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Gilly Smith


Talking about food and identity has become a staple on my podcast Cooking the Books with Gilly Smith. So it was a hop and a skip of an idea to bring it to life in my home in East Sussex.  

The idea is simple;  podcast guests as well as chefs, bloggers and would-be writers tell us the stories behind their food over a multi course BYO dinner for 26 at £45 pp. We’ve got plenty of room, so guests can stay over in one of our en-suite bedrooms overlooking meadows and woodland for an extra £60pp.

Trains run frequently from Victoria and London Bridge to Lewes (and less frequently) to Glynde. Car share from Brighton or come by train.

Copyright Lydia Fransiz

It began in July 2021 with Mandana Moghaddam’s Persian summer supper and the food, stories and poetry set a standard for nights to remember. Mandana’s story is about so much more than what was on the plate; the flavours and rituals form the glue for so many refugees who’ve had to flee their homes.

Coming up:

Tuesday October 6th: Ollie Hunter’s hyper local feast

An evening dedicated to Ollie’s principles and 30 Food movement focusing on zero waste, organic & seasonal, this is an expression of land and seasons, full of colour, texture, creativity and above all, loads of flavour. 

As it’s local and seasonal, Ollie will create the menu on the day, but here’s an idea of the menu:

Jerusalem Artichoke and Rosemary Foccacia, Oil

Spiced Celeriac Kofta, Kimchi Salsa

Camelina Seed Cracker, Beetroot Hummus, Pickled Blackberry

Carrots, Cobnut Blanco, Carrot Top Chimmichurri, Toasted Grains

Gnocchi, Squash, Nutmeg, Hazelnut, Sage Butter

Coffee Bread, Ricotta, Hastings Honey, Rosemary Almonds

Plum Sorbet, Plum Helianthus Tart

Saturday November 6th: Anas Atassi’s Syrian supper

In this stunning banquet of Syrian food memories, food writer and cook, Anas Atassi takes us back to the Syria of his childhood through his favourite food.

Anas and his family left his home in Homs before the war began in 2011 which has left more than 380,000 people dead, and devastated its ancient cities and their cultural heritage. But as the diaspora of Syrian refugees spread across the world, its food has become its identity, as he tells us in me throughout the evening.


Mutabal: eggplant yogurt tahini dip 

Musabaha: warm chickpea dip/stew

Muhammarah: spicy walnut dip 

Yogurt dip

Mujadarah: lentil rice pilaf with caramelized onion 

Fatoush: green salad 


Dessert: Assafiri

There’s plenty more to come, so do sign up to my newsletter at gilly for a calendar of CTB supper club hosts. And let me know if you’d like to do one yourself.