A combination of a few of our favourite things - food, good humans, dressing up - meets an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for connection in Club Sup. The brainchild of Sophie McIntyre, Club Sup brings together strangers over a meal. It sounds delightfully fun and looks incredibly cool, so we asked her to give us the lowdown and share a few tips.
Can you give us a rundown on Club Sup. Where did the inspiration come from? How did it start, and how does it work?
In 2020, I moved into a sharehouse full of strangers in between the lockdowns. We all became extremely close. Two of my roommates weren’t working and they were struggling without a bookend for the week. I, however, needed a creative outlet on the weekend from my corporate fashion job.
Each week we would host dinners and I would cook - we would set up the table or lounge room and we would host a supper. After we got out of lockdown, I noticed so many of my friends were finding themselves in a weird state of mind – it was a new type of lonely. We were all able to see our friends again, however, the lockdowns had created shifts which meant they became harder to relate to. Some had babies, some moved back with their parents, some realised those friendships weren’t healthy. I thought, this can't be the way of the future, we can't keep going not having new avenues to make new friendships or connections.
So the club was born - now we host our club twice a month with a whole group of strangers who eat and drink and connect. We've had real friendships form, even love. IT IS SO COOL.
What is your favourite thing about cooking/food, and how did it become such a big part of your life?
How it will forever be the best vehicle to bring people together – we eat 3 times a day and you need two hands usually to do it, so you’re not on your phone. You are talking and engaging in good conversation with a good friend.
My mum always had us around her when she cooked and she taught us from a very young age. I then used it as a meditation throughout the rest of life. I love how it brings everyone together.
What is your overarching food philosophy/mission?
That cooking is as hard or as easy that you want it to be. It doesn’t have to perfect, it just has to nourish you and taste ok! You do not need to spend a third of your weekly budget on a single meal from Uber Eats.
I want to teach people how to cook more because it teaches patience and confidence and that sometimes it's ok if things don’t work out. Cooking makes you more human.
Where do you find your inspiration?
There are so many, however my fave are
@carmen.amsterdam - my dream guesthouse/kitchen - it is how I want my house and kitchen to look like when I am older
@king.newyork - I went there on a solo trip/dinner in 2019 and confirmed my love for dining - everything they make is perfection, it is the most cosy place in the world
@paris.starn - her baking makes me want to bake, which I am not that good at, so it says a lot
What is your go-to look when you're in the kitchen?
An apron for sure, I am a messy cook - although usually it's something I am comfortable in, so the perfect Blanca set like the Jones Shirt and pant are so breathable and easy.
Although, to be honest, I am usually cooking when I have people over so I always dress up for me first, so I don't look like I've forgotten myself in the cooking. The easiest way to do that is with some jewels, whether that's a pair of earrings or a necklace or two.
Give us a day in your life...
Usually it’s a spin class or walk then a homemade coffee with breakfast – Emails and reviewing a list of ideas I have for recipes. I’ll spend some time reading recipes or searching for articles about relationships or friendships.
I’ll then go to my local grocer for fruit and veg that is in season and come home and cook a recipe test for our website. If they're a hit, I will take pics and post them to the club. If I am not cooking, I am on the emails contacting creatives to organise events for our Alumni group (watch this space for alumni events).
It's your last meal - what are you eating and drinking?
I am eating a Mile End bagel with caper cream cheese and salmon with a fresh orange juice. I ask people this question a lot and ofc they then ask me and I keep coming back to this meal.
Can you give us your top three:
Pantry essentials -
Crinkle Cut Plain Smiths Crisps - Having people over always means a chip and a wine.
Fridge finds -
Pickles, anchovies, olives, capers all in a jar
Self-care strategies -
100% exercise is my fave, so that might be a spin class or a walk.
Cooking for fun and turning my phone fully off in another room for an hour or two.
Not-so-guilty pleasures -
Splurging on really good butter or eggs - they make the world of difference - go to your local market or small grocer and ask the person to give you the ones that are the most local. You can tell the difference in the yolks and the whites - best poachies of your life.
Fave foodies -
Gin & Dill Gravlax - with soft boiled eggs and pickles
500g piece of skin on salmon
3/4 cup of salt
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 tbsp gin or vodka
Zest of lemon
A good handful of dill
In a bowl mix together salt and sugar.
Roughly chop the dill and add to the salt/sugar mixture.
Rub in the zest to the salt/sugar using your index finger and your thumb to infuse the salt with the herb and zest.
Add in gin and mix - it should resemble wet sand. If not, add a dash more.
On a tray, roll out a piece of glad wrap long enough to cover the salmon and place the salmon skin-side down.
Add the rub on to the salmon, rubbing it in all over.
Cover the salmon with the glad wrap, tightly flipping it so it is now skin-side up.
Place another tray on top of the salmon and use jars or weights to weigh it down in the fridge. Anything weighing up to 500g will be fine.
Leave in the fridge for 48 hours.
When it is ready, wash off all the salt and slice finely to serve.