Sowing seeds of a tasty idea

Marie-Joelle West prepares for her supper club
Marie-Joelle West prepares for her supper club

Bavarian-born Marie-Joelle West has a taste for ‘underground’ dining – and a passion for her native cuisine. Now she is combining the two with her own monthly supper club.

The first Poppyseed event took place on Saturday at her home in west Sheffield and proved a big hit: “I couldn’t have wished for a better start. My diners were all nice and sociable and the plates came back empty,” says Marie, a university project manager by day.

Guests were treated to a four-course menu themed on Bavaria, with a special focus on Yorkshire rhubarb. Highlights included smoked fish, braised venison and strudel.

Marie learned her food skills from her French mum and her German grandparents, who founded an artisan bakery business in Bavaria, where she grew up.

She went on to live in France, Switzerland, Norway and Scotland before settling in Sheffield – so has plently of inspiration for future events.

“I’ve explored lots of new cuisines, techniques and dining experiences over the years,” she says. “Now I’m reinterpreting the food of my childhood.”

She came up with the idea of an supper club after enjoying similar events in other parts of the UK.

She named it after the poppy seeds that are a common ingredient in German and Austrian cooking, forming the basis of many favourite foods.

“Poppyseed sums up the influence behind my cuisine: hearty, comforting Alpine food with a touch of French finesse,” she says.

Future events will focus on A May Feast (May 16) and Summer in the Alps (June 27), all featuring seasonal, organic, locally sourced ingredients.

Guests at the Poppyseed Supper Club bring their own wine and are asked to make donations to cover costs. The first raised £222, which Marie has donated in total to charity the PSP Association.

* More details: Poppyseed