French Launderette by Sabrina Ghayour

I ‘e-met’ the lovely Sabrina Ghayour,  the French Launderette  supper club founder, end of last year through the FBAUK, where we exchanged a few emails.  Eventually, we met properly at the soft opening of NOPI.  At the time she had just jointed twitter and I can safely say that  twitter hasn’t been the same since. She moves heaven and earth to make beautiful things happen with her positive energy and enviable tenacity.  Nothing is impossible and there isn’t a problem that can’t be solved to achieve her vision.  It’s absolutely admirable!  The French Launderette was born out of a joke on twitter, so when the joke turned into an invitation  I jumped at the chance to be fed by Sabrina and in the process give to the chosen charity Action Against Hunger.

Here is the story of how the French Launderette was born and it’s mission,  in Sabrina’s own words:

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‘Born out of a joke made on Twitter, The French Launderette seems to have caused quite a stir since its conception. Initially set-up to offer a haven to those who couldn’t afford a spot at Chef Thomas Keller’s eagerly anticipated London pop-up of The French Laundry, The French Launderette became something much bigger than it was ever meant to be’.  My tongue-in-cheek take on Keller’s French Laundry pop-up, charges diners just 1% of Keller’s £250.00 price tag at the Harrods pop-up.  Serving up well-sourced, British and seasonal ingredients that are given the proper care and respect that Keller himself would hopefully approve of. I would never be foolish enough to copy Thomas Keller’s style, technique or dishes; Instead I pay homage to Thomas Keller and The French Laundry by taking the best ingredients I can find and using simple techniques, bring out the best in them and serve up something delicious.’
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Refreshing cocktail  served on arrival

The place:  The Chancery, owned by Zak Jones, who generously donated the venue free of charge for this event.
The helpers: Sabrina might be a force to be reckoned with,  but even she needed help to feed 85 lucky people. She put a fantastic team together who worked very well under the pressure. If there were mistakes, I didn’t noticed it.  The fabulous team was put together by friends in the industry who worked with Sabrina in restaurants as well as other friends/volunteers from Twitter.
The Menu / Donations: Sabrina came up with the menu and then started to source the various ingredients for it. All ingredients were sourced and donated by people from Twitter. Below is the menu with the suppliers and producers who helped this event come to fruition.
Cost of the meal: £2.50 for tasty seven courses, that doesn’t even cover for the cost of the welcome drink offered on our arrival.
Cost of the drinks: £20.00 for a wine flight per person, five glasses of matching wines, kindly donated by Naked Wines

On arrival we were offered a summery, tangy and tasty green apple and mint cocktail. It gave us chance to greet friends and to meet new people all brought together by the power of Sabrina and twitter. Eventually, we were seated upstairs and to our delight our very cozy table was filled with great people, lots of laughter,  splendid food and matching wine.  The venue was notable, clean and elegant.  The service was  impeccable and worthy of a fine dining experience.  All-in-all I can’t wait to be fed again by Sabrina and her team!  The best fine dining supper club experience to date.

The Menu and wine list: 
the table setting – proper fine dining
wine, menu & raffle tickets
Canape salmon tartar – the only homage to Thomas Keller @French Launderette –
an absolutely gorgeous effort! ph:
Amuse Bouche – Delicious!  We needed a small spoon! ph:
Starter – rolled loin of Gloucester Old Spot pork – great texture and loved the tarragon sauce vierge
Vegetarian starter – wild mushroom  stuffed parcels
Middle Course – Mackerel carpaccio,  I enjoyed the beetroot sorbet and the freshness of the fish. ph:
Main – hogget cutlets were slightly rare – the way I like it!  great use of black garlic in the sauce. ph:
vegetarian option-  miso aubergine
pièce de résistance : black fig tart by Bruno Breillet – delectable! and that Crème Anglaise was to die for!
Cheese course – fabulous  cheeses and the crackers! ph:

