Yayā Supper Club
The weekend of the 8th & 9th October was a particularly Greek affair. By this I mean I managed to attend 3 Greek events, by chance of course.
The weekend got into full swing quickly at the Greek Wine Festival hosted by Theodore Kyriakou and his team at The Greek larder in King’s Cross. I could only go to the event for a brief while but that was enough time to get me excited. To be apart of the buzz that filled the revamped industrial space just off Granary Square was really very cool. Theodore got the place dancing with Greek folk music while those not on the cosy designated dancing area were sampling some fantastic wines from around Greece and its islands and enjoying some proper tasty looking souvlaki, with the traditional pickles and all. It was hard to fight the temptation not to scoff one myself, but I was to be feasting later at Lemonia restaurant in Primrose Hill (the 2nd part of the Greek sequence of events).
The Sunday was the part I was most curious about. Just a few days earlier I happened to come across Yayā Supper Club’s Instagram feed and I was instantly drawn in by the stunning photography. I noticed a post about Yayā’s planned Yoga and Greek lunch for that Sunday and nothing was going to stop me. I can be quite rash when making decisions, especially when there is food involved.
Yayā Supper Club (taken from the Greek word for grandmother) is just the coolest supper club that’s all about bringing people together to feast on home-style Greek cooking. Two friends Emily and Lou only set it up 6 months ago, but their passion for authentic Greek recipes, a few of which they have re-invented, mixed with their quirky style was simply heroic when I think about the kind of food that inspired me to create FeedTim.
Speaking to them both was insightful. Emily herself has Greek origins and is out to revive the recipes passed down from the women in her family. Lou has Spanish roots, so she certainly understands flavours. As I say the pair were cool: the way they dressed, the effort they made to decorate the table with classic Greek pieces (like traditional village lace that reminded me of my own grandmother’s village) and of course the food they prepared. The supper club is inspired by large sharing platters, the kind that appear at any Greek family affair, using ingredients that just spell Greek (like the saganaki cheese with honey and sesame seeds) while exploiting fresh and local produce.
You can see from the menu above what we ate that day. The food was really quite delicious and the pair took the time to explain each component. Yayā is not limited to vegetarian food, but the fact that this particular supper club was vegetarian themed went unnoticed because food was blessing the table every few minutes. The rich red of the beautifully prepared Dakos salad (a Creten salad of tomato, red onion and stale bread), the green of the fasolakia stew (green bean stew) and spanakopita (spinach pie – my fave) along with the gleaming honey running off the cheese pie made the whole meal a very enjoyable and exciting experience. The girls worked hard, and damn it they performed.
The whole theme of this supper club was one of wellness. For £40, alongside the vegetarian spread, guests were treated to 1½hrs of yoga with Sophia Pim (originally Greek, what else). Admittedly this was my 1st ever Yoga class but the knowledge that lunch was to come encouraged me to give it a go. A Yoga & Pilates teacher, Sophia herself says she is passionate about getting people moving, breathing and having fun. Well she got me moving; she definitely got me breathing (pretty heavily) and guided us into positions that at least my brain was dealing with for the first time. She was very catering to first timers while managing to lead more advanced yoga goers. She was an impressive teacher and I would recommend her to any yoga enthusiasts out there.
I went to this event solo and that was fine by me. The atmosphere that fills the room is inspired by the warmth and comfort that characterises a typical Yaya’s kitchen. Still such a young venture Yayā Supper Club does not have a permanent home, which I love because the girls deploy their unique Greek style in different locations around Hackney. I met some interesting people with whom, for whatever reason enticed them to this event on a Sunday afternoon, I shared a memorable lunch. By cooking recipes that have inspired them, Emily & Lou harness the power that food has to bring people to a table and have a great time. I guess the only downside was that catering to 25 people meant they both were too busy in the kitchen to sit down and enjoy the fruits of their labour with us!
Emily & Lou, you are ambassadors to the authentic Greek movement. Keep up the good work.