Well this initiative by the “Popes of TW” is a really simple and great idea. Nick & Ingrid saw something similar whilst on holiday in the US and thought it would translate well to the their local community in Tunbridge Wells.
The have tirelessly put together a simple website where an “X” marks the sellers pitches and allowed now some 100 plus to easily sign up and take part. They have both leaflet dropped the town and distributed some 10,000 of them to spread the word and now with just a few days to go there is much excitement and anticipation.
I felt I somehow had to take part in this and am pleased to say I will be joining up with a couple of pals on their pitch at TN1 1JP where I will rock up with my paella kit and cook a fresh big pan of the stuff and serve up to anyone who fancies a refuel whilst they browse the assorted sellers stalls.
The pan holds circa 40 portions so it will be very much a first come first served situation and all profits from the sales will be donated to local charities. I will even take payment with a credit card if you have used up all your cash on other sellers stalls so no excuses on not selling out.
Lets hope the weather stays fine and warm and this will become very much an annual community event for the town. Well done to Ingrid & Nick for such sterling work… now just form an orderly queue for your paellas!
Well for the July dinner event we are doing something just a little bit different. Hari will be joining forces with Chef Peter Pickering.
Peter is a London based chef who has a veritable who’s who of a culinary training. He has trained under Michelin starred chefs the Galvin Brothers and was part of the opening teams at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Café Royal and also with chef Nuno Mendes at Chiltern Fire House.
Hari and Peter will for one night only be planning and cooking a 4/5 course menu (dependent on purchases) that will & can only be revealed on the night for a very good reason…
The inspiration behind this dinner was a very thought provoking lunch that Hari & Peter were lucky to sample together at the “WastED” concept earlier in 2017 that was a pop up on the roof of Selfridges department store in London.
We also plan to highlight produce from local producers and utilise often neglected and forgotten items such as fish scraps, cheese whey along with misshaped fruit and vegetables as well as excess supermarket stock that would just be wasted and disposed of.
This concept is the brain child of the American chef Dan Barber that wowed packed houses of diners for a five week pop up residency of innovative food following over a year of planning by the Selfridges team putting it together.
Hari & Peter (HP) will also look to source (pun intended) as much local produce that is deemed to be waste by the food & retail industry (you will be surprised what this entails) and create an innovative and tasty menu.
There will be an inordinate amount of planning and cajoling of suppliers that will go into this event and the menu we will be able to cook will be subject to what we can eventually find.
There will only be thirty dining places up for grabs. Plus we can only proceed with this event if all these places have been reserved/sold by 5pm on Wednesday 21st June.
If not all sold by this date then the event we are sorry to say will have to be cancelled…there is too much risk and uncertainty to rely on late or last minute bookings.
Please note if we unfortunately have to cancel then full refunds will be made for the booking deposits made so there is no risk on your part to make those reservations!
We do hope you will support us with this very unique and exciting event… our culinary brains are already working overtime to come up with dishes that will excite you and provide much discussion.
Go on be brave and join us for a “journey of culinary discovery”
Date: 1th July 2017
Time: 7:30pm Arrival with Welcome Drink Dinner from 8pm
Venue: Crowborough Community Centre , Gallery Community Café
Cost: £10 Reservation Deposit via our Ticketing Site Here £30 Balance payable on the night (service not included) cash preferred.
Drinks: Bring your own drinks to consume with the dinner – water and glasses will be provided on the tables.
N.B. Reserve by 5pm 21st June (all 30 places will need to be sold) otherwise the event will not take place.
So we must be a bit mad in the height of summer moving our Pop Up concept to Rochester and the showroom of The Stove Hub where we will be converting their showroom space into a Pop Up space for two nights!
On June 16th & 17th we will be using their Charnwood wood fired stoves to demonstrate their cooking potential as well as cooking alfresco in the front of the showroom over our gas fired pans as they have no kitchen for us to cook with! We do so love a challenge.
We will have to rent in tables, chairs and crockery to set this dining space up so it will be a major undertaking but we think something a little different…
To kick the evening off we will welcome all with a complimentary drink and some simple seasonal nibbles – some of which will be cooked on the wood fired stove top!
The first course will be a simple salad that will be topped with a piece of marinated fish (that we will cook on top of the wood stove) Next we will then serve up a dish cooked alfresco in our large paella pan… Moroccan Spiced Chicken will be married to some green olives and home preserved lemons and served with some minted cous cous and bowls of dressed salad leaves… All will be prepared before your very eyes to ensure it is all fresh tasting and in true pop up style with an element of theatre!
Next we will then serve our little individual cheeseboards with a selection of cheeses and our now infamous porridge oat biscuits.
To complete the meal we will then serve up a classic summer dessert of Eton Mess… homemade meringues with Kent strawberries and cream… a perfect summer pudding.
