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#41 Wed 01 Aug 12 1:57am

JoyYamDaisy

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From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

Me too!  smile  cool  thumbsup

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#42 Wed 01 Aug 12 1:58am

JoyYamDaisy

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From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

Me too!  cool  big_smile  thumbsup

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#43 Mon 10 Sep 12 10:15pm

LuLuBell

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From Cardiff
Member since Sat 08 Jul 06

Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

Supperclub 15th August 2012

Well I'm late again as tomorrow is September's supperclub, but I'm finally here to tell you about August's meal, hosted by the Fifteen Foundation's class of 2008.

This month was extra exciting for us as my brother came along with his girlfriend and her mum. It was really nice to have some extended family with us to share in the evening. I think that they enjoyed themselves and they certainly went away with a better idea of what the Fifteen Foundation does.

I think this month is the first month that it really hit me how young the apprentices are when they start the programme - mostly because this is the first set of graduates who were noticeably younger than me. Not that you would know it from their cooking!

First up was Daryl Charles with a starter of chicken salad with a pea and truffle mayonnaise. This was a salad I could sink my teeth into - hot and cold, crispy and creamy. The crispy and hot came from the chicken which was made into lollipops and fried in breadcrumbs. This was complemented by a delicious roasted tomato which leaked its juices all over my plate. I got my brother's tomato too - score! The plate did not last long. This was apparently a variant on a salad that he makes at Carlton Towers, the hotel he has been working at  since he graduated from Fifteen because it's become so "homey" to him.

This was followed by a main course from Alan Guberina, herb encrusted pollock with crab and crayfish risotto and crispy pancetta. The pollock was lovely - not too strong and covered in delicious basil. I have to admit though, my favourite thing on the plate was the risotto. The shellfish was sweet and tender and went fantastically with the pancetta which crumbled into salty flakes. There was also a nice sprig of wilted lettuce for a bit of colour and freshness. Alan is currently working at Beaufort House on King's Road. Before this he had been at various other restaurants, "keeping up with it really".

Rounding off the evening was Sam McGuinness who delivered a chocolate fondant with banana yoghurt ice cream and macerated raspberries.  It sounds silly to say, but the banana ice cream was amazingly flavourful and "bananary". I usually shy away from banana flavoured flavoured puddings because they either have that synthetic banana flavour or taste of lightly flavoured cream. This was neither and with the minty, lemony raspberries, it was a summery contrast to the dark, almost autumnal chocolate. The chocolate itself also contained a surprise - a crunchy base made of flaked wafers. It was great to find hidden amongst the soft, creamy textures on the rest of the plate.

All in all, another rousing success, and it was fantastic to see another group of graduates reunited and working together as though they'd never been apart. They even had some back up from 2005 graduate, Lloyd Hayes, who had joined the chefs during their training trips to Italy and who gave some pretty amusing moral support in the lead up to service.

Pics...
http://www.jamieoliver.com/bloggers/vie … p?id=78357

Last edited by LuLuBell (Mon 10 Sep 12 10:46pm)

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#44 Tue 11 Sep 12 3:51pm

mummza

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Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

This month it was the chefs who started as ' group 6 ', the class of 2008 that were cooking.

I feel so lucky to be able to come along each month and attend the Supper club. I look forward to the 15th of each month with great anticipation and wonder what delicious dishes will be on the menu. I am never disappointed.  The menu for these supper clubs is not known by the diners until they climb the stairs and go into the large room where the Supper Club is being held and pick up a menu from the table to look at it, it is just then that the menu is revealed to each diner.

This month the room was laid out as it always is but the table looked a little longer to me; it was going to be a busy evening for the chefs.

The kitchen was busy with the activity of the meal being prepared and the surfaces looked colourful with the trays of tomatoes, bowls of pea shoots, broad beans and salad leaves. Piles of plates and bowls that were ready further confirmed that it was going to be a busy evening for these chefs.
There was one of the biggest focaccia breads that I have ever seen waiting to be slices into chunks. , a beautiful  looking focaccia  that had been sprinkled with some salt flakes and chopped herbs before being baked so the salt almost glistened as the sunlight hit it. I knew this was going to be good, I could see that lovely depth of crust that you get when you bake a focaccia that has been liberally coated with olive oil before being baked.

