Last week, I hosted my second Sophie’s Supper Club event at The Brasserie at Milton Keynes College! After the success of my first one at Olé Tapas Bar, I was so keen to put on another event but also apprehensive about topping how great the first one was. This supper club sold out in 24 hours, which was absolutely crazy – I’m still pinching myself that I’ve been able to fill each supper club venue with over 40 people. Lots of people returned to the supper club who came to the first one, but it was great to see so many new faces there too!
In this blog post find out about my second supper club and get the low down on all the food – and hopefully I can tempt you to visit The Brasserie. A huge thank you to Stephanie O’Callaghan who captured my supper club beautifully!
About Sophie’s Supper Club
For those of you don’t know, Sophie’s Supper Club is a series of social supper club events hosted in collaboration with independent restaurants in Milton Keynes. I started Sophie’s Supper Club because I felt like it was something that Milton Keynes really needed. In London, you’ll find loads of supper club events; they encourage people to go out, socialise, meet new people and discover new places to eat.
I wanted to replicate this and work with some of my favourite local restaurants and food vendors to celebrate and showcase the thriving food scene we have in MK.
The Brasserie at MK College
Ever since my first trip to The Brasserie back in 2017, I have been flying the flag for it as a great place to eat, so I was thrilled when restaurant manager, Sarah and tutor, George, said yes to hosting one of my supper clubs there! Lots of people who came along weren’t aware that MK College even had a restaurant, which meant I could introduce my guests to somewhere new.
The Brasserie puts students at the heart of all that they do. It’s not just a college restaurant – it’s a fully functioning place to eat where the catering students are led professionals in the field and supported by local chefs. The Brasserie is a working environment designed to train the chefs of tomorrow.
And don’t just take my word for it. The Brasserie at Milton Keynes College has become a renowned place to eat. It has recieved the prestigious AA College Rosette, as well as Gold Accreditation from People1st, recognising the exemplary training of new talent alongside excellent service. In addition, The Brasserie has been rated as a Centre of Excellence on TripAdvisor since 2015 thanks to numerous outstanding reviews and also won Best Restaurant at the MK Food & Leisure Awards 2018.
For my supper club, the Level 1 & 2 chefs catered for the evening – it was the first time they had 44 plates on the pass and they did an absolutely incredible job!
Branch Out MK
As well as collaborating with a fantastic local restaurant, this supper club also provided the opportunity to showcase some more of my favourite local businesses. The table displays were very kindly provided courtesy of Branch Out MK, a Community Interest Company (who featured in November’s edition of The Squeeze!) Branch Out helps people with learning differences and autism learn new skills through horticultural therapy. Theresa put on a fabulous autumnal table display featuring gourds and beautiful flowers which really helped set a lovely ambience for the evening.
The welcome drink was provided by another of my favourite local businesses – Wharf Distillery. Wharf Distillery is a distillery based just across the border in Northamptonshire. On arrival, the guests enjoyed a Lemon & Basil gin & tonic which went down an absolute treat! I love the New Town Gin brand it’s so funky and the flavour combinations are amazing. Given my branding, of course, I had to have a lemony one!
The G&T was fresh and zesty to wake up everyone’s taste buds ready for the canapés…
The guests began arriving from 6:30pm giving them a chance a to mingle and enjoy the welcome drinks. The canapés started rolling out of the kitchen and they were amazing! The lamb boboties topped with mango chutney were probably my favourite – the lamb was so tender and in a deliciously crispy batter. Crab California rolls with a dollop of paprika mayo were also served along with butternut samosas (which I didn’t get to eat, damn!) but everyone was saying how amazing they were.
Once everyone had taken their seats and ordered some drinks to go with their meal, the food started arriving on tables. To start, we had cheese soufflé with cauliflower puree, roasted onions and balsamic.
This was absolutely delicious – the soufflé was velvety and rich with a crisp outside. I mean who doesn’t love a cheese soufflé! The onions gave it a slight sweetness which contrasted beautifully with the sharp balsamic which cut through the richness of cheese.
The main course was pork belly with celeriac puree, sweet potato mash and sautéed greens which was another visually stunning dish. And it tasted great too! Some of the guests said this was the best pork belly they had ever eaten! It was tender and melted in the mouth. The top was slightly caramelised allowing for a little texture and the sweet potato mash was divine.
The vegetarian option was a beetroot quinoa with baby beets, smoked apple puree and sautéed greens.
The finale of the night was black forest Eton mess with cherry, chocolate and shisho syrup. This dessert was rich and delicious, with the base being a dense chocolate brownie. Cherry and chocolate is a match made in heaven any way so this dish was bound to be a hit!
It also looked SO beautiful on the plate!
When I spoke to George about designing the menu, I said I wanted simple, seasonal flavours that allow each ingredient to sing. I think they ticked every single box with the dishes they produced and with the sheer number of people in attendance, the service was brilliant and the food was served up nice and quick.
We really enjoyed having Sophie and her guests dine with us. We work with a lot of people and some make the whole process more enjoyable than others – Sophie was very enjoyable to work with! The guests were lovely and the fact that she sold so many tickets made a huge impact to our financial targets.Sarah King, Manager of The Brasserie at MK College
I had some amazing feedback from the guests and also The Brasserie which gave me such a boost – it can feel like quite a lonely thing running a blog sometimes, but words like this make it all feel so worthwhile!
The chefs came out at the end of service to a very well deserved round of applause. It was so amazing to work with The Brasserie and I hope I can find another excuse to host something there again soon.
If you haven’t been to The Brasserie at MK College, I highly recommend that you do! It’s a really great place to eat and they have some great offers on in the week. By dining there, you’re not only getting great food but you are helping the young chefs of tomorrow learn their craft and who knows – they might just be the next big thing.
Sophie’s Supper Club will return in 2020! Thank you to everyone who has attended one (or both!) of my supper clubs this year. I literally couldn’t host these events without you and your support – so thank you!
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