends. There’s no simpler pleasure!” adds Emma.

These days, Spread London is a successful catering and supper club outfit, known for their seasonal, flavoursome dishes, stylish and contemporary design and presentation and their friendly sharing-style approach. Emma and Jess run various dinners including a monthly supperclub at trendy Wandsworth café Flotsam and Jetsam, as well as catering for a host of private individuals and various events.

“Spread is mainly a service to help people to host their perfect dinner party or special occasion - either in their own home or at one of the independent venues we work with. It’s ideal for those who maybe don’t have enough space to host a large group, or the time to be both the host and the chef…” explains Emma.

We do lots of big birthdays, Christenings, hen-dos etc. right down to family lunches and get-togethers. The surprise parties are always our favourite - it’s hilarious when all the guests need to hide in the kitchen with us!’ laughs Jess.

Spread Supperclub Table

When the pair aren’t busy hiding in the kitchen waiting to shout ‘surprise’, they can also be found cooking up deliciousness for some very impressive corporate clients too, such as Airbnb, Pantone, Converse and T2.

“In January, we were asked to create a completely green menu to celebrate the launch of the Pantone colour of the year, ‘Greenery’. Airbnb transformed a beautiful house in Clerkenwell into an immersive green space, with a forest, edible greenhouse and jungle which was really fun to be involved with!”

Recently this talented team of two has also created a botanical themed menu to serve alongside workshops run by London Terrariums, and they are also planning to team up again with jeweller duo The Workbench as part of their successful ring workshops, where you can make a ring and eat Emma and Jess’ delicious food too. Bonus.

So of course, no two days are the same for Emma and Jess but one thing is consistent and that is their obvious passion for good food, made from fresh produce that is both seasonal and locally sourced, where possible. Dishes on recent menus include fresh crab with broad bean, pea and samphire, sous vide rhubarb with homemade crème fraîche ice cream and an incredible sea bass ceviche, with black quinoa and cucumber tiger's milk.

“We try to never use more than 4 components on the plate, keeping it simple lets the ingredients speak for themselves,” explains Emma.

“Seasonal ingredients always taste better and simple dishes mean those ingredients can really shine. Crispy chicken skin always goes down a storm; it’s not that commonly used but we love it with creamy ricotta and artichokes,”

“We have a gnudi dish for each season, it’s something we keep coming back to again and again, you can’t beat serving it with crispy sage, butter and parmesan…” adds Jess

“Yes, you can – crispy pancetta and roasted pumpkin!” laughs Emma.

Their presentation is colourful, contemporary and incredibly stylish which is to be expected from a duo that both studied graphic design at university (something which is obvious in their brand). Both Emma and Jess agree that this creative education gives them the upper hand when it comes to delivering visually interesting and thoughtful events that taste as good as they look.

“Having this background in design means we have a unique perspective when it comes to fulfilling a brief - everything has to have reasoning behind it, and when you see a guest make all those little connections it’s the best!” enthuses Emma.

“We’ve also gathered a long list of talented friends working in different creative fields and we love to collaborate with as many of them as we can. There is always an excuse you can find to enhance even most obscure practice with food!” says Jess.

And we love getting stuck into a creative brief - the nature of each collaborative event means that we can use the materials, culture or activity as a guide to tailor the menus, which we love!” adds Jess.

Spread Rhubarb Mackrel

Poached Pearby Spread

Orange Rosemary Cocktail By Spread

As well as fabulous food and styling, another thing that makes Spread tick is the wonderful tradition of actually sitting down, sharing food and eating together as a family or group – something that we at TOAST also positively encourage!

“It is SO IMPORTANT!” exclaims Jess. “Growing up, we always sat down for a meal with our families at least once a week and there’s nothing we enjoy more than getting everyone we care about together around a table. At our supper clubs we tend to sit everyone together, banquet style, and having a sharing element to the menu adds the family meal atmosphere we like so much. Nothing is better than when guests make new friends, and they go round the corner to the pub together after dinner!”  

In May, Spread are holding the first in a series of dinners at Blue Shop Cottage in Camberwell where the menu will consist entirely of sharing dishes only – something that the pair are really excited about.

“We always ask: is it simple, seasonal and good for sharing? We love to serve sharing dishes when it’s right at an event - it’s a really great way of breaking the ice with guests that may not already know one another, ”explains Jess.

“We do our best to have a relaxed ‘round-to-ours’ atmosphere at our supper clubs and once the wine has started to flow, it always feels like a dinner party full of friends - which we think is pretty special.” adds Emma.

My final question for Spread is, well, why ‘Spread’?“Well because the common aim with every event has always been to put on the perfect ‘spread’!” Emma enthuses.

Something that this dynamic duo seem to be doing with ease.


If you fancy putting on the perfect spread this Easter, then take a look at TOAST’s Inspire Me with Spread London over on TheEdit now – featuring their top tips for entertaining at home, and two of their most mouth-watering recipes.

For more information on Spread London and their supper clubs take a look at their page in TOAST’s Little Black Book.

 

 
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