A new venture by two cookery tutors at NZMA is bringing the highly popular ‘supper club’ concept to the City of Sails.
Robert Harper and Kevin O’Regan have just launched ‘Feast’, a social dining experience that’s receiving rave reviews. Held in people’s own homes, the pair create mouth-watering ten-course degustation meals for groups of 10 to 12 people. With nearly 40 years of combined international cheffing experience between them, Robert and Kevin are passionate about bringing people together through great food.
“We were lamenting the fact that people don’t sit down and eat and converse as a family as much anymore. The concept of supper clubs is huge in big cities in Europe and the US so we decided to do it here,” says Kevin.
Together they bring their take on modern gastronomy – with a liberal dash of showmanship – to the table, to create a unique, upmarket dining experience. Guests are promised an entertaining evening of extraordinary food, fine wine and fun.
“Normally, to enjoy this standard of food, people would have to go out to a fancy restaurant. By us coming into people’s homes, they can enjoy a totally new experience,” says Robert.
“We interact a lot with the guests during the evening and they love getting involved. We get a real kick out of seeing everyone around the table have a great time. The volume gets pretty high by the end of the night!”
Father of three Kevin hails from Ireland and has been working in kitchens since the age of 15. He’s worked at the Wolseley in London, top restaurants in Belgium and Australia, and owned his own hugely successful restaurant in Cork. He moved to New Zealand nine months ago, and quickly got snapped up by NZMA as a cookery tutor. It was there he met father of four Robert, who has spent most of his career working as a chef in America, most recently as corporate chef for the TaylorMade Golf Company in San Diego. Robert spent a few years with the Hip Group before joining the team at NZMA last year.
Like many of NZMA’s tutors, Robert and Kevin enjoy the variety and satisfaction that comes from combining teaching and working in the industry.
“We love sharing our experience and knowledge with newcomers, but we also love the excitement of working in the kitchen under pressure. As culinary arts tutors we need to stay current and keep our fingers on the pulse. It’s important for us to keep challenging ourselves – both for our own careers, and to ensure our students are graduating with all the skills and talent needed to succeed as chefs,” says Robert.
“Starting Feast has turned out to be a fantastic way for us to showcase our creativity and stay up with the play.”