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Introducing the Kitchen team
Steven Goode                 @Steven_Goode              Head Chef at Mosaica and a VERY patient man
Bruno Breillet                 @BrunoBreillet               Patissier, baker and sweet-treat maker
Sophie Michell                @SophieMichell              Sexy TV Chef, Tweeter, author & food writer
Dave Ahern                    @CorkGourmetGuy         Chef at The Alexandra & Scotch Egg gangster
Mark White                    @MarkyMarket                Meat & Fish, cheeky-chappy & BIRTHDAY BOY!
Charles Johnson             @AnAspiringChef            Chef with Zen-like influence on the kitchen
Keith Wennie                 @WenniesAffairs             Chef, food blogger & Twittering bon viveur
Lisa Greensill                 @PeckhamRyeEats          Chef, Twitter Peckham food expert & great gal
Stella Plant                    @EvidenceMatters          Food nut, scientist/evidence gathering Tweeter  
Marco Petracchini          @Oddonos                      Italian. Die-hard flirt. Artisan ice cream maker
Simon Fernandez           @FerdiesFoodLab            Supper Club host, LIFESAVER and great Chef
Introducing the Front of House team
Sylvain Logie               @SylvainLogie                  Paramount London, all round sweetheart
Martin Renshaw           @Martin_Renshaw            Pollen Street Social, good guy & service pro
Tash Newby                 @TashNewby                    Maze restaurant, generous charity volunteer
Lolli Wennies               @WenniesAffairs              Tweeter, blogger and super smiley gal
Edward Warr               @WhatmoreFood              Tweeter, food lover and lovely volunteer 
Rebecca Cheung          @Bistro_Becs                   Tweeter, PR girl and food lover extraordinaire
Francesca Del Rio           – – –                              Galvins, THE MOST organised woman I know
Frederic Ollier             @LeBouchonBreton         Le Bouchon Breton, ‘Shroom-huntingly fabulous
Donald Edwards           @Donalde                       Gangster-rapping Sommelier, blogger & bad boy
Zeren Wilson               @BittenWritten               Sommelier, food & wine writer and cool brutha
Hannah Forshaw          @Chuchibum                   Food blogger, future Leith’s trainee & hot Chef
Natanya Abrams          @NatanyaAbrams            Cook & food junkie with many hidden talents

There was also raffle tickets for sale at  £5 each and the prizes were great! Unfortunately, I didn’t win any of them, but it was good fun watching the happy faces of the winners. The Prizes were:

£180 voucher for dinner at Michelin star restaurant Kai Mayfair
3-course diner for two at The Chancery
Tasting menu for two at the lovely Galoupet
Racine cookery class with Henry Harris
£180 voucher for 2 for cookery class at Rayeesa’s Indian Kitchen
Chroma Knives x 3
Luxury Hamper filled with award-winning goodies
Signed Manju Malhi Easy Indian cookbook
Tana Ramsay’s Real Family Food cookbook
Action Against Hunger goody bag
30×45 photo print of Kristina Gill work
A place at Rachel McCormack’s Catalan Cooking Class
3-course lunch for 2 at Gilbert Scott
Pastry master class with French Launderette Patissier Bruno Breillet

This event raised £3,200 pounds for Action Against Hunger. Not bad for a £2.50 seven course meal!
The donations were very generous indeed!

The unexpected  goodie bag
Black garlic, french mustard, selection of Maldon Salt

Sabrina was worked in hospitality, always in events,  since 1996. She worked in hotels, catering companies, restaurants and members clubs. She is now starting a series of very exciting new pop-up supper clubs and she’s about to announce dates and info and she will be continuing to teach private students cookery, write about food, do private catering, blogging and more supper clubs.  
To keep updated with news and future dates click here: The French Launderette
and Sabrina Passions

The Lovely Ghayours! 

All beautiful photos by Paul Winch-Furness
The not-so-beautiful pictures were taken by me.

Edible Experiences


1 Comment

  1. Theodore Oney
    May 5, 2012 / 3:54 am

    The food you serve looks delicious. I'll be glad if you post more pictures. Thanks.

    -Lobster Tails Tips & Recipe