One of the beauties of being in a supper club is that you get an audience to test your culinary skills with. Supper clubbers by their nature are a receptive audience. They just enjoy socializing over a meal.
Growing up with two older sisters and mother that were good cooks, I was kept out of the kitchen. I really didn’t start cooking until getting out of business school. I had an apartment with my good friend from school Tom Julian. TJ was definitely my first culinary victim. He was from Utica NY and used to say everything I made tasted like “mischambrul”. We think that word is Utica slang derived from the Italian ‘mischiato’ which mean mixed up.
I experimented on poor Tom. Everything I made was based in a combination of garlic and onion. Even in those early years I was trying to replicate dishes from local restaurants. I learned early that if you offer to cook, people will come. Tom and I did our fare amount of entertaining and free food ensured an audience.
Being from Utica Tom used to talk fondly of the flavors from his youth. He would go on and on about the “Greens” from the restaurant Grimaldi’s. I tried to replicate this dish from his waxing. The result is what I call Baked Escarole. There is probably more garlic and onion in my recipe than Grimaldi’s, but Tom didn’t complain.
Whether at a supper club or experimenting on poor Tom, make it and they will come. The key is to have a good time over a meal.
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