Tom Flint: ‘Vegan food can be exciting...’

Jenna and guests at a Mexican supper club in June
Jenna and guests at a Mexican supper club in June

Supper clubs are here to stay, with many people starting new careers via these informal pop up dinners. One person who has done just this is Jenna Durdle of Up Beet Food Company. Jenna hosts vegan supper clubs in and around Brighton, and I caught up with her to see what they are all about.

She told me: “Up Beet Food Company is probably best described as a hobby that got out of hand! I went vegan about four years ago, having been vegetarian for a long time before that. I love cooking and since giving up animal products altogether, I found I was spending more and more time creating vegan versions of traditional dishes, as well as more experimental creations. Whenever I tell people I am vegan, their initial reaction is “So do you just eat salad?” My aim with my business is to show people that vegan food can be exciting and that everyone is welcome.”

“Back in January 2016, I took a 2 week vegan food diploma at a wonderful cookery school called Demuth’s in Bath. Inspired by their talented, experienced chefs, I contemplated hosting a pop-up event. Armed with some very useful advice and some new skills, I set about organising my first supper club at a cafe in Brighton. It was a fully booked event, and since then, things have just grown organically.”

“I meet a lot of people who think vegan food must be bland and boring, or healthy but not very indulgent. My aim is to prove people wrong. Most people who come to my events are not vegan, but they are omnivores with an open mind looking to adopt a more plant-based diet; whether for health, environmental or animal welfare reasons. I do also have a few diners who are vegan, especially when I host events outside

“As well as hosting pop-ups, I run cookery classes and cater for events in Sussex. Details for those are on my website or on facebook ”

Future events include a Winter Warmer Supper Club on Thursday December 7 at Tom Foolery Coffee Company in Shoreham-by-Sea. The event is a collaboration with Vitalife Nutrition (AKA Jo who is serving up the starter) and Bamba Bars (aka Amber who is creating the dessert).

It’s in aid of Fareshare Sussex, with £10 from every ticket being donated to the cause.

There will also be a raffle and we have been donated some amazing (vegan friendly) prizes including Montezuma chocolates, cookery classes with Titbits catering and a subscription to Vegan Food & Living Magazine. Guests can choose from joining a sharing table or booking a table exclusively for their party.

To find out more visit or call 07939 889553.