If you live in the East Neuk of Fife you’ll no doubt have already tried Mhairi Peattie’s food.
But fans of the local chef are in for a treat as she has now launched her own supper club.
The 44-year-old whose last appointment was head chef of The Dory Bistro and Gallery in Pittenweem is venturing out on her own to put her own twist on seasonal produce.
Her husband, Darren, established East Neuk Salt Company in 2019, and, after adding in a kitchen space to the salt works at Station Road in St Monans, she will now be running her own pop-up restaurant from the venue.
East Neuk supper club
With just space for 12 people at each event, the experience is intimate. Diners are welcomed with music from local talent and enjoy drinks and canapes all before sitting down at one long table together for a five-course tasting menu.
Her menus, which are priced at £45 per person, are themed and Mhairi is very much focused on showcasing the best of local and seasonal produce.
Themes she has revealed to date include seafood, shellfish, land and plant-based.
While Mhairi started her career in her dad’s restaurant, The Tea Garden, in Mallaig, she has worked in multiple other venues, including The Old Manor Hotel, and has worked as a private chef for a family in Angus.
“I started cooking in my dad’s restaurant when I was at school. I made big vats of Cullen skink and lentil soup, had to devein four stone of langoustines and made a lot of scones.
“2015 is really when I really gave myself to being a chef. As a woman with children it is a very challenging career but you get to the point where you give in.
“When we moved to St Monans I worked at The Old Manor Hotel and then moved to The Dory.”
Selling out her first few events, Mhairi has always had a passion for local produce and will run her supper club once a week during the summer.
She uses fruit and veg from East Neuk Market Garden and has plans to erect her own polytunnel to grown her own produce.
“It really is all about showcasing and promoting local producers. If I can put products that have been in the sea or in the ground just hours before they are plated, that is just great,” she added.
She also has an occasional license which allows her to serve wines from St Andrews Wine Company, beers from Futtle, other local spirits, plus Laphroig whisky, which she recommends having after dinner.
Cooked and served by the chef
One of the main appeals of the supper club is that Mhairi cooks and serves the meal herself, alongside another local chef who lends a hand.
The kitchen itself is kitted out and is based in one of the East Neuk Salt Company’s pan rooms. While one is an evaporation room, the other, which Mhairi uses, has been transformed into a kitchen with a fridge, induction hob and serving station.
“The meal is served by myself and the chef who will be helping me as there’s only 12 people,” she said.
“One of my favourite things at The Dory was to chat to people after their meal about the produce, their experience and food. I’ll be able to come out, serve the food, chat to them about it.”
The next event dates:
- July 8 and 9: Seafood
- July 22: Plant-based
- July 23: Land
- Aug 5 and 6: Seafood
- Aug 26 and 27: Land
To end the meal on a high, alongside the coffee/teas and petit fours, Mhairi gets guests to play a game.
Her brother’s fiancée from Norway introduced her to Pakkeleken which sees guests bring a gift along, with the chance of leaving with more prizes than they arrived with.
She said: “I like an after dinner game. My brother’s fiancée introduced me to this game where everyone brings a little gift, which has either been made or doesn’t cost more than £2, and you have your gift and a pair of dice.
“You have to roll a seven to begin. It goes around the circle and you have a timer, say 10 minutes, and when you land on someone else, you get to steal their present within the time of the game. Someone can end up with lots of gifts, but it is really fun.
“I email everyone in advance about the game. I always have a few emergency packages wrapped in case.”
For more information on the supper club and to book a space visit eventbrite.com/o/the-east-neuk-salt-co