The Buttercup Supper Club Goes Japanese

born1945 / Foter / CC BY-SA

This month’s supper club is going Japanese with the arrival of a very special guest chef, Sam Mahoney. Sam owns and runs the wonderful Field & Fork inside Pallant House Gallery in Chichester. He trained at Le Gavroche at the age of just 16 and worked for years alongside the Roux brothers. He went on to become Head Chef at The Point in New York and at Kensington Place in London.

Sam worked for a year on the southern island Kyushu in a Sashimi bar in a district called Yamaga. He arrived there, not knowing anyone in Japan or speaking the language but he was determined to learn more about Japanese food and culture. He fell in love with everything Japanese.

For one night only, he’s coming to The Buttercup to cook some regional and “street food” style Japanese dishes. Chawan Mushi (a steamed savoury egg custard); Okonomiyaki (rosti style pancake made with Japanese yams and okonomi sauce); Unagi Kabayaki (teriyaki glazed smoked eel, served on rice) – the last one, Sam tells us, is a dish from Tokyo believed to restore vigour!

Japanese Supper Club is on Monday 19th November* at 7.30pm. £30 per person – and remember to bring your own Sake! Call us on 01273 477664 or pop in to the cafe to book your table.

*Please note the change of date to that advertised in this month’s Viva Lewes. Sorry!

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About last night…

We had a wonderful evening here at The Buttercup last night with delicious food, great company and an inspiring guest speaker. Diana Henry (one of our culinary heroines) came to visit and regaled us with tales of food and cookery writing. She introduced her new book Salt Sugar Smoke (which is all about preserving, conserving and smoking) by giving us a taste of her chutneys, jams and a nip of Damson gin.

Diana told us about her childhood growing up in Northern Ireland when the only olive oil she knew about was made by Crosse & Blackwell and kept in the medicine cupboard for cleaning children’s ears. She told us about how her fascination and obsession with food was brought on by reading books such as One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights).

She described how cooking for her was the ultimate escape; you can stand still in your kitchen and journey to any corner of the globe with the food and tastes your create. She spoke of the excitement and inspiration she found from looking into her larder and seeing a jar of pomegranate molasses or a box of Couscous covered in Arabic script next to a jar of good old HP sauce.

Diana’s enthusiasm is infectious. She encouraged us all to have a go; she is a champion of the home cook. Her cooking style is exactly what we have always wanted The Buttercup Cafe to be about. She mentioned Claudia Roden and Sophie Grigson as cookery writers she greatly admires.

While Diana chatted with guests, swapped fish smoking techniques and signed books, Claire (aka Madam Buttercup) and Connie produced a feast from The Buttercup kitchen using Diana’s recipes. The autumn pudding was a triumph; the Turkish lamb kofta with cherries were delicious and perfect for a cold Autumn night.

Our guests all chatted and discussed their favourite recipe books. It was an inspiring evening for us all. We heard that Diana is already working on another three books. We can’t wait to hear about what she is creating next and hope we can persuade her to come back and visit us again!

The next Buttercup Supper Club is on 17th November. Book your table now. We’ll post more details here soon.