Breaking Bread with Club Sup

Photography by Nicole Squelch

This week we’re thrilled to spend a day in the kitchen with Sophie McIntyre, the founder of Club Sup. Conceived as a way to connect with new people in a safe space with a meal and some wine, Club Sup hosts events in both Sydney and Melbourne every month that bring strangers together around the shared experience of dining. We spoke to Sophie about the evolution of the club, her philosophy around food and social connection, and also put our new collection of IN BED Embroidered Pickle linen napery through its paces at her place.

Sophie wears an IN BED 100% Linen Apron in Pickle.

On how Club Sup was first conceived…

Club Sup started in March of 2021 after the 2020 lockdowns here in Melbourne. There was an overwhelming sense of community that had begun to happen throughout my friends in their twenties and I didn’t want that to end when the lockdowns did. We started in a gallery around the corner from my old sharehouse in Fitzroy with six friends who each brought someone the other person didn’t know. From that dinner we’ve hosted over 25 suppers in between the lockdowns of 2021 and through 2022 in both Melbourne and Sydney. During this time we’ve had people become really great friends and even some people meet a romantic partner!

Sophie wears an IN BED 100% Linen Apron in Pickle pictured with matching embroidered teatowel.

On Sophie’s relationship to cooking and food…

My approach to cooking is very simple, it has to be enjoyable. I am an intuitive cook that follows cravings with the seasons. I recently read We Are What We Eat by Alice Waters and it really articulated what I think I have felt about food and cooking for a long time. That eating is a very important act. What we choose to eat impacts the world’s environment and economy so largely, it is something that some of us are lucky to do three times a day 365 days a week for our entire lives. Where we place our money in that system it has an impact on our economy and the rise of convenience foods or services such as Uber Eats and the decline in nutrient dense farming practices. This lust for convenience then removes the importance of the ritual of eating and therefore socialising in any meaningful way. Dining and sharing a meal with others to me is a sacred act that always will allow time to pause and take stock, to connect to those around us in real time not through a screen.

My approach to cooking is very simple, it has to be enjoyable. I am an intuitive cook that follows cravings with the seasons.

Above is an IN BED 100% Linen Market Bag in Pickle. Sophie wears an IN BED 100% Linen Apron in Pickle.

On a dish close to Sophie’s heart…

I have this sausage pasta that my mum used to make for me. I think I was about 10 or 11 and I tried fennel seeds for the first time, it blew my mind. I think that dish is what woke me up to cooking and loving food. As a child I was a bit of a fussy eater and this dish unlocked a love for cooking and food. I’ve now been cooking this dish on my own for nearly a decade and it is something that my friends will request when they come over or home from London.

Sophie’s table is set with an IN BED 100% Linen Tablecloth in Natural and an embroidered Table Runner and Napkin set in Pickle.

An early memory of preparing food…

I think it’s my Mum getting my sister and I to use our tiny hands to stuff cannelloni pasta shells.

On dinner party essentials…

1. Mood lighting, no big lights ever. So that means lighting a candle, my boyfriend and I will do this so often for weeknight dinners. Lighting a candle at the table feels like the day has ended and it is now time to put down our phones at the table and chat about our days.

2. A recipe that you love and that makes you feel really happy– for me it’s a thin schnitzel with a Brussel sprout slaw.

3. No phones – put them in another room, a drawer or just your pocket.

On the perfect musical accompaniment…

Background music should be soft but also a little bit groovy – you can listen to our perfect playlist here.

On what’s coming up next for Club Sup…

So much I don’t even know where to begin. So many creative workshops in both Sydney and Melbourne, maybe a book and a podcast… and of course so many more suppers!

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