Supper Club with Fernandez & Leluu and Jim Haynes

I have to admit to not having heard of Jim Haynes before he teamed up with Qype and After Eight  to put on a dinner with supper club supremos, Fernandez and Leluu this week, but I’m glad the event brought him to my attention, as the man is truly inspiring.

Since a dancer offered to cook for him and his guests in return for a room for the night 30 years ago, he has been hosting dinners at his Paris home every Sunday. A self confessed existentialist, Jim Haynes lives in the moment, opening his home to others to allow them to share with him, the pleasure of good food and good company said moment has to offer. Despite having hosted over 130,000 guests over the last three decades, including Yoko Ono and Chloe Sevigny, Jim remains warm and humble, and I am dying to head over to Paris to try out his supper club first hand.

Waiting lists for Fernandez and Leluu are always long and with the addition of Jim Haynes, getting on the guest list was pretty much impossible, so I was ten excited when Sian invited me to come along at the last minute – not just because it was such a special evening, but because I have sampled F&L’s cooking before, and it is new levels of delicious!

Despite arriving late Uyen brought me out a starter of homemade spring rolls, prawn and pork summer roll, carrot and chicken salad, fresh prawns and a meaty terrine (all to start, I know!). I’m not normally that into terrines, but I really enjoyed the coarse texture, and strong but not sickeningly rich flavour of this one.

*excuse the blurry picture, I was eager to eat. Check out The London Eater for a more professional pic!

Spring rolls were light, crisp, packed with flavour and not even slightly greasy. The summer roll, stuffed with punchy fresh herbs, sweet pork and juicy prawns was the real star of the plate, and I could have eaten several. Both in the sharp chilli sauce, and slivers of red chilli in the salad, the starter further demonstrated F&L’s expert command of the spicy fruit that I first experienced in their goat’s cheese salad last month.

Following such a plentiful starter, a simpler main of balsamic dressed roast beef, double-baked potato, sauteed wild mushrooms, focaccia and watercress salad (that is simple for F&L) was welcome. I’m pretty picky about beef being super-rare so was impressed by the ruby-red slivers of flesh on offer, the cut of which was good enough not to be chewy. The balsamic dressing and crisp watercress were perfect flavour and texture contrasts, the potato was light and fluffy, and the mushrooms were woody and fragrant.

Ordinarily, I hate bread and butter pudding to the point of having to discard politeness and not eat it, but make it with croissants and layers of white chocolate sauce and summer fruits and we have a different story. Who knew you could make croissants even better than they already were? Washed down with an cognac and After Eight cocktail, courtesy of the evening’s sponsor, my usual dessert nemesis was a perfect end to a wonderful dinner.

*update! The watercress in the main was in fact lamb’s lettuce, and the dressing on the carpaccio a raspberry jus. Call myself a food blogger….

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6 Responses to “Supper Club with Fernandez & Leluu and Jim Haynes”

  1. The London Foodie Says:

    Hi, it was a fantastic event, but I wonder whether we managed to chat? I blame those gorgeous rose cocktails, they were so amazing but very deceptive as I was pretty merry after a couple. Followed your blog for a long while, I can’t believe I did not meet you?! Next time….

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  2. Douglas Blyde Says:

    Good write up – shame our paths didn’t cross!

  3. Greedy Diva Says:

    Hi Laura – Looks like it was such a great evening. Lovely to meet you last night finally (over our fish ‘n chips)! Love your blog. GD

  4. Ryvita and Sashimi with Fernandez and Leluu « Feast on Scraps Says:

    […] sampled their wares at both their infamous Supper Club, and their evening with Supper Club Supremo, Jim Haynes, I am an utter convert to their interesting, eclectic and always plentiful cooking, so I donned […]

  5. Qype does London » Qype meet Jim Haynes – The video Says:

    […] Feast on Scraps […]

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