Billy, Sam and Leon are three friends who have set up a supper club initiative in Norwich, to raise money before they leave further education and head off to travel the world. Here, they explain how the aim is to bring people together to share food – and music.
The Shaanti Collective came about four months ago, when we were planning on how to raise funds for our travelling. Prior to this we had been speaking about starting a food business upon return, then we combined both of our thought processes and our shared love for cooking and out came Shaanti Supper Club. While it is a money-making venture it’s ultimately about how beautiful sitting down and sharing a meal with a group of people is – whether you know them or not.
There are three of us, Sam, Billy and Leon, and we are all 18 years old. All three of us are still in education (Sam and Leon are at City College Norwich and Billy is doing an online apprenticeship) but we have all been working together for a long time in the hospitality industry and still do, but for different businesses. While we’re not working or doing our Shaanti Collective supper clubs, we share a love for music and the similar impact it has on a group as a meal. We also love a party.
So far, we have done two, but we are planning to continue to run them monthly. In terms of how to become a member we like to encourage a diverse group of people to attend, each having a different story and background so there is always some sort of exchange or new conversation and a chance for a friendship to spark. We have a page on universe.com where you can buy tickets and see our story.
We also want to do a charity supper club cooking with refugee chefs with proceeds going to a refugee charity – we can’t speak in too much detail as it’s still in early stages. However, the plan is to put together a team of 5 or 6, us 3 and 2-3 local cooks who have been supported by the charity we are hoping to work with. We aspire to learn from one another and create a collaborative dining experience where they teach us about their cuisine and then, as a group, we would teach paying customers in a supper club style about the culture and about each dish they are eating. This would really tie into our ethos of collective sharing as it would not only be sharing a meal but also knowledge – of course all profits will go to their charity.
On the 3rd of October we fly into Kathmandu, Nepal, we are then going into India and travelling the west coast and onto Sri Lanka. Then, as the New Year begins, we are completing the rest of Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Loas, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia) through to July. We are then going to Australia on a work visa for around 9 months and, during this time, we are hoping to build more funds to finish off anywhere we didn’t get to go to before.
We are going to learn and document as we go through the different countries, taking a lead from street food venders and using our bounding enthusiasm and excitement to gather recipes and flavours from the real deals! Our hope as Shaanti Collective is to return home with somewhat of an eclectic food bible which we will implement into our goal, which is to bring the amazing experiences we get to be a part of back and give people a vibrant and fresh introduction to traditional cultures without them having to get on a plane or a rickety old bus.
Currently we do everything through our Instagram (@shaanti.collective) – here you can find any information about upcoming supper clubs and pictures from previous ones, it is also how you can follow us on our journey around the world. We hope that in these months before we leave, we can build a following so that you guys can be alongside us while we learn and hopefully get hyped for our return to see what we have in store!
The next Shaanti Collective Supper Club, which will have an Indian theme, takes place in NR2, Norwich, on Thursday April 27, from 6.30-10.30pm. To find out more and to book tickets, visit Shaanti Collective Supper Club – Events – Universe. Also, visit Instagram.
Featured image of Billy, Sam and Leon. All images supplied by Shaanti Collective