If you’re starting to feel worn down by the chilly embrace of winter, then Cat Dorsen has something to get those fires roaring again. Following on from the first two successful and sold-out iterations of Big Table Supper Club, Dorsen is again returning to the Backyard Opera kitchen to bring some warming winter goodness to our Tempe studio on June 7. Think open fires, taxidermy and red faces from a day on the slopes (or a day in front of the fire wrapped up in some glühwein), and you’re starting to get a picture of what’s animating Big Table Supper Club this time around.
Thinking back to her own time on the slopes, Dorsen recalls the latter, as her ski adventure was unfortunately cut short, “when I was 19 I actually had a skiing accident I fell off a cliff in Canada so if we talk about my skiing experiences they're very dramatic if nothing else.” For those of us wondering what’s next at the Backyard Opera chalet this could be a blessing, as Dorsen was able to refine her palate through extended study of alpine brews during her convalescence. “Nineteen is the drinking age in Canada and so I spent a lot of time after that in the spa with a drink and I was like ‘ok, I guess this is my holiday!’”
The fruits of Dorsen’s labour will be on display at the third iteration of the Big Table Supper Club, and Dorsen encourages all of us to bring our own interpretation of high-country style to the event.
“I was trying to think of unique experiences or themes that one lent people to want to dress up and be involved in creating the theme and because I wanted something wintery but wasn't necessarily overdone.”
While costume experimentation is up to diners, culinary innovation is what Dorsen is focusing on. Dorsen’s previous supper clubs involved individual dishes for diners, but in the spirit of those big lounge chairs that one sinks in to, Dorsen is thinking of a few share-boards that will warm our bellies and help us to get to know our fellow diners, “there's that cheeky element, does anyone want that last one?”
Beyond the style of the dish there’s not much more we can give away, as Dorsen won’t share her menu with us or anyone before the dish is consumed, and this leap into the unknown is another point of differentiation between Big Table Supper Club and your regular meal out.
“it's quite an adventure to go on because you normally will at least have a guide to what you're going to eat,” notes Dorsen. “So to completely put your faith in someone and go on that journey with them in terms of, it's kind of like jumping down an Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole.”
That’s a hole we’re all too keen to jump down, as things might get suitably mad as the evening progresses, as Dorsen notes, the Après Ski theme allows experimentation not only with the dishes, “it also does involve exploring different drinks.”
What ties this all together is that element of surprise, something Dorsen draws from the likes of Heston Blumenthal, “there’s definitely an element of having those wow moments that you had as a kid but as an adult you don’t get very often.”
Tickets are still on sale but selling fast. Pick them up here: https://www.bigtablesupperclub.com/new-products/aprs-ski-dinner-event-saturday-7th-july-2018