I recently got the opportunity to sample a dinner prepared by pop-up restaurant extraordinaire Rachel Khoo. In the last year or so there has been a growing movement in the underground restaurant scene where home cooks prepare meals for members of the public in the comfort of their own abode. Its growth has no doubt been spurred by the fact that the idea is brilliantly novel, and there are similarities between her pop-up restaurant and the underground ones – you eat in someone’s home and the location is kept secret until you have booked and paid. But Rachel’s events are not regular occurrences which is why she prefers to call them ‘pop-ups’. Furthermore, Rachel always creates a different theme for each event, which on this occasion was endearingly called ‘A Taste of Love at The Loft’.
Rachel Khoo, a ‘food creative’ (stylist), has an Art & Design degree from Central St Martins and a pâtisserie diploma from Le Cordon Bleu and is now based in Paris. ‘A Taste of Love’ was the food theme for the evening; and The Loft, in a secret location in East London, is the personal test kitchen of Nuno Mendes who lends Rachel his digs for these occasions. Nuno, who trained at El Bulli, was previously the head chef of the now closed Bacchus in East London and will be opening a new restaurant, Viajante, in Bethnal Green next year. Nuno was on holiday and therefore did not join us for the evening.