The chefs were busy and very focused on what they were cooking, they all had their specific jobs, yet all were working so well as a team . Now, I have to add here that what surprised me so much when I entered the Supper Club room this time was how much younger these chefs looked from the group that I first met when I first started coming along to these supper clubs earlier in the year.
Of course they are younger than the previous groups, as this is 6th group to have been through their training with the Fifteen Apprentice Programme, it just hadn't occurred to me that it would be so immediately apparent, hence my surprise.  The Supper Clubs, which are part of the Fifteen 10 year anniversary celebrations, had started several months ago with the first group of chefs , the Class of 2003, hosting the Supper Club event back in March through to the most recent group of chefs, the Class of 20012, hosting the last Supper Club event in December. 

Being able to attend these Supper Clubs gives me some insight into how the groups have all been. I think I have now said many times that there is a wonderful family atmosphere within Fifteen and this always comes through whenever speaking to any of the staff who work there, it is just the same with the groups of chefs that have or are going through their training .
It's lovely to see the way the group interact together, I quickly get to see their characters and what fun the must have had whilst learning. I notice from how they still interact together the dynamics of each group and it's always a delight to see.
These chefs who return to cook for the Supper Clubs might not have seen each other for several years but as soon as they are together again they start working as happily as I am sure they did whilst they were training, gelling again as a team and good friends.  I would never have known from the banter that always happens between them that they had been working in separate establishments since they all graduated. Another thing I have noticed is how chefs that have graduated in an earlier group are still interested in the chefs who come along as trainees in groups after them. Often coming along to support or offer help to the group that is cooking on that particular month.

To me this is testament to the wonderful and happy training and experience that they receive from the Fifteen Apprentice Programme. 

Around the walls of the room are photographs of the group on some of their field and sourcing trips, and I can instantly see why this was a favourite part of their training. The trips are extremely valuable and teach the trainees the background of the food that they cook and serve.  This becomes apparent when I speak to the chefs as they always tell me small details about the food served at the Supper Club such as the olive oil, the types of rice grown, tomatoes, pizza ovens and even sheep on the hillside.  These sourcing trips have a great impact on the trainees and clearly provide the learning in a way that they do not forget.  Looking at the photographs, I can see the fun that the groups have throughout their training, fun associated with what they were learning.

With everyone seated the meal started. The huge focaccia that I had seen earlier had been cut into chunks and now adorned the table on boards within easy reach of all the diners. The focaccia was served with that beautiful olive oil to dip the focaccia into.

The starters were served to the diners. They were cooked by Daryl and were delicious looking plates of chicken salad with pea and truffle mayonnaise and crispy tulips. On top of a portion of chicken breast was the slow roasted tomatoes that I had seen earlier. These tomatoes were beautiful. They had a lovely depth of flavour and their colour was very attractive on the plate. It was quite a chicken feast as together with the chicken breast there was also fried chicken, and the plate was scattered with broad beans.  The crispy tulips were not the tulip flowers that we all know and love, just in case you are wondering and saying to yourself that you did not think tulips were an edible flower! They were delicate leaves of a salad vegetable and looked very attractive on the plate.

As a vegetarian, I was bought a plate of an exciting looking salad of avocado, tomato and tiny cubes of Trymbrough goat’s cheese. Wow...it really was so delicious!  The goat’s cheese had been given a very light dust of sugar and finished with a blow torch; this not only gave the goats cheese a fabulous texture but also enhanced the creamy texture of the cheese. I would never have thought to dust cheese with sugar myself and was fascinated when I was told how the cheese had been prepared. I think this would be lovely to try at home for a special occasion; that salad is defiantly worthy of gracing any table for any occasion.

The main courses were served; herb crusted Pollock with crab and crayfish risotto and crispy pancetta. The fish was cut so neatly and the herb crust was in a fine layer over the top of the fish. There was a crisp piece of pancetta leaning against the fish, and a lightly braised little gem lettuce leaves completed the dish. My son's guest was delighted as instead of a crab and crayfish risotto she was served a risotto with tomatoes and peas with the herb crusted Pollock and braised little gem leaves.  Not many people cook lettuce. It is something that my grandmama used to do, something that to me always brings with it fond memories. When lettuce is cooked gently it changes the flavour of the leaf a little, mellowing and altering the flavour so that it becomes a delicious vegetable. I was delighted to have seen that the chefs had braised the leaves and I knew that they would be a perfect accompaniment to the Pollock.

