Nomadic Chefs – a supperclub for the ages
When a chef takes pride in his work, and excitedly tells you that the beautiful flowers on your plate were grown in his very own garden, I can’t help but smile. And when his flavour combinations hit all the sweet spots on my palate, I just want him cook for me in my own home. So I completely understand why Nomadic Chefs picked Daniel Salvador to cook for us in a cosy Pimlico flat on a balmy May evening
As I walked up the stairs into the beautiful flat, our venue for the Nomadic Chefs supperclub that night, I was struck by the intimacy and cosiness of it all. And as soon as I joined in the conversations, it was clear that Nomadic Chef’s clientele is hugely passionate about the supperclub scene, as nearly half the guests were coming for the second, or even third time.
The nibbles that we started with were a hipster take on a familiar dish. Pan con tomate, an absolute staple for any Spanish meal, was shaken up by serving olive bread on a board next to a jar full of strained tomatoes, mixed with garlic and olive oil. And even yours truly, a self-proclaimed tomato-hater, couldn’t get enough!
Between courses, I kept sneaking into the kitchen to catch a glimpse of the chef at work. I was not disappointed, as Daniel prepared every dish with the utmost care and precision.
The entire menu was fish-based, and I loved the themes running through it, with every course’s flavours following naturally upon the last one. This was quite different from my recent supperclub with Ferdiesfoodlab, where I thought every course on its own was quite strong, but not necessarily in harmony with the entire menu.
The first course was scallops with almonds, bread crumbs, and hummus. The delicate scallops were deep-fried and served on a skewer, and the hummus was plated up in a little swirl. I felt there was a bit too much hummus, as I wanted to savour the scallops more, but it was nonetheless a very strong start to the evening.
After this, we caught our first glimpse of Dani’s homegrown delights. The red pepper, cod, and homegrown salad was a small and delectable course, with both the red pepper and cod were served as purees amidst two crispy puff pastries. I adored the addition of the edible flowers, as they perked up the plate with just the right touch of colour.
And then it was time for the main course, which absolutely blew me away. It was described simply as sea bass, lemon and onion, but it was so much more than that. At first, I wasn’t sure where the onion was, but then Dani explained that the puree beneath the firm-fleshed fish was caramelised onion that had been simmering for hours before being turned into a paste!
The roast vegetables on the side were soft and smokey, and the dried lemon slices on top added just the right amount of tang. This dish was, quite simply, perfect.
I then went ‘backstage’ and simply saw this.
‘What is that?’ I asked curiously. ‘Oh, just pistachio cream.’ replied Dani nonchalantly. ‘I boil the nuts with milk and sugar for a long time and turn it into a cream. It’s simple, really.’ Well, if it’s that simple, then why doesn’t everybody do it? And why have I never eaten such smooth and sugary goodness ever before?! He subsequently topped the cream of the gods with strawberries, chocolate profiteroles, and broken pistachios, and I truly believed I had reached heaven.
The final surprise that night was that one of the guests had brought homemade chocolates… with an alcoholic twist. With flavours ranging from gin & tonic to Pimm’s, these delectable delights were filled with rich flavours and fresh ingredients. I definitely took more than my fair share, and was delighted to hear that Piroska sells them on Etsy!
My evening with Nomadic Chefs was an absolute delight. The food was outstanding, the company entertaining, the venue beautiful, and I definitely learned about new techniques and flavours that I will probably never use, but will hopefully be able to recognise! I would not hesitate to return, and urge everybody to book their next one (they sell out almost instantly, so you’ll need to be quick!). And you know you can trust my rave review when I tell you it is in spite of the fact that the first course started with my neighbor knocking Kir Royale all over me…
I was a guest with Nomadic Chefs, but as always, all views are my own.