London Supper Clubs
Introducing Courtney, the chef behind Bogleboy Supper Club
Courtney is a freelance chef and food science nerd who loves to experiment with flavours in his supper clubs to make his seasonal ingredients sing. He started Bogleboy Supper Club in 2019 as a way to share his passion for food with others.
This London supper club is hosted at Roots and Shoots, an environmental education charity in Kennington. The menu changes monthly, but always features seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients. Courtney’s cooking style is influenced by his love of fine dining, but he also strives to keep things affordable and accessible.
In this interview, Courtney talks about his inspiration for starting Bogleboy Supper Club, his philosophy on food, and the dishes he’s most excited to share with guests.
His summer menu features courgette fritters with labneh and chilli honey, a panzanella salad with marinated burrata, and a smoked lamb shoulder with adas polo.. read on to learn more about the dishes in this supper club and Courtney.
Please introduce yourself and your London supper club!
Hey! I’m Courtney and I run Bogleboy Supper Club, which is named after a family nickname given to me as a child. I’m a freelance chef and food science nerd and love to experiment with ways to make ingredients sing.
What inspired you to cook?
I would often shadow my Grandma in the kitchen, making my own versions of food whilst she cooked. As I got older I would shadow my Mum and she eventually allowed me to cook on my own and gain confidence in the kitchen.
I would religiously watch weekend morning cooking shows as a child and teenager and would be so inspired by what I was seeing, and I guess that inspiration never left me. We eat food every day and I can’t imagine not wanting to know how to do it well, it’s such an integral part of my life.
So it seems like the overarching theme for this supper club is seasonal modern fine-dining without the price tag. Tell us more about this concept, and of course all about the seasonal produce you’re using!
Yeah! Having studied at the infamous Westminster Kingsway College and having had work experience in fine dining establishments, I developed an appreciation for the craft. However, I didn’t like what often came with that; pretentiousness. After working with some people who shared similar values to my own, I realised you could create aesthetically pleasing and gastronomically impressive food without the pretence. I developed my own style gradually through my past experiences and now coined it as ‘pseudo fine-dining’.
When I was learning to cook I was working on a student budget so figured out ways to make these dishes on a shoe string. I’ve come to realise there are a lot of ways to make good food in a cost effective way if you pay closer attention to the process, which is where my food science experience really helps.
When my supper club was much smaller, a significant part of the ingredients came from my very own garden. It was so rewarding to be using high quality, organically grown ingredients that I grew and are incomparable to most shop-bought items. Now that it’s a bigger pop-up, I still do use ingredients and garnishes from my garden where possible and focus on using ingredients when they are at their peak of quality. For that reason the menu changes pretty much every month which I think adds to the excitement of the menus because that’s the only opportunity during the year to try certain dishes.
What’s on the menu on your supper club? Why have you chosen to make these dishes?
My menus generally don’t have a theme, but rather focus on ingredients and let the dishes create themselves.
For the ‘bread and snack’ course we have courgette fritters with labneh and local chilli honey. Courgettes are in full swing at the moment and pair so well with a smooth creamy labneh which I make at home by hanging yoghurt overnight. The chilli honey is made with local honey so it’s extra punchy and gives the snack some sass.
The starter is my interpretation of a panzanella salad which I became familiar with from working on events in Camberwell. My twist is adding marinated burrata for a flavourful, creamy texture, roasted red peppers to bring an unexpected smokiness and miso olives which taste remarkably like parmesan!
The main course is Smoked Lamb shoulder/breast depending on availability and smoked aubergine for vegetarians, with adas polo, pickled radish and deep fried beetroot leaves. The lamb and aubergine are slow cooked over fire to let them develop a complex flavour profile. The adas polo is a Persian rice dish I discovered in my travels to Michigan, USA and I fell in love. It’s a highly flavoured sweet rice with sultanas, caramelised onions, cinnamon and mint. You could honestly eat just that on its own! The pickled radish is black and icicle radish from my garden that helps to cut through the lamb and give the taste buds a break. The deep fried beetroot leaves (also from the garden) was something I discovered by chance. They are really violent in the fryer but look like beautiful stained glass when cooked and taste similar to crispy seaweed.
The dessert is a peach and thyme sorbet with elderflower granita, lime-macerated peach and macaron crumbs. This one’s a real mashup of different elements I’ve made in the past but they go so well together. The sorbet was completely experimental but the combination is absolutely next level. The granita was made from elderflower picked locally and is extremely potent and delicious. The lime-macerated peaches was inspired by Ottolenghi (one of my food idols), where he uses them on a gallette and it’s a really great dessert that just let’s the peaches glow.
The cheese course is a revolving door and every month the cheeses and the accompanying snacks change. I’m learning so much about cheese as a result and I source the cheese from my lovely local deli in Streatham; David’s Deli. It’s served with Indian Puri instead of crackers as they’re lighter and much more neutral in flavour. I also serve it with seasonal fruit, and homemade smoky chilli jam and Jamaican sorrel.
Tell us about where you host your supper clubs in London, Roots and Shoots, how did you find each other?
I currently host my supper club at Roots and Shoots in Kennington. It’s an environmental education charity where I work as an events chef. We focus on vocational training for young people with additional needs and helping to connect or even reconnect all with nature in the centre of London. I got the opportunity to work there in 2021 after I recovered from breaking my hip from a rollerblading accident in 2020 and was looking for something to help ease my way back into work. The working environment there is really positive and being surrounded by nature really helped me get my mojo back. Working there ticks so many of my personal boxes and really ties in well into the ethos of the supper club.
What is it about London supper clubs that you like?
As a host, it allows me to be really creative and express myself through food. I also get to create the dining experience that I would enjoy. Meeting people from all walks of life is fun and sometimes helps to inspire future decisions.
As a guest, I love the social aspect of supper clubs and the informality of it all. Getting to try foods I’m unfamiliar with is really fun and also inspires my own cooking. Everyone should try a supper club at least once! I’m sure you’ll be hooked.
To find out more about Courtney’s supper clubs, click here.
Find more interviews with our hosts here.