Food trend: supper clubs

Dinner with strangers

Eating with strangers, but just like eating with friends: supper clubs are taking the Austrian gastronomic scene by storm

Relaxing and spending time with friends - quality leisure time has become a desirable status symbol for our generation. Experiences and products that enhance our well-being make our lives all the more pleasurable. With its latest shoe collection, Högl is moving with the times towards the latest relaxed fashion trends. If you’re on the lookout for events to make your quality time even more special, we’ve got a great tip for you: supper clubs.

They’re also referred to as underground restaurants, private dining, or guerrilla cooking. Food is elevated to a lifestyle, a means of self-realisation, to be celebrated and enjoyed in a variety of ways. The trend has now also reached Austria, met with enthusiasm by young and old alike.

Place setting with appealing decoration

The supper club principle

For supper clubs, private living rooms are transformed into posh restaurants. Home cooks with professional ambitions as well as pro chefs wanting to cook as a hobby don’t cook in a restaurant, but rather use private homes and strangers’ kitchens to cook several courses. Meaning anyone can organise one, by simply inviting someone to cook, providing the space and inviting some guests. Instead of paying a bill, diners are happy to make a small donation, usually between 25 and 60 euros.

communal meal on a rustic table

Where does this trend come from?

The trend started in the United States. In New York, the first secret dining rooms sprang up in 2004, before the trend caught on in London. From there it spread across the water and ended up in Vienna in 2007. Nowadays, there are supper clubs in most major cities. The most well-known ‘supper clubber’ worldwide is the American, Jim Haynes. He has held a 3-course meal for up to 60 people for over 30 years in his Paris gallery every Sunday.
 
Jim Haynes Supper Club - the oldest Supper Club - always well attended
®Jim Haynes - Jim Haynes Supper Club

What's it all about?

True to the motto ‘Meet & Eat’, with a private dinner it isn’t just about the gastronomic experience, but also about getting to know new people. At the organiser’s dining table, with fine food, good wine and a relaxed atmosphere, participants get acquainted with each other and spend an unforgettable evening. You can watch over the chef’s shoulder, indulge yourself and share recipes. Even though you're still a paying guest, you soon feel like you’re at a meal among friends.

Cheers! Toasting with wine glasses

Well known clubs in Austria

M77 - Wien

With M77, Wolfgang Braun has fulfilled his dream of getting closer to the guests he now shares space and food with, with an intimacy reminiscent of a private home. The different menus are prepared before your eyes, with the chef explaining each course. You quickly get to know new people who share a passion for good food, in an informal setting.
 
Dining room and kitchen of the M77 in Vienna
® M77 - dining room and kitchen of M77 in Vienna


Anyone who travels a lot and wants to find out about more supper clubs around the world should take a look at well-known online networks for dinner parties, such as the Ghetto Gourmet (www.theghet.com) and the Supper Club Fan Group (www.supperclubfangroup.ning.com). They list many of the supper clubs around the world.

If you’re one of those adventurous gourmets who likes to go on gastronomic voyages of discovery in a relaxed, cosy atmosphere, Högl has the perfect accompaniment. These designs from the current collection promise wearability and an all-day feel-good factor.

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