I came across The Groundnut, a supper club in South East London serving sub-Saharan cuisine, through the November issue of Wallpaper* magazine and the short feature caught my attention so much that I wanted to find out more.
From November through December 2015, founders Duval Timothy, Jacob Fodio Todd and Folayemi Brown, are hosting dinners Wednesday to Saturday, weekly at St. John’s Hall, where they began their venture in 2012, initially cooking for friends and family.
What is unique about the Groundnut is the warm atmosphere surrounding the events, which can be attributed to the founders’ enthusiasm for their business, and their dishes, many of which are family recipes, being served around long, communal tables which encourage conversation among diners. In an interview with the Guardian, Timothy says, “The ceremony of eating is very important in African food. So, we wanted everyone eating at a long table, at the same time, sharing the same food.”
Guests are invited to arrive at 7:30PM, and upon arrival will receive a complimentary cocktail in addition to plantain crisps prior to the set menu which is unveiled on the night. However, to ensure every diner enjoys their experience, it is recommended that if you have specific dietary requirements you inform the café prior to attending, as they will do their best to accommodate you.
For those wanting to attempt their own endeavours with this style of cuisine, The Groundnut Cookbook was published by Penguin this summer, becoming an Amazon bestseller upon its publication.
The Groundnut is located at St John’s Hall, 9 Fair Street, London, SE1 2XA. Tickets for the 2015 season can be purchased online at the Groundnut website.