The Camberwell Kitchen originated over in Sydenham as The Gluten Free Rosie Supperclub. Last summer I had the pleasure of dining at the Gluten Free Rosie Supperclub (you can read about it here) and thought it was fantastic! Six supper-clubs later, at a new location The Camberwell Kitchen was born and I managed to get myself some tickets and the chance for a second visit.
Camberwell Kitchen - Ant Saunt & Rosie Norman
Rosie, AKA, Gluten Free Rosie, is a trainee Dietitian/Nutritionist, coeliac, gluten-free cook & food blogger. Rosie’s interests are in plant-based nutrition & mindful eating.
Ant Saunt, the second half of Camberwell Kitchen, is passionate about cooking, eating & discovering the new restaurants London has to offer. He is also happens to be Rosie's boyfriend.
I went along with, Ellie and Lara, my companions for the evening. We somehow managed to be the first to arrive, which was by no means any hardship as we were warmly welcomed. Soon to find a delicious blood orange, gin & rosemary cocktail in our hand. What with all the excitement I didn’t manage to take a photo before drinking it all!? Sorry about that.
The cocktails were served in jam jars with crushed ice and a sprig of rosemary. These were partnered with a little ‘bite’ to keep us going whilst the other guests arrived for the evening. This was salmon sashimi with wasabi mayo,crispy seaweed & toasted sesame seeds. A delicious punch of heat and and fresh fish.
As the rest of the guests bundled in, we all made our introductions, with a very impressive help from Rosie who was managing to nearly name each person as they arrived!? The cosy Camberwell flat managed to squeeze 14 people along the single long table.
As everyone settled into their seats, the first course was brought out.
Purple sprouting broccoli with sirloin steak & hazelnut pesto. This was very tasty but I was a little surprised the see red meat on the menu for both starter and main, not that I'm complaining it was lovely but I am a huge lover of veg! I loved how last time at GFR the starter had been vegetable based. Now all the guys that were there, would probably disagree with me completely but hey that's just my opinion.... ;)
Organic slow roasted lamb shoulder with cauliflower couscous, sweet potato mash & wilted spinach. The cauliflower couscous was fantastic! I was informed it literally is a whole cauliflower whizzed up in the food processor and then had spices and fresh herbs added. The lamb and sweet potato melted off the fork and the combination of flavours were fantastic.
Finished off with chocolate almond cake with rosemary + olive oil ice cream and salted caramel sauce. This disappeared rather quickly! The olive ice cream gave refreshing & slightly earthy balance to the sweetness of the caramel sauce and richness of the chocolate cake.
It was wonderful catching up with Rosie and finding out what she’d been up too since I’d last seen her. You may have come across her via a few interviews from Ideal Magazine , The Debrief , The Guardian , Absolutely South East (on page 47) to name a few... Rosie had been busy! It was also a great chance to finally meet the second half of The Camberwell Kitchen, Ant Suant. Aware that Ant and Rosie would be a little hectic this evening I asked them a few questions before my visit on the 29th to get an insight into their setup. Here is what I found out...
Have you ever been to a Supperclub yourself other than CK, if so which ones and what were they like?
Yes, I’ve been to a couple. I’ve been to James Ramsden’s Secret Larder a couple of times, I also went to this New Orleans one in Bethnal Green too (can’t remember the name). I have been to a few ‘Forza Win’ events- although not really a Supper Club I guess. I enjoyed all of them, there always seems to be such a great atmosphere.
What do you do? Is it linked with food / nutrition or cooking?
I am in data analytics in a client facing role- basically I travel around England talking to government departments helping them to use data more effectively as part of their decision-making processes etc.. So absolutely nothing to do with food unfortunately!
Rosie is a coeliac, since dating have you found your diet has changed?
Probably yes. Not when I’m not with her but undoubtedly I eat fewer gluten based meals when we’re both around especially since we moved in together around 18 months ago.
Do you eat healthy recipes 24/7? What are your food weaknesses, the ones you can't live without?
No, I don’t eat healthy recipes all the time. I try and eat a varied diet but probably eat too much meat and too big a meal in the evening. At this stage in my life I think I can get away with not being too obsessive with my diet as I do quite a bit of exercise. For me, the most important part of eating is to enjoy it, if you spend your whole time worrying about calories, sugar and salt content etc it takes the fun away and can actually be quite harmful to the mind. I do (luckily) enjoy healthy food though. My weakness would be burgers- especially when Rosie isn’t around!
I can imagine that running a Supperclub can be stressful. How does it work that you are a couple, is it a hindrance or blessing?
It can be stressful as we’re both pretty busy but we really enjoy it on the day and whenever either of us is feeling the pressure the other one will support and help them so it’s definitely a blessing.
The Supperclub is a team effort, Rosie can link the Supperclub with her studying and blog. What do get from doing the Supperclub?
I think eventually we want to do something in the food industry so for me it’s more of a long game but in the short term I love the positive feedback and enjoyment our guests get.
