We’re delighted to introduce you to Durban Spice supper club and its fabulous hosts Shab and Sarah.
If this blog gives you food envy, then head over to http://www.durbanspice.co.uk/ to book your tickets to their next supper club!
Tell us a bit about yourself and background. My name is Shabir but my friends and family call me Shabs. I was born in Durban, South Africa and have been in the UK since 2003. After 4 years at Hotel School and achieving my degree in Hospitality Management I started my career in Hospitality and Catering, which has spanned over 22 years. My first role was in the hotel kitchen and from there I worked my way up into Operations Management, working at high end venues including Blenheim Palace and The Ashmolean Museum, overseeing all their private events and catering operations. To say that I love food would be an understatement – I absolutely adore eating and creating great food so I decided to share this passion with everyone else on a wider scale. As such, Durban Spice was born with the help of my partner in food crime, my wife Sarah, who is also a Durbanite hotelier. I love travelling, experiencing new cultures and the food they eat and if you were to ask me what my hobbies are...it is reading one of my near 200 cookbooks and planning how next to impress my friends, family and guests.
What inspired you to cook? That is easy, my mom and dad! Growing up, my house was always full of the aromas of curries, samosas, roti, fragrant chutney’s and pickles. My parents use to cook in dhegs (very large pots over an open fire) of curry and Breyani to cater for weddings and celebrations as well as cook from our home providing samosas, pickles, chutneys, curries and Breyani’s to many people in our local neighbourhood. My mother is known for her Mutton Bunny Chow – a very traditional South African curry meal served in a hollowed out loaf of bread! So for as long as I can remember I was watching and learning the traditional ways we as South African’s cook food.....I can still remember smelling the smoke on my clothes at the end of the day.
What makes your supper club special? Supper Clubs are already a unique experience, ours is special because we offer regional, authentically inspired South African food which I feel really showcases and offers our guests an insight into the flavours, diversity and exciting world of Southern Africa, which is just so different to anything experienced in the UK. Aside from Indian influences, traditional South African food has its roots in Dutch, Malay, Portuguese and African tribal influences as well. It is a melting pot of all things fragrant, rich and deeply fulfilling!
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had/made? Best meal I’ve ever had is easy, my mom’s traditional Crab curry! This is not a meal, it is a journey! A spicy dish enhanced with chilli and tamarind that can only be eaten using your hands! And the best meal I’ve ever cooked must be my Traditional Lamb Breyani, which has its origins in the Muslim community in Durban and is a firm favourite on my menu and amongst my friends!
Any advice for supper club guests? Don’t be nervous to give supper clubs a go, it is a unique dining movement that is relaxed, homely and very friendly providing the best home cooked meals from the heart! Our guests thoroughly enjoy the experience we take them on, as we share stories of our food & country in the comfort of our lovely home restaurant.