As a vegetarian, I was served ravioli filled with a delicate ricotta. I could taste a gentle background flavour of lemon in the ricotta, just enough to bring flavour to the ricotta without being too dominant. The ravioli were served on a bed of courgette/zucchini ribbons. The courgette ribbons had been beautifully cooked. They still had texture and structure and were therefore cooked to perfection. Over the ravioli were a scattering of pea shoots. The pea shoots bought a freshness and a beautiful look to the dish, and completed this fabulous dish in style.

Desert was very very clever; a chocolate fondant but not as you know it! Being served to the diners was a chilled chocolate fondant. Yes you are reading correctly, chilled not baked! Described on the menu as 'chilled Chocolate Fondant with banana yogurt ice cream and macerated raspberries'.

As with the baked chocolate fondant the centre was runny and this left me puzzled as to how this could have been achieved. The chocolate fondant was sat on a very thin crisp wafer type layer whilst the fondant was rich in flavour and very smooth in texture. The centre being a thickish chocolate liquid that ran over the plate as the fondant was broken into...very impressive .

In the centre of the chilled chocolate fondant was a small frozen cube of a chocolate that would melt. The main chocolate fondant being built around the frozen cube. Once set the chocolate fondants were allowed to come to room temperature in a controlled environment, and as this happened the centre melts giving that all important runny centre to the chocolate fondant. I have made it sound simple but I can assure you that the description that I was given as to how the fondant was made was detailed and complex; a time consuming desert to make and judging by all the empty plates around the table it was well appreciated.

I realise that I have been so impressed by the chilled chocolate fondant that I have not mentioned the banana yogurt ice cream which was beautiful. Together with banana yoghurt ice cream, the raspberries and a little raspberry sauce complimented the richness of the chocolate fondant, making it a very memorable desert.

As you can tell from what I have written, these chefs are very talented. As with the other groups before them they have worked in some impressive establishments .

Daryl Charles is now working as Demi Chef De Partie at 3* Rosette 'Carton Towers'. Daryl told me that he is the 'pasta Prince' he was mentored in the art of making Pasta by Lloyd from the class of 2005 (who he referred to as the Pasta King). Daryl told me he is enjoying his present job and that he never stops learning.

Portia Eyeson...has just started a new adventure at 5* hotel 'South Place' , After leaving the Fifteen Foundation Portia worked for a year in a restaurant before deciding to go and ' try something different ', she quickly found out that she missed cooking and after only a month of an office job decided that it wasn't for her. From there she went to work at the Strand Palace Hotel for 2 and half years where she worked on the larder section. This led onto her present job at South Place Hotel.

Allan Guberina worked at Gordon Ramsey's Boxwood cafe , moving from there to work in some Gastro pubs including one run by Mark Hix which he really enjoyed, following that he went to Bennets Oyster bar and Brasserie  where  he met the head chef he is works with today at Beaufort House on the Kings Road in London as a junior Sous Chef . Allan very much enjoys working at Beaufort House as part of his job allows him to, as he put it, "Do a lot of my own things" he finds this very rewarding .

Sam Hickey is currently working as a freelance builder and since graduating has worked at Pizza East, Barbecoa and at Fifteen. .

Sam McGuinness is currently between jobs.  After graduating from the Fifteen Apprentice Programme he went to work experience at Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck. He then went on to work in several small pubs and then onto 'Gavin La Chapelle where he told me he worked for 3 months on starters, 3 months on garnish and a year on pastry . He has also worked at Heston Blumenthal's restaurant Dinner .

As with all the groups before them a favourite part of the training was the sourcing trips; a lot of fun, a lot of learning and a lot of working together as a group. This group seemed more keen to describe to me how the dishes were made for the Supper Club than to talk about themselves .  Unsurprisingly they have a keen interest in food, how it's produced, why each element of the dish is used, and the stages involved in turning elements into a complete dish.

It is also clear to me just how much impact the groups have had from the people who have spent time mentoring and teaching them as trainees. There is always an excited atmosphere when a particular person who has helped appears for a Supper Club or gets mentioned . Through this I can see just what a great experience the Fifteen Apprentice Programme is and how beneficial it is, not just at the moment of training but also how it influences choices and thoughts later in the chefs careers.

