The Supper Club

Ankit and Savar Duggal are the sibling duo behind The Supper Club, and they’re a familial and food force to be reckoned with. Having trained at Le Cordon Bleu, head chef Savar Duggal worked with chefs of repute around the globe, studied the art of hospitality and refined his skills working at the Four Seasons, Shanghai. Ankit, on the other hand, has been an event planner, graphic designer, filmmaker and entrepreneur. Three years ago the two returned to India to co-found The Supper Club.

From intimate dinner parties for two to large gatherings (and even an Indian wedding), Supper Club looks after food and decor, vibe and libations, basically leaving hosts with nothing to look after, except their guests.

We caught up with the duo at their lush, green farm where they also grow most of the veggies they use, so you know those ingredients are pretty damn fresh. They prepared a delicious, Thai-inflected spread and the best lemongrass iced tea we’ve ever had (quick recipe below) while they answered the Nico Q&A.
    Why a catering business, and not a restaurant?
    AD: With catering, your experience can be much broader because you’re not always working with the same menus. You have to be innovative because people are always looking for variety and something new. Catering gives us the freedom to keep trying different things. We haven’t taken the idea of a restaurant off our plate entirely though.
    SD: Catering allows us to serve a larger amount of people, and it also helps us expand our repertoire of cuisines. We get to express our food to a larger public without compromising on quality or taste. It provides great insight into an ever-evolving food scene.

    Your culinary inspiration?
    AD: My culinary inspiration is definitely Anthony Bourdain. He made food cool. He was always exploring and experimenting with cuisines from all around the world and that really inspired me. I loved his show. Not being a chef myself he was probably one of the first people who really got me interested in food.
    SD: My Mom. Growing up, she was the Head Chef of the house and she insisted that we ate new cuisines at every dinner. I would help her out in the kitchen and instantly fell in love with cooking. It inspired me to become a chef.

    When I’m in the kitchen, I listen to:
    AD: The Black Keys for sure, and lately I've been loving Kaytranada’s new album.
    SD: CCR, AC/DC.

    Tell us about catering Delhi weddings.
    AD: It’s no secret that Delhi weddings are huge affairs. They are massive and manic and exciting and exhilarating all at the same time. There is a ton of logistics and planning that goes into each of them. This is Delhi, so you know you have to feed a couple of hundred people and make sure nothing goes wrong. There is scale and variety both going hand in hand, it’s logistically challenging and can really be fun to do.
    SD: Delhi weddings are generally extravagant affairs. Copious amounts of food and alcohol, followed by partying all night. Delhi weddings exude excess. They take catering to the extremes by having them lay out multiple cuisines for hundreds to thousands of guests. Logistically, it’s a nightmare, but that makes it all the more fun.
    Easiest impress-your-guests recipe in your arsenal?
    AD: The beetroot pineapple samosas for sure. Our Pulled Pork Sliders are always a hit, as well.
    SD: Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

    Your ideal Friday night meal?
    AD: A Bibimbap, or anything Asian.
    SD: Tonkatsu Ramen.

    In the kitchen, I swear by:
    AD : Our Chefs.
    SD: A Sharp Knife. Nothing is more useful to a chef than a sharp knife. It’s worthwhile to invest in at least one professional chefs knife.

    The taste I couldn’t live without:
    AD: Sweet, I've got a huge sweet tooth and I'm a sucker for dessert.
    SD: If I had to pick, I would say sour. Sourness can be used in any cuisine, in any course (appetizers, mains, dessert, drinks). It’s a versatile flavor that blends well with any of the other four tastes.

    Your best and worst catering experience?
    AD: All our catering experiences have been amazing. We really like working closely with our clients to make sure we put together something fantastic for them. Food is so important when you’re having an event, and we love to make sure people enjoy the food we prepare for them.
    SD: All have been fantastic. Our clients are foodies and we love them. If I had to pick, I would say the Zubin Mehta event we catered, only because I slipped in the back and got to listen!

    Your top restaurants, at home or away.
    AD : Nie Neu in San Sebastian, Ba Shan in London and Nahm in Bangkok.
    SD: Nie Niu, Gauthier, Bazaar.
    Ankit and Savar gave us two (super-)simplified recipes to attempt ourselves. (Thank you gentlemen.) For their Salmon Blini go here and for their Green Curry Chicken Satay go here.

    They also gave us the quickest, under-two-minute recipe for that lemongrass iced tea: Finely dice two or three lemongrass stalks, and de-spine a bunch of kaffir lime leaves. Bring 500ml of water to a boil, add the lemongrass and lime leaves, and let simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat, cover and leave it to cool. Ensure that the mixture has cooled down to room temperature before putting it in the fridge. Serve chilled with a splash simple syrup (that’s sugar syrup, for the unfamiliar).

    To know more about The Supper Club, visit their website.