What is your main goal? Nutritionist? Food writer, chef? Restauranteur? Or all three! ;)
Setting up a restaurant is deceptively tough, I don't think I'd be able to handle that! In short, I think my main aim is to make delicious food, and healthy messages, inspiring. As a young female, I particularly relate to the crazy amount of confusing health messages girls are faced with in our day-to-day lives. As a trainee dietitian, I'm being taught to critically analyse the evidence base behind nutritional science and I hope to be able to use this knowledge to dispel health claims commonly seen on social media and in the press. In about 1 year's time I will be a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist. I love to keep busy so I think I’d like to combine various aspect of nutrition together by working as a dietitian within the NHS and continuing to cook blog and write on the side.
Any future plans? What is in the pipe line - Cookbook? TV Appearance? Vlogs? (short videos on ur blog)
Vlogs are definitely something I’m interested in. We’ll have to see what happens this summer!
Time keeping; How do you manage to juggle studying, blogging, running a Supperclub and on top of that keeping a healthy lifestyle, fitness?
I was lucky enough to get an i-pad from Ant two Christmas’s ago which has really helped keep me organised as I can easily access different e-mail accounts, calendars, social media platforms, science journals and news articles on a big screen, on-the-go.
I try to do what I enjoy doing to keep fit otherwise I won’t do it at all. I really like using resistance bands and body weight exercises for strength training. If I’m in a rush, I can literally just do 10 minutes of this in my fat in the morning. I also enjoy walking so if I’m travelling somewhere which can be reached by foot, I’ll try to take this route instead of public transport.
Timeout is important. How do you like to relax chill out?
I’ve just done a course in mindfulness which involves meditation. This really helps me to zone out and rationalise when I’m stressed.
I love your recipes you have on the blog. Is there any piece of equipment in the kitchen you can't live without or desperately would love to have?
Thank you so much! I have a magimix which I use almost daily to make pesto, soup, nut butters, fresh pasta, cakes...so much!
Starting the blog at the end of 2013 you have gained an impressive following and coverage in a short period of time. What do you put this down too?
I think people are naturally very interested in health and wellness which has helped, although I ‘m still a long way from where I want to be! Perhaps due to me having coeliac disease and training to be a dietitian my blog deals with gluten-free diet from a personal level and professional level which is a fairly interesting concept. The gluten-free industry is also growing rapidly so people are often looking for recipes and advice within this field.
Eating whole foods and fresh fruit and veg is something you push on your blog and could be said to be your mantra. But what is your secret guilty pleasure that you like to indulge in when no one is looking? ;) Go on tell all! ;)
I don’t really have any ‘guilty’ pleasures as such since no food is intrinsically good or bad and all foods can be healthy or unhealthy in different quantities and situations. Weirdly if I’m feeling a bit worse for wear, I always crave sushi which is considered to be pretty healthy! However if I’m feeling really indulgent I’d choose to eat slow cooked pork belly followed by salted caramel ice-cream.
In recent times social media has had an influx of bad press what with 'trolls' and nasty comments. Have you ever experienced any of this and if so how have you dealt with it?
I haven’t personally experienced trolling, but I’ve conversed with people who clearly have no idea what they’re talking about nutritionally. I’m no expert myself, however I do have some science grounding, and nutrition-based social media platforms can do more harm than good in the wrong hands because science is often very complex. Einstein said: “The more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know”. After three years studying nutrition full-time with one more to go, I realise that I’ve barely scratched the surface of this complicated science! It infuriates me when I see high-profile people in the nutrition industry with barely any official nutrition training (e.g. not a degree) advocating people cut out food groups such as dairy without any robust scientific evidence. Some people almost treat food like a religion so when you try to tell people they are fooling themselves (e.g via following a fad diet), they react as if a foundational belief has been violated.
You are an inspiring person and blogger. Who do you find inspiring and what blogs do you follow?
So many people! I find lots of science academics who speak out in the media inspiring; Professor Tom Sanders has a no-nonsense approach to nutrition which I admire. Dr Ben Goldacre wrote a fantastic book called ‘Bad Science’ where he takes on misleading health claims in the nutrition industry. I did a bit of research and found that he’d done a TED talk, what here to get more of an insight. I enjoy following the dietitian Catherine Collins (@RD_Catherine) on twitter who is fanatical at critically analysing nutrition research. And in terms of cooking – Diana Henry’s balance approach to healthy eating in ‘A Change of Appetite’ is currently at the top of my list.
You can fit 14 people into your supperclub. As a rough estimate, out of the 14 people, how many are usually coeliacs?
Surprisingly not that many – perhaps 1 or 2! I have been pleasantly surprised by how many people have come because they simply want to enjoy good food. We do have quite a few guests coming with intolerances and allergies other than gluten: dairy, refined sugars and FODMAPs to name a few. This is something Ant and I make clear we’re really happy to accommodate.
Have you been to many supperclubs? And as a coeliac which have been your favourites?
No as many as I would like as being gluten-free makes it tricky. James Ramsden’s Secret Larder did a gluten-free theme at his supper club which was amazing. I really want to go to one in Brixton soon called Saltoun.
The Camberwell Kitchen, seriously tasty food that happens to be gluten-free!
Well worth pressing that refresh button several times to get yourself a ticket to go! (Last time they went in 3 minutes!)
Price: £30, a cocktail & 3 course meal will be provided (BYOB).