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#45 Tue 11 Sep 12 3:53pm

mummza

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Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

Today i am Off to this months supper club which is being held a few days early this month.  thumbsup my lovely daughter will be with me again this month.

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#46 Thu 15 Nov 12 4:17pm

mummza

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Occupation avoiding housework
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Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

I must apologise as I realise that this supper club review is has been a long time being posted , let me explain , I am doing this a a voluntary thing for the Fifteen Foundation and as such each time I go to a supper club and write about it , I have to send the report to the office so that it can be checked . The office need to read it through and I believe it gets sent to various people including the chefs mentioned to see if they feel what has been written is ok . September was an exceptionally busy month and this took a bit longer than expected .
But then I have had an issue with my laptop (which is very old ) the issue was moving the sent back report onto the forum . I am feeling a bit stupid at the moment as I have an iPad and I should have thought to use the iPad to move the document earlier ... For which I am very sorry .
So there will new be the September review posted and also the October review posted that has been written by my eldest daughter .

........................................................................................................

                        Supper Club 12th September 2012

This month the Supper Club has been bought forward a few days as, on the 15th, there was another street function happening in Westland Place. Westland Place is the street where you will find Fifteen Restaurant. The function that caused the supper club date to change was the 'British Street Food Awards ' an exciting event where some of Britain's greatest street food traders come together, with a large variety of different trucks, vans and trailers bringing with them some incredible street food, the vans trucks and trailers parking on the cobbles in the street outside Fifteen. They compete for the 2012 British Street Awards and it should prove to be a great weekend gathering.  Sadly I am unable to be there.

So here I was in London again for another Supper Cub, once again climbing the stairs to the room above the restaurant and wondering what this month's supper club will be like.  As I approached the room there was a hum of activity. This month there seemed to be quite a lot of chefs busy working away ready for a busy evening.  Always arriving a little early to the Supper Clubs I am privileged to hear the happy banter that goes on between the chefs whilst they work.  It was, as it always is, a happy atmosphere, laughter and chatter between the chefs as they worked to prepare the meal for the diners.  It's hard to believe that some of these chefs have not seen each other since graduating from the Fifteen Apprentice Programme. Since that graduation their lives have taken them to work in different restaurants not only around London but often to other countries around the world. You could never tell this from the way that they chat together. It's like they have only seen each other yesterday.

I am always interested to see what is being cooked and how the chefs go about cooking it. I am never disappointed as there's always something interesting for me to see.  This month I saw the chef making some aubergine canapés.  The aubergine had been baked, mixed with chopped parsley, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and then was formed and pressed into balls before being deep fried. This reflects a great understanding of the ingredients he was working with.  I was amazed by this as if I had done this at home I would have been fussing about bread crumbing these before I deep fried them. The chef simply formed the mix into balls and deep fried them (I once again learned a useful tip and I will most definitely be trying to make these soon at home).   These Aubergine fritters were served warm, with some freshly made chilli sauce, an excellent canapé.


The meal started, as it generally, does with freshly made breads and the wonderful olive oil to dip the bread in. The bread was cut into chunks and placed on boards down the centre of the table so that the diners could share it. This is a good idea as when people reach over to take a chunk of bread they often start to talk to the person seated next to or near them starting conversations with a person they might never have met before. It was shortly after the breads had been eaten that the Aubergine fritters were served. These also were placed down the centre of the table for the diners to help themselves.  They looked very inviting as on each small Aubergine fritter there was a small amount of the chilli sauce that added a lovely shine to the top. They tasted as good as they looked.

You might remember me mentioning some months ago about the sourcing trip that the Fifteen Foundation trainees go on to the Isle of Wight where they learn about tomatoes being grown in hydroponics. Well, this month I was sat opposite the very gentleman who grows those tomatoes and to whose farm the trainees go.  I had a lovely time chatting to both him and his daughter. He had bought with him a photograph of the group as they were as trainees on his farm (link to photo to go here) I also learned quite a lot about how these tomatoes are grown, which I have to say sound like a totally different way of growing and planting to the little plants that I have in my little plastic green house at the bottom of my garden. I hope one day to be able to go along to the Isle of Wight and see these being grown. My late grandfather used to be a tomato grower on Jersey. I remember seeing his greenhouses as a small child but this is quite a different way of growing the tomatoes, I wondered what my grandfather would have thought about hydroponics. I have a feeling that if he had known about this way of growing things he would have given it a go. He did after all have the first tractor on the island of Jersey which gives you some idea of how forward thinking he was. Having heard more about the hydroponics now myself, it is no wonder that this is a sourcing trip that the chefs often tell me about. It must be quite mind boggling when they first see the plants grown in this manner. I am not surprised that the trip to the Isle of Wight is a very valuable part of the training as it brings with it a total respect and understanding of the ingredient and how it is farmed.

