Gilly Smith’s Supper Club

I’m a bit late to the supper club party. It’s something I’ve covered for the delicious podcast and my own Cooking the Books podcast as supper clubbers become authors and find their fame, but it was the Conflict Café supper club that stayed with me. Feeding people food from the old country while telling them your story seemed such a great way to prompt people to think about identity and belonging.

Talking about food and identity has become my staple on my podcast and it was a hop and a skip of an idea to bring it to life in my home in East Sussex. It began in July with Mandana Moghaddam’s Persian summer supper and the food, stories and poetry set a standard for nights to remember. Mandana’s story is about so much more than what was on the plate; the flavours and rituals form the glue for so many refugees who’ve had to flee their homes. As she read us Iranian poetry, as the elders always do during the feast, her kids Babek and Yasmin, who spent three days prepping and cooking with her, watched on.

Sign up to my newsletter at for a calendar of CTB supper club hosts. And let me know if you’d like to do one yourself.