With the coffee we will then griddle some shortbread biscuits on top of the stoves and garnish with a dollop of homemade lemon curd and a fresh raspberry… a great way to finish what we think will be a truly unique event in a very “quirky venue”
Guests are invited to bring their own drinks to consume with their meal and we will provide glasses, ice buckets and water on the tables.
You can reserve your dining places via our ticketing site here
Dates: 16th & 17th June 2017
Where: The Stove Hub, 86 King Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1YD
Time: 7:30pm Welcome Drink & Nibbles
Dinner: 8:00pm Prompt
Suggested Donation: Early Bird Tickets before May 30th £30 person after this date -£40 per person (service not included)
Griddled Marinated Fish with Dressed Salad Leaves
Moroccan Chicken, Green Olives, Preserved Lemons
Minted Cous Cous
Hari’s Cheese Selection with Porridge Biscuits
Eton Mess with local Kent Strawberries
Coffee or Tea, Griddled Shortbread with Lemon Curd
Menu subject to market purchases and ingredient availabilty
Following on from the success of our dinner events back in January with what we called “Pot Luck” we are going to repeat the format at our May 13th dinner that will take place at the Crowborough Community Centre in their Gallery Café.
It will be a seasonal menu that will kick off with a welcome glass and some simple nibbles and then we will serve up a three course menu that will also involve an element of theatre!!! You will only find out the menu on the night! We will however aim to cater for any dietary needs like Vegetarian/Gluten Free wherever we can and as long as requested when making the booking.
We are requesting a £10 per person reservation fee when you book and then on the night a minimum donation of £10 per person – however if you feel it was worth more then please feel free to leave more in the table envelopes (cash preferred)
As with all our events you are invited to bring your own wines/drinks to have with the meal and we will provide glasses, ice buckets and water on the tables.
We hope you will come and join us for this “Covert” dining experience… just look at some of the comments left in our guestbook from our last visit to this venue…
Guest comment from March event
Guest comment from March event
Guest comment from March event
To book your places just head over to our ticketing site here
We look forward to welcoming you all to our Pot Luck again event that will be a little bit of May Madness…
Well we thought we would celebrate the recognition of being deemed “Officially Quirky” by hosting a quirky dinner featuring some unusual ingredients and flavour combinations.
Having met with the owner of “Quirky Kent” recently we felt it was only proper and fitting to offer the chance for all those lovers of things quirky the chance to sample a Hari Covert event of the same name!
So for two nights (Friday April 21st & Saturday April 22nd) we will serve up a four course supper at our secret venue for the all inclusive price of £30 per person.
So what is on the menu… well following from a welcome drink (we are dreaming up something Quirky) and some quirky seasonal nibbles on arrival we will kick the dinner off with a panna cotta… now I know you all think why start with dessert well we are turning it on its head and starting with a savoury one infused with the flavour of wild garlic and we will garnish with toasted Kent Cobnuts and some crispy Ikan Bilis the Asian dried salted anchovies I have imported especially from Singapore. This will be a interesting combination of flavours and textures.
For the main course we will then serve shredded pork cheeks that
will have been slow braised in a rich Mexican inspired Mole Sauce with just a hint of chocolate. Some freshly cooked Spätzli (pasta) and red cabbage will garnish what will be a flavour packed dish.
We will then serve what many consider to be a quirky way with the cheese course (it is in fact the French way so very quirky by English standards) – just the one,but one of our
favourites… Winterdale Shaw Cheese from the top of Wrotham Hill, an unpasteurised carbon neutral cheddar. The milk comes from 200 yds down the road from the Friesan dairy herd and a 1000 gallons needs little heating using their solar panelled heat exchange pumps! Some 10 months later the cheeses matured in their flint lined cellars are ready for eating! Homemade Porridge Oat Biscuits and our homemade Banana Jam will be served with it.
Finally to complete the quirky nature of our dinner we felt it should be chocolate beer and sauerkraut… in a cake form… yes you heard right we combine chocolate, beer and pickled cabbage as a cake – we promise you it really does work!
Coffee & Tea (thinking of getting a Quirky Blend for the night) will complete the evening.
Well that date is fast approaching when couples habitually inhabit those tables of two’s in a restaurant and look lovingly into each other’s eyes across the dinner table!
You can tell I am a fan of this night of romantic love big time – Not!
It is generally hype to fill perhaps a quiet week night (a Tuesday this year) and dreaded by restaurants when it falls on a weekend night as they fill up in under capacity!
I have such strong memories of a “Valentine Night” in a restaurant I was working in when a couple came in for dinner who had obviously had a row and I think the guy was there under duress.
They ordered two” well done” fillet steaks and requested they be served with peas (we were upmarket and served a medley of vegetables)
I sent the waitress back with the message “Old Chinese Philosopher Confucius says Man who eats “Meat and Peas” on same plate is very unhygienic”
The waitress thought for moment and then giggled and said I can’t tell them that… I said please try!
Some restaurants get all creative with overpriced pun induced menus using not in season produce – e.g. Asparagus, Strawberries etc or pink coloured foods! I even tried one year doing a Valentine themed dinner here for my Supperclub and found it a tortuous night so vowed never again!