Back to our lovely meal....The meal started with a dish of roasted scallop with pig's head and ham hock croquette, confit squash and persillade. This dish I could see had taken a great deal of skill to prepare. The pig's head and ham hock croquette, I had seen 'in the making' when what looked to me like a terrine of good quality meat was being sliced and layered on a tray (link to photo to be added here). I had not realised that this was the meat from the big pig's head that had been so carefully prepared. The meat that I had seen being sliced had, at that point, not been bread crumbed and deep fried. It looked so different on the plate together with the scallop and confit squash, I was very impressed. I am told that it tasted just divine and was a wonderful accompaniment to the scallop. Really impressive.

As a vegetarian I was given a dish that was equally as special, Ravioli of potato. Not just any old potato; this potato had been confit gently with butter and thyme then puréed so that it was super smooth with a little truffle oil added. It was a sumptuous filling for the ravioli. It was very rich and could have graced any special occasion dining table. Delicious.

The main course was a delightful looking dish of pan fried fillet of sea-bass with Aubergine stew and tomato velge. This was beautifully presented.  The Sea-bass had been cooked in the main room in front of the diners whilst the starters were being enjoyed, the chefs working happily in front of a full room. The sea bass was served on top of a bed of the aubergine stew, it's crisp golden fried skin uppermost. Around the plate were spots of the tomato velge on which had been placed very tiny little tomatoes.  A scattering of micro herbs completed the plate. Sitting opposite to Mr. McDonnald who grows the Isle of Wight tomatoes gave me an opportunity to have a little discussion about these very small tomatoes.  It has come to a complete surprise to me that tomato growers seem to know of each other and can identify another grower's produce. 

For a vegetarian main course I was given a blue cheese risotto which had been served on a bed of butternut squash purée. The purée was smooth and had a sweet deliciousness whilst the risotto was almost creamy with a bit of texture left in the rice giving it the perfect 'bite'. It was delicious and really quite rich. I felt quite spoiled. I have never thought of serving risotto on a purée before, it gave the dish a completely different dimension and also led to most forkfuls of the risotto tasting slightly different as the quantity of risotto and purée would vary on the fork. A delight to eat, thank you.

Desert was a chocolate brownie with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream - "chocolate brownie with a twist".  The twist was that the chocolate brownie was actually just used as a very thin layer on the base of the desert and placed on this thin layer was a generous amount of a chocolate marquise which had a fantastic balance between the slight bitterness of the good quality chocolate and the sweetness of the other ingredients in the desert. The vanilla ice cream complimented it perfectly and that butterscotch sauce was simply divine. This desert was a total delight for all chocolate lovers and all plates were completely cleared.

This has been a lovely supper club. The atmosphere in the room was light and happy.

From the group 7 graduates...

Owain Atkinson is currently taking a break having worked at Chez Bruce and The Ledbury. His life is about to take an exciting and interesting turn as he is about to go and live in Thailand and wants to do kickboxing. He has been training as a kick boxer for a while now and plans to take this further when he reaches Thailand.

Julian Bailey, who prepared tonight's amazing dessert, is currently working as a pastry Chef De Partie at Barbecoa.

Steven Estevez is working as a Junior Sous Chef at Homa, a restaurant in Stoke Newington, London. The restaurant was a Diner's Choice winner 2012. It is a restaurant that has a small menu that changes a lot, often daily and tries to use local, seasonal, organic produce.

Morgan Evans-Dixon is at the moment working as a chef and saving for a lifeguard course.

Paul Lacey, is at present travelling and working in Australia.

Trina Lewis is currently off work and expecting a baby.

