This March, Fin and Lorcan Spiteri, brothers and founders of the much-loved floating restaurant in London N1, Caravel, will launch Family Dinners, a collaboration series celebrating nostalgic meals from top chef’s childhoods.
Running through until late summer, the brothers will work alongside good friends and like-minded chefs for a unique series of dinners, including Max Halley, Cynthia Shanmugalingam and Amy Poon, each of whom will create a one-off menu of playful twists on dishes inspired by memories of their family dinners alongside drink creations that give a nod to their younger years.
Kicking off the series will be Freddie Janssen, from Dalston neighbourhood favourite, Snackbar. On Tuesday, 21 March, Freddie will be cooking dishes reminding her of her childhood in Maastricht, in the southernmost part of the Netherlands.
Growing up in the 90’s, Freddie’s youth consisted of various deep-fried foods such as bitterballen and frikandellen as well as choucroute gamie, a feast of sauerkraut, potatoes and salted, cured meats.
Never able to stray too far from her roots, Freddie has found inspiration in the comforting flavours of her childhood, yet given it a bit of a kick, so diners can expect some unexpected dishes.
Finding fame from his Finsbury-based sandwich shop, Max’s Sandwich Shop, Max Halley will take up residence on Tuesday, 11 April, bringing his sense of mischief and big flavours aboard Caravel.
Max will serve elevated dishes that remind him of his childhood, including smoked eel with crispy confit chicken wings served with sweetcorn puree and a grilled squid and pea stew with chorizo and mojo verde alongside a twist on his favourite teenage tipple.
On Tuesday, 23 May, Amy Poon, daughter of seventh generation chef Bill Poon, will join Chef Founder Lorcan in the kitchen of Caravel, bringing with her the much-loved flavours and legacy of Poon’s.
Growing up between London and Geneva, Amy was introduced to a variety of cuisines early on in her life which have played a huge part in her cooking today. Her Family Dinner menu will bring a mix of her Chinese heritage and fondness of a flavour-fuelled childhood with dishes such as prawn wontons and Cantonese magic soup making an appearance.
Tuesday, 13 June will see British born, Sri Lankan chef Cynthia Shanmugalingam join forces with Lorcan, cooking up dishes inspired by her Tamil roots and teenage summers spent exploring food markets and cooking over fire in her mother’s Northern Sri Lankan village.
Using coconut milk from their garden, local vegetables and fresh-caught fish, Cynthia’s approach to food is heavily influenced by her Sri Lankan heritage and family recipes passed down from her mother and grandmother.
Finally, Sophie Wyburd of Mob Kitchen will close off the series in July. Known for their simple approach to cooking and viral online recipes, Mob Kitchen has pioneered the ‘food you want to cook’ movement, offering up twists on everyday classics and comfort food with a Mob Kitchen stamp.
Sophie will work with Lorcan on a menu that consists of staples from her childhood, reminiscent of her time growing up in London.