A taste of Italy in a secret location proves to be the sort of luxury pop-up London’s crying out for. Grazia’s Poppy Lara investigates the new trend for ‘Super Supper clubs’, aka Michelin-starred pop-ups that even the biggest foodies wouldn’t turn their nose up at.
Secret location? Tick. World renowned chef? Tick. A menu full of ingredients I couldn’t pronounce? You’ve got it. Yes, Culinary Mischief has all the makings of a secret ‘pop up dinner’, but unlike so many these days the location wasn’t a freezing cold dusty East-end hang out – it’s a beautiful, opulent library overlooking Big Ben. And the menu isn’t just for show – it’s Italian food for the soul, albeit prepared with the best ingredients and looking less how mamma used to make it and more how a Michelin star chef makes it.
After a champagne reception – no cocktails in jam jars here - we’re lead to a gorgeous library room to begin our meal. Here it’s as much about socialising as it is food, so rather than dozens of tables for two you’re sat together on one long and beautifully decked out banquet. The chef, Gabriele Bertaccini, who juggles his time between Florence, NYC and London, loves his food. Oh and he’s also super-hot and charming. As he describes a dish of Italian gnocchi interspersed with a joke or two, you’d be forgiven for completely forgetting your husband was even sitting on the same table.
But, back to the food. The menu is a seven course journey through Italian cuisine with a springtime twist, and for us highlights were a pea soufflé (I drool just thinking about it) and veal chop– a portion so large it could easily feed three. This in underground dining in a totally different and much more refined way.
The next Culinary Mischief secret dinner event is due to happen in the summer and although not cheap - £175per head, the quality of the food and booze (ok, and the amount of exquisite wine is a big old plus for me too. You’ll have to beg the waiters to stop topping up your glass), does make it completely worth your cash if it’s for a special occasion. Most importantly – after the lavish 4 hours dinner, you’ll leave having met new and interesting people, matched with a sore throat from talking so much – a truly Italian affair. Oh and you’ll also have a bit of a crush on the chef. Need I say more?
For details on the next event go to: www.culinarymischief.com