Daniel Parish is working at Seasons Fine Dining in Woodford Green. He is soon to be promoted as a Sous Chef. Daniel told me how much he had enjoyed the sourcing trips especially the trip to Tuscany where he learned about olive oil and different wines.

Marvin Robb is currently in between job roles.

Sandy Simmons is a mother and works from home, selling cakes. She is thinking of expanding her business.

James Santry is about to start work as a Chef De Partie at Bridgewood Manor, Cheltenham.

Chantelle Townsend is working at J. Sheekey.

Elliot Roche is currently working for Artisan Croissants.

William Turpin is working as Chef De Partie at Fifteen.

Tedros Hagos has been working at Coq D’Argent since leaving Fifteen, having worked his way up from Commis chef to Sous Chef.


Claire Braine is working at the new Recipease store in Notting Hill. After graduating from the Fifteen Apprentice Programme in 2009 she did some temporary cheffing work for various restaurants' and in the summer of 2010 she want to Greece where she worked as a chef for six months. On her return to the UK, she went back to temporary cheffing before.  She accepted a job at Recipease in Clapham, working as a Food Specialist where she stayed for 18 months. This August she then moved to the new Notting Hill Recipease store and is training to become a Food Champion.

I have to add here that I have made a few visits to this Recipese as after the Supper Clubs I stay overnight with my family in London and then I have a bit of time to wait in the morning before I had to get on my train back to Wales. The Notting Hill Recipese is just two stops away from Paddington Station and very easy to find so I have taken to calling over there instead of waiting at Paddington station! It's a great place and I suggest if you are in London you make a visit there.

Next month, October, I will be unable to attend the Supper Club but my two eldest daughters will be there and will be telling you all about the evening.

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#47 Thu 15 Nov 12 4:18pm

mummza

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Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

Although this has been posted under my forum name it has been written by my lovely eldest daughter who went along in my place .........


Jamie Oliver’s Supper Club, 15th October 2012

Celebrating 10 years of Fifteen

My mum, the blogger Mummza, known to most people as Bee, is a frequent attendee of Fifteen’s celebratory Supper Clubs. Unfortunately for mum, she was called to Jury service in October and was unable to attend the October Supper Club. This has rather worked in my favour and, as any doting daughter would, I volunteered myself to take mum’s place. Although I cannot pretend to have anywhere near my mum’s knowledge of food and cooking, I hope that I can give you a feel for delicious food that was served and do some justice to what was a very pleasurable evening.

Firstly, it may be useful to give you some background information to Fifteen’s Supper Clubs. The Supper Clubs take place on the 15th of each month and are put on to celebrate Fifteens 10th anniversary and, most importantly, the number of talented apprentices who have gone through its doors. Each year group has been given the opportunity to create a menu for one evening, starting with Fifteens first graduates and moving to the most recent. This month was Class of 2010’s opportunity to deliver something special and they most certainly did not disappoint.

I would like to extend a special thanks to Faaduma, Sara, and Jeff who were the chefs representing the Class of 2010 for the evening. As the class only graduated in 2010, a lot of the graduates, still early on in their careers, could not get enough time off work to attend the evening. Therefore, Faaduma, Sara, and Jeff really pulled a blinder by designing a well balanced, creative, and truly delicious meal for everyone to enjoy. They were also helped by some of the current apprentices which are indicative of the family nature of the Fifteen Apprentice Programme; something that clearly came out in the positive words the graduates, and the staff involved in their development, have to say about their experiences of the Fifteen Apprentice Programme.

This brings me nicely onto the food. For starters we ate pan-fried mackerel fillet with celeriac and squash puree, fried ginger and chilli jam. Any recipe with ginger as an ingredient is a winner in my eyes and this dish was no exception. The subtle taste of ginger perfectly brought together the sweetness of the squash puree and chilli jam with the light saltiness of the mackerel. Frying the ginger also created a crisp texture to the otherwise soft texture of the other ingredients in the dish, making it perfectly balanced. Another aspect of the dish that I found especially interesting was that it was garnished with a couple of sprigs of thyme that also seemed to be fried and possibly seasoned.  This made the thyme flavour much more subtle so that it didn’t overwhelm the other light flavours of the dish and it was so tasty I actually broke all of the leaves off the sprigs and scattered them over the dish to make the most of the flavour combination.

