The Amateur Table Review

Are you a foodie looking for the next big talented chef to take over the Jamie Oliver empire? We see incredibly skilled chefs leave cooking school and end up going down a different route because of how hard it is to get their foot in the door. Well thanks to Lily Gjersten, a Leiths School graduate, amateur chefs now have the chance of hosting an evening, where they became head chef of a pop-up restaurant full of hungry Londoners, that have paid to be wined and dined, but mainly to see what the chef on the night has to offer.

The first of the Amateur club series was hosted by the founder Chef Lilly Gjersten on the 3rd March, which we attended. We started off with the Watercress & pea soup, garnished with goats curd and toasted seeds, it came in a cute small bowl, presented beautifully and tasted divine. I’m not normally a fan of soup for a starter but if there are soups on the menu that tastes like this, then sign me up! Next came the Smoked salmon and mousse. This was a nice light dish, and the sprinkle of lemon, butter and hazelnuts, brought the salmon to life.

I was very much looking forward to tasting the Pork belly crackling, which came up next, and it didn’t disappoint. It was nice and crispy on the outside and just mouth-watering on the inside. The apple puree was a pleasant surprise and complemented the pork belly perfectly. The dishes were small, but to be honest when your stomach has a five course menu to tackle, the portion was the perfect size. I didn’t feel bloated or heavy, which normally happens before dessert. So while I sat their eagerly awaiting my dessert, me and my friend toasted Lilly’s great night and successful menu with a drink of the port and tonic provided on the night.

The dessert, was a Lemon sponge, surround by a generous amount of ginger crumb, which sat nicely next to the salted caramel ice cream. Oh my, now this was the point in the meal I would have said a bigger portion Please! It was one of the best desserts I had tasted, again nice and light, not overly sweet, and full of flavour.

Amateur After Eights were served at the end as we all chattered and applauded Lilly while she did a closing speech. Chef Lilly made the effort at the beginning to greet each guest, with a glass of port and tonic, which I loved. Lilly created a homely environment, with the interiors, table decoration and lighting, it very much felt like you were sitting at a friend’s house while she hosted a dinner party.

It was an incredibly enjoyable night and I was happy to discover such incredible talent from Chef Lilly. Now I shall wait to see when Lilly will open up her own pop-up or restaurant so I can get more of that lemon sponge…

For April’s event Club Lola, will putting a fun spin on The Amateur Table supper club and will be teaching some of our amateur chefs how to cook up a Mexican-themed storm! Want to see what’s on offer and book tickets? click here.

Written by Nyla S.

Photo by Holly Farrier