I am much more in favour of seeing you all cooking something special at home and perhaps pushing the boat out with a meal lovingly prepared for a loved one. It makes much more a statement than splashing out on a substandard meal in a restaurant.
So this would be my suggestion on a good seasonal menu
You will note I have provided links for all the recipes so why not give it a go and impress a loved one and cook them up this special treat… it will not break the bank and I am sure it will impress the other half!
Failing that why not come along later in the month for our February dinner event that we are calling “Game On“ as we will be featuring assorted Game dishes from Venison to Guinea Fowl. You can book the dinners here on our dedicated ticketing site!
Alternatively if you what to learn how to prepare these or any other dishes there is always the Covert Cook School where we can help you build your confidence and assist those untapped wooing skills…
Far better than going out with all those other sad ones!!!
So it has been six years since our last “Game On” dinner when we dedicated the menu to a “Game” themed one.
We felt it was long overdue as winter months are a perfect time to enjoy this much forgotten and often not appreciated culinary treat. So this months menu will feature heavily three types of game.
We will kick the meal off with a Carpaccio of Venison, this is thinly sliced slivers of raw venison loin that we will marry to slices of pickled beetroot and some walnuts all dressed with a horseradish cream.
Next we will serve up a classic risotto that will have the addition of creamed sweetcorn that will then be topped with slivers of roasted wood pigeon breasts and roasted baby corn. I am drooling just thinking of this!
The main course will be a breast of Guinea Fowl that will be studded with a force-meat of the legs mixed with Prunes. The breast will then be roasted off and served on top of a potato rosti and garnished with a red wine & prune sauce and some wilted spring onions. Then of course green beans will also feature.
To complete the meal we will then serve up a warm bread and butter pudding laced with chocolate and orange marmalade. We will keep it simple by serving it with some pouring cream – just a few extra calories.
Dates: Friday 24th & Saturday 25th February 2017
Venue: Hari’s Secret Location
Time: 7:30pm Welcome 8:00pm Dinner Served
Suggested Donation: £40 per person (service not included)
Welcome drink and seasonal nibbles
🌽 🌽 🌽
Venison & Beetroot Carpaccio
🍽 🍽 🍽
Roasted Wood Pigeon & Sweet Corn Risotto
🌽 🌽 🌽
Breast of Guinea Fowl, Prune & Spring Onion
🍽 🍽 🍽
Chocolate & Marmalade Bread & Butter Pudding
🌽 🌽 🌽
Coffee, Tea & Petit Fours
Menu Subject to Market Purchases & Ingredient Availability
So after the excess of the festive period and in a good retail tradition we will for our January 27th & 28th dates trial something just a little different.
SOLD OUT FOR ALL DATES… WAIT LIST ONLY
FEBRUARY DINNERS – GAME ON – BOOKING OPENS 20TH JANUARY 2017
We will not be publishing a menu as we will not decide what to cook until we start our normal purchases as we will just take “Pot Luck” on what is around at the time.
We will however make it a three course meal and include tea or coffee at the end. The other little twist we will offer on this occasion is only ask for a minimum of a £10 donation for the meal. However, we will say to diners if you think it was worth more then feel free to be more generous in the table envelope!
As with all our events you are invited to bring your own wines/drinks to have with the meal and we will provide glasses and iced tap water on the tables.
So the challenge for us is to come up with a tasty balanced three course menu that you feel is worthy of more than a £10 donation. The risk for you is you will at the beck and call of what might be available when we make our purchases. So you will need to be adventurous and up for the odd culinary challenge!
So if you are feeling brave and want to partake of this event then please do complete the booking form below. Please note it will be very much a first come first served on the booking front so do not delay in booking and then also please do let us know if you have any major allergies or dietary requirements as this will help us in the planning of the whole menu when we come to make our purchases.
So who is up for a bit of “Pot Luck” secret dining? If you have never been now is your chance to be surprised!
Dinner: 8:00pm – A 3 course menu will be served
Suggested Donation: Minimum £10 – we will accept more if you think it was worth it. (service not included)
Well with Christmas fast approaching we can announce some exciting plans for 2017 and this might well make an interesting Christmas gift for someone that appreciates their food…
We will be announcing our full line up of dinner dates for 2017 in a few days but a note for your diary will be our planned event for March 2017 that will be a much bigger dinner in a new location for us.
We will be taking secret dining to the town of Crowborough just south of Tunbridge Wells where for one night only on March 25th we will be serving a four course dinner to guests in the Gallery Community Cafe a space within the Crowborough Community Centre that we will be renting for the evening.
The poster below explains a little more and our booking site for this event will open on Monday December 12th at 09:00am.
Reservation Tickets will only be on sale until Tuesday 28th February 2017 so make sure you reserve your places early to ensure you get in.
To book your places please go to our dedicated booking site for this event here