The starters were cooked by Jeff, who in his speech told us that he was unemployed before he joined the Fifteen apprenticeship scheme and who has not been out of a job since he graduated. He now works as a chef in Jamie’s Italian just down the road in Angel, London. He spoke of how happy he was that he had completed something in his life and thanked the staff at Fifteen for all of the small pushes that they gave him along the way. He is undoubtedly a talented chef and he is also a lovely guy; the fact that the first thing he did was thank the staff for all of their support again highlighted the close-knit nature of the apprentices and staff on the course. This family atmosphere really contributed to the ambience of the evening and it was lovely to be part of it.

The main dish was swiftly served after Jeff’s presentation and we were treated to roasted pork loin with apple and potato cake, caramelised shallots, and apple-cider jus. The best way that I can describe the potato cake is that it was similar to potato dauphinoise, especially in its creaminess. Unlike dauphinoise the potato cake didn’t have the top layer of crisper sliced potatoes and the cake had a very tender consistency. The sweet and sharp taste of apple cider jus cut through the creaminess of the potatoes and prevented the dish from being too rich. The pork loin was also incredibly tender and the accompaniment of thinly sliced caramelised shallots matched the rest of the dish perfectly. The dish was surprisingly light which I think was its real success as, despite using rich ingredients, it was not at all overpowering and absolutely delicious. We also had jugs of extra jus placed on the table and I was guilty if given the main an extra douse!

The main was designed by Jeff with help from Santos, the new trainee and development chef for the trainees. Santos has been with Fifteen from the beginning and started as Kitchen and Prepping Manager for the Fifteen restaurant before working his way up. After the main was served, Faaduma spoke about her experience on the Fifteen Apprentice Programme. She seemed quite shy but she had a lovely warm smile and talked about how challenging the programme was and how happy she is that she completed it. Faaduma now works in the kitchen in Fifteen.

Last but not least, we were served a baked soufflé with mint ice-cream and it was so delicious my sister actually had seconds! The warm soufflé was rich with a deep and intense flavour but, because of its small size, it was by no means overwhelming.  Keeping to the theme of well balanced flavours and textures, which seemed to be the consistent feature of the evening, the soufflé was matched with a fresh mint ice-cream that had blitzed fresh spearmint leaves. This was a classic combination of flavours that were put together so well and was a genuine delight to eat. I am surprised that my sister only managed seconds and didn’t go for thirds as well!

Sara was the last graduate to speak to us on the evening and she was responsible for making the dessert. She is a confident and friendly person and spoke about how much she still loves being a chef: she currently works in Roast in Borough. Like the other graduates, she was keen to thank the amazing team that supported her, and continue to support her in her career and confidently stated that “Fifteen was, and still is, Amazing”. After an evening spent with fun and interesting people eating a brilliantly put together menu, I must say that I have to agree.

Last edited by mummza (Thu 15 Nov 12 4:21pm)

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#48 Sun 18 Nov 12 6:51pm

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

The date of this months supperclub has been changed from the 15th to the 22nd.
There are only the November and the December supperclubs still to run from the 10th aniversary celebrations . I have really enjoyed going to them all and will miss the regular trips to London .
Next week my 4 'children' and my husband also 2 of the girls boyfriends and my nephew so it will not be the quietest supper club ! lol they tend to laugh a lot and chatter all the time when they get together.
I am looking forward to it. big_smile

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#49 Sun 18 Nov 12 7:38pm

minerva

Forum champ
Occupation Walking the Old Ways
From Living in the Wild Woods
Member since Wed 16 Jan 08

Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

mummza wrote:

The date of this months supperclub has been changed from the 15th to the 22nd.
There are only the November and the December supperclubs still to run from the 10th aniversary celebrations . I have really enjoyed going to them all and will miss the regular trips to London .
Next week my 4 'children' and my husband also 2 of the girls boyfriends and my nephew so it will not be the quietest supper club ! lol they tend to laugh a lot and chatter all the time when they get together.
I am looking forward to it. big_smile

I would have loved to have taken part this year (I do remember you thoughtfully asking me if I could, earlier in the year) & am so glad you have been able to go so often. It's particularly lovely that you, as a long-standing forum member, have been so 'visible' in Fifteen's special year.........especially as your family have been able to join you.

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#50 Sun 18 Nov 12 8:29pm

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

Thank you Minnie, its been a fun thing to do .

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