Last Saturday I held my very first Poppy and the Bees event with Wefifo..
What is WeFiFo??
It's a lovely new concept that connects home chefs, supper club hosts and event organisers with hungry people. Basically, it's a social network for food lovers. People who like to cook can sign up and find people who might want to eat their food. It can be anything from a university student serving their 'famous' veggie curry to hungry friends, a cheese tasting night, a high tea baked by an aspiring Great British Bake Off contender, or even me.
You sign up as a host or guest. If you are hosting, you can decide how much (or if) you want to charge for the event, you write-up a profile of what you'll be cooking and what the guests can expect and you hope to receive some bookings. As the host, you can see any guests profile, and accordingly accept or decline their request to come to your event.
As a guest, you choose a host from their description about the type of event, when it is & what they are cooking & pay or book in to their event. The host will then approve you, according to your profile & you'll turn up for some lovely food and to make new friends.
I opted to borrow a friend's house for the Poppy & the Bees event (Big Thank you to Andrew!) as he lives in a far more convenient corner of London than I do!
After a bit of thinking and some last-minute substitutions the menu ended up like this:
- Spicy Roast Carrot Dip
- Stuffed Mini Portobello Mushrooms (This recipe!)
- Heirloom Tomato salad with pesto dressing (most of the tomatoes were from my garden)
- Home made ravioli filled with aubergine & roasted red pepper (Hands up who would like me to post this recipe?!)
- Green Leaf Salad with baby chard, dragon's tongue, nasturtium leaves & flowers, all picked from our garden
- Courgette & White Bean Fritters ( Courgettes from my garden,see this recipe!)
- Charred Sweet Corn Salad (an oldie but a goodie, see the recipe here)
- Vegan Eton Mess , made with Meringue made with Aquafaba & Canela. (I'm still working on this recipe *ahem*, dessert & sweet things are not my strong points)
The Vegan Wine that I served was curated by Oddbins who have an exclusive vegan wine selection. Not many people know that not all wine isn't vegan, but don't worry, Oddbins had us covered. (You can find their vegan selection here.. or ask in-store for a recommendation) .
But isn't wine just made from grapes? Surely that's vegan?
Sadly, it's not quite the case, some wines use fish bones or egg white to 'fine' or clarify the wine. This is the process of removing sediment & impurities from the wine. Technically as the egg white or fish bones don't remain in the wine, it does not have to be declared as an ingredient, however most vegans would argue that as these have been utilised in the wine production, they should be declared. Nonetheless, using these products to clarify wine is completely unneccessary and the wine we drank was delicious..
So - what did we drink?
Oddbins kindly sent us four types of wine to try... A white & a red from a small producer in Greece & the same from an organic small producer in Puglia, Italy.
I think my overall favourite was the Semeli 'Feast' Moschofilero from Greece, from the Peloponnese region (Aka Sparta to those who know their Greek history & geography!) A small family business that has been running for 3 generations, who specialise in the native grape varietals. I loved how this wine was simultaneously floral, with notes of lychee, yet was fresh and mineral on the palette. Perfect on a sunny day, or in this case, served with dips and crudities.
I have to confess, I only had a sip of the red from Greece, The Semeli “Feast” Agiorgitiko, as at that point I was knee-deep in panicking about the courgette fritters which had decided to come undone on frying (*ahem* there is a reason there isn't a photo of them!) and the bottle of it disappeared very quickly! This would seem to suggest my guests liked it very much indeed. It's another native Greek Varietal. According to the tasting notes has a rich nose of plums, cherries, and sweet spices. It’s remarkably smooth and friendly and juicy, without coming off as heavy.
The Italian wine was from the Salento region of Puglia in Southern Italy and fully certified Organic.
I served the white wine Zensa Fiano, with my Stuffed Mushrooms and Heritage Tomato Salad. A little juicier than the Greek white, with lots of tropical fruit/peachy notes with a lovely crisp palate which complemented the starters perfectly.
I served the Italian red Zensa Nero D'Avola:, with my home-made ravioli (makes sense, no?) and it worked beautifully. The filling to the ravioli was smooth & rich, just like the wine , which had glorious spicy black cherry fruit and layers of chocolate and vanilla. Perfect.
If you'd like to host an event, or attend one, simply sign up over at Wefifo. I loved hosting mine, in my eagerness, I may have overstretched myself a little in the sheer quantity of dishes I made, but everyone, including me, thoroughly enjoyed the evening. It was a chance to connect with some new people, as well as do my favourite thing, feed them yummy vegan food & break down a few preconceptions about it being boring or bland.
Let me know if you do decide to host an event.. If I can, I'll come along.. x