A Pop Up restaurant is an opportunity for the people who run them to test and practice, refine and listen, produce the chemistry, the ethos, of your unique product, your cooking, your food.
Jamaicans like to be the best and last night Monica’s Kitchen proved that it really is the best. It was hosted at Dee Miller’s Minor Oak at 4 Sneinton Market and from the beginning, the night to come had a magic, a real sense of anticipation. Dee found some great posters and the marketing was excellent. That’s so important.
Above some of the evocative images used in the marketing (community and social media)
I was so lucky to be there last night. Caribbean cooking is on the up, locally, regionally and nationally. In the UK there are over 11,000 established Caribbean food businesses which is a real tribute to the food, the culture, the belief and the real hard work on delicious slower food that nourishes and encourages people to get together.
It’s a wonderful mix of the formal, the informal and what’s possible I think. Monica’s at the head of a team of talented artists, silversmiths and musicians who double up as waiting and food prep staff.
When you think about how you’d want to start a restaurant you realise that Monica really understands the chemistry both of food and of how to lead a great team. The menu inspired the staff I think (every course looked mouth watering) and the really interesting thing to me was that it reminded me of saving up to go out, being prepared to wait for something good. It was £25 but it was four beautiful courses, so worth it.
Dee and her husband, zany scientist, Brian, served cocktails It reminded me of a cruise ship, it had all the extra give and take of a project that everyone wants to succeed and it had lots of interesting diners. The range of people was incredible: designers, makers, civil servants, a prison officer, construction workers, it was like the family we all want to find in the world as we make our way through life.
Above, the zany Brian…I think Dee was somewhere behind the scenes as she always is (wow Dee, what an achievement is Minor Oak!) Fantastic stuff.