Community supper club shares love of food

Alaska, News, Print

Originally published in the Peninsula Clarion

A new Soldotna-based club is focused on serving something new. Residents could find themselves at the table of a Salvadorian feast with stuffed corn tortillas called pupusas, homemade tamales and tres leches or a fresh Mediterranean spread complete with warm pita bread, hummus and creamy tzatziki. Bringing the community together over a love of food is the main goal of the Three Peaks Supper Club.

Named for the three peaks — Mount Iliamna, Mount Spur and Mount Redoubt — that line the horizon west of the Kenai Peninsula, Three Peaks Supper Club aims to bring local chefs and cooks into the community, where they will serve monthly meals. Joe Spady, chef at Joe’s Meatball Shoppe, is spearheading the club along with his two friends Jesse Hughes and Melodie Allen. All three grew up in the central peninsula and have the same passion for sharing their love of food.

Spady said the concept may be hard to grasp, but the idea is to provide an intimate dining experience, serving cuisines not often found anywhere in the area.

“In some ways, it’s kind of an underground restaurant,” Spady said.

However, it’s not a restaurant, technically. To retain its intimate setting — and avoid public food licensing — Three Peaks Supper Club is a private group. Resident foodies can get involved in the club by joining the Facebook Group Spady set up, or reaching out through email. On the Facebook group, club members can see upcoming meals, purchase tickets and engage in a community focused on food.

“It’s fun to have the ability to make food for people who want food without the stresses of a restaurant,” Spady said.

Spady said the first three events are already planned, with more in the works. He said they hope to host full-themed meals about once a month, with the first one taking place next month.

A lavish breakfast for dinner event and a full Mediterranean spread is on the docket, as well as a meatball feast made by Spady, with fresh gnocchi and antipasti. The meals will all be served in local homes or community venues, to keep the dinner parties small.

“We’re excited to see how this grows and develops and who may want to partner with us,” Spady said. The first event will be in my own home, but it can be in anyone’s home. That’s the main place we want it to be hovering, in homes, because that’s a fun thing and it will keep it really intimate, which I love.”

Spady said he wants to put an emphasis on local foods too.

“I’m learning so much more about Alaska’s food culture,” Spady said. “Growing up I didn’t care. Whereas now, I’m really starting to love and appreciate it.”

Expanding past the community dining room, Spady has ideas for how to elaborate on the supper club.

“We’d love to do something where you hike to the top of Skyline and there’s a four-course meal waiting for you,” Spady said. “We want to do that, or even a canoe trip where you canoe for six hours to this weird remote place and you pull off and we have this awesome setup. You can’t do this in restaurants.”

Spady said the supper club could also be combined with local theater, with a backstage dinner themed around the show with tickets included. The supper club may even consider offering at-home cooking classes.

“It can take so many different forms,” Spady said. “Just creating this food community is so exciting.”

Three Peaks Supper Club is a way for Spady and his partners to kick off another food venture in the works. The Mercantile, a collaborative effort between Spady and his foodie friends, will be a summer pop-up shop. The Mercantile will be offering locally made food, like Spady’s homemade pickles or meatball sandwiches, at Wednesdays in the Park in Soldotna, Thursdays and Fridays at Artzy Junkin in Soldotna and Saturdays at the Soldotna Farmers Market.

Three Peaks Supper Club will be hosting their first event later this month.

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