Thursday 16 February 2012

Profile - The South West Supper Club

Jimmy Garcia is one of London’s most regular supper club organisers.  His South West Supper Club organises at least two events a month, and has evolved from events in his house to taking over bars and shops for the night.

I met him on Sunday to ask about how he got started, and what he’s planning in the future.

Jimmy is 24 and from Leeds.  He started off his culinary career at the Waterton Park Hotel in Wakefield, while he was still at school.  When he was at university he spent his summers working as a chef on yachts in the Mediterranean, where he learnt to cook in confined spaces – a great preparation for supper clubs - before heading to the city to work as a broker.

His first supper clubs were held at home in Balham; he designed an invite, and then put it through all the neighbours’ doors.  Enough responded for it to work and ‘we had some really good nights’.  After a few of these he expanded into a bar in Clapham, where he could work in a bigger space, and since then has moved on to private houses, a cafĂ© in Tooting, and a wine shop in Balham.

The philosophy is to make a supper club like a club.  He has a loyal group of members, and finds that lots of people come back after they’ve been to one event.  He’s currently working a lot with the ‘wild & foraged’ theme – he’s clearly very excited about the possibilities of using natural ingredients like wild mustard – and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is one of his main inspirations.

He’s now given up his job in the city, and is devoting himself to food full-time, both in France, where he’s part of a team who run chalet holidays, and in London where he’ll be organising two supper clubs a month.

Jimmy’s now organising supper clubs in the French Alps as well as in London, and has lots of exciting projects lined up for the coming year.  Watch this space!

Jimmy clearly loves what he’s doing and is incredibly passionate about both food and organising supper clubs.  His next two happen in South West London next week – get a ticket if you can!

South West Supper Club on Facebook
South West Supper Club on Twitter

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