This Secret Supper Club Will Explore The Flavors Of The Pacific Northwest
An intimate supper club will host a special dinner later this month, featuring creative spins on ingredients from the Pacific Northwest.The Re Creo Supper Club hosts monthly private dinners, where guests have a chance to feast on an ambitious, multi-course meal crafted by chefs who've worked in some of L.A.'s top kitchens. The dinner takes place in a secret location in downtown L.A.—revealed once reservations are confirmed—and each one features a thoughtful theme. For this month's dinner, taking place on January 23, Re Creo will feature dishes that utilize ingredients from the Oregon Coast and Puget Sound to the Cascade mountains.
Some of the highlights from this month's 5-course menu include pine-smoked mussels with vanilla bean lobster sauce, smoked salmon custard with wild blackberries, and short rib with rutabaga dumplings, smoked chanterelles, hazelnut consome and parsley root slaw. Oh, and let's not forget about dessert, which will feature housemade maple and eucalyptus ice cream, walnut tuiles, goat cheese granita and mint oil. Seriously, they don't hold back on these menus and the presentation is very Instagram-worthy.
For Halloween, Re Creo hosted a special Ghost Ship dinner for Halloween, which featured a modern spin on the final meal served on the Titanic. And last month—when LAist was invited to join the party— the theme was a Southeast Asian Christmas Story, which included amazing dishes like pickled Singaporean noodles with crab and papaya ginger remoulade topped with trout and sriracha roe, sea urchin coconut mousse and Vietnamese coffee-glazed pork belly with báhn mí pickled vegetables. It was really stellar.
Five Spice Fried Escargot, Braised Bamboo Shoot, Roasted Chestnut Butter & Pickled Onion Redux from Re Creo's Southeast Asian Christmas Story dinner (Photo by Danny Jensen/LAist)
Re Creo was founded by Lima-born chef Jean Valcarcel, who is classically trained and has worked in big name kitchens around L.A., including Bestia and the now-closed Mo-Chica. Assisting Valcarcel in the kitchen is chef Gabriel Cappelli, who graduated from the French Culinary Institute in New York and has worked in top kitchens there and in L.A.
To make a reservation for this month's Re Creo Supper Club or to stay informed about upcoming dinners, visit their "Calendar/RSVP" page or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for individual and plus-one reservations, and be sure to include a phone number. If you plan on bringing a larger party, they kindly ask that you RSVP in groups of two so they can better communicate with each guest. The dinners can be fairly intimate and sell out fast, so don't wait. Seats at the dinner are available for a $100 donation, which is definitely worth the splurge.
LAist spoke with Chef Valcarel to learn more about the inspiration behind Re Creo, and what guests can expect from their supper club.
What inspired you to start Re Creo Supper Club?
I started Re Creo as a way to have immediate, unfiltered access to diners who are hungry for adventure. The supper club format cuts out any potential distractions along the way from concept to plate. Creativity is the only limit.
What do you hope to offer guests with the experience?
We hope to leave a distinct and unmistakable impression and create a total package for guests from arrival to departure. Obviously the food takes the spotlight, but we want the service and ambiance to be impeccable as well. All of this creates an energy that turns the evening into a experience far more than the sum of its parts.
What have been some of your favorite moments and themes from past dinners?
Our Halloween menus are always a lot of fun to conceptualize and execute. Last year we had a macabre Grimm's Fairy Tales theme and this year we created a menu inspired by the last meal served aboard the Titanic. Having said that, every Re Creo dinner features a unique menu created specifically for that evening, so it's difficult to play favorites. We can definitely see growth in terms of creativity, execution and overall confidence over the past three years. None-the-less, when we send a Re Creo dish out to the table, that is the first time we have a real, live audience for it and our anticipation of their reaction is intense. All of the testing of recipes and flavor profiles beforehand are just theoretical until it's served. One of the most rewarding moments of the evening comes after we describe a dish, then go back into the kitchen hearing nothing but the clinking of silverware against plates and then exclamations of joy from the guests.
Pickled Singaporean noodles with crab and papaya ginger remoulade, and trout and sriracha roe from Re Creo's Southeast Asian Christmas Story dinner (Photo by Danny Jensen/LAist)
What does the menu development process look like? Usually we begin by selecting an idea as a theme. It could be any one thing that connects the dishes. The criteria for selecting a theme is that it has to feel new, exciting and a little dangerous. When we have a theme selected, we just bounce ideas off each other until something catches our imagination. For example, for our Americana-themed dinner America Fork Yeah!, we decided to take familiar dishes and have a little fun with them. We did a Frito Pie gnocchi with oregano oil, jalapeno cream and smoked Gruyere crumbs. We also did a BLT tartare with tomato & bacon confit, "Everything Bagel" vinaigrette and torched mayo.
How do you aim to bring something new to the table when it comes to the food?
We take inspiration wherever we can get it. Creativity results when innovation shifts one or all aspects of a meal. It could be technical, by transforming an ingredient; editorial, by letting it shine in its purest form; or emotional, by playing with familiar flavor profiles to create new ones. Finally, the visual aspect of plating a dish ties it all together. Because Re Creo is an evening of food that we have never made before, it is by definition always new.
What can guests look forward to for the future dinners Re Creo Supper Club?
We want to play with the format a bit and make the evening even more dynamic by changing how the dishes are presented. In the future, we could split the dinner into a tray-pass portion first, followed by an interactive one where diners explore various options, and ending with a formal, seated portion. We are also looking into more intensely curating an overall sensory experience by adding a live musical performance aspect, incorporating visual art, and branching out into different locations and venues. Anyone interested in getting updates on upcoming events can sign up to our mailing list at recreosupperclub.com.