February 05, 2014

Celia's Saucer: Mauritian Saturday Supperclub

My preferred social scene is likely to feature good people, good food and great wine, which is why on the Celia's Saucer series, I hope to explore London's supper-clubs where all three of these things are usually in abundance. 

I was fortunate enough to be invited to a Mauritian-themed affair, inspired by recipes from Great British Chefs but cooked by the fair hands and in the cosy Croydon home of Selina from Yummy Choo Eats who, with family roots from the island, has based her work around bringing its flavours to her supper-clubs and cookery classes across the capital. 
In attendance were the lovely Leyla from the Cutlery Chronicles, Laura from Delicious Magazine and Katy who heads up the social media at Canteen. Behind the camera hid the elusive Clerkenwell Boy, who eats but prefers to remain unseen- what a funny yet charming fellow.
Wine was wonderful and most plentiful, with thanks to Corney & Barrow and poured consistently during each course, with little introductions from Clerkenwell Boy who appeared to be quite the sommelier. 

What was interesting was the combination of flavous.

The people of Mauritius delight in a curious cuisine mixing influences not excluding China, Europe, Native Africa and India. We enjoyed:

Chicken and Iberico chorizo bhajis coated in semolina - a marriage of Spain and the southern Mediterranean

Lightly curried chicken with mango mayonaise - both Indian and exotic

Peshwari lamb- evoking flavours of Pakistan

Indian potato cakes with Selina's coriander chutney- soft pillows of potato with a spicy crunch and a zesty infusion

Zaffrani pulao- an Indian rice flavoured with saffron and nuts

Mango salad- with grated coconut and carrots 

Seared bream with roasted aubergine, tomato and potato crush and kachumber

Pineapple upside-down cake, spiced rum caramel and Cornish clotted cream- a Western affair but with an English touch from the very delicious dairy, Rodda's
Conversation flowed aplenty and the afternoon finished with the wonderful atmosphere of a sudden intense thunderstorm.

For an introduction to Mauritian food, it was a wonderful start and inspiring in its multitude of influences.

If you're as interested in the foods of other cultures as I am, an afternoon with Selina is a great place to start and you can find recipes from the menu on the Great British Chefs site.

And of course, do join me next time on Celia's Saucer, reporting from an Israeli wine event. 
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