Q&A with Patricia Michelson

Patricia Michelson, owner of La Fromagerie explains how they adapted their services during Covid-19.

Where did the idea for a Supper Club for La Fromagerie come from?

We have always had a Supper Club at both the Marylebone and Bloomsbury branches and also a monthly one at Highbury. When Covid closed down the restaurant/eating in side of the business we adapted our shop offering with home deliveries and so it seemed perfect to offer our supper club for our customers to enjoy at home. We put a lot of our shop produce and the weekly changing supper menus onto our website, it’s a lovely treat to ‘end a long week’ or ‘start the weekend’.

Where do you get inspiration for the Supper Club menu every week?

The wonderful thing about La Fromagerie is the fresh produce we get in direct from local and continental producers. Our extensive 'larder' offers our customers a great selection to browse and choose from. The Supper Club gives us an opportunity to diversify the menus around these products and regions. We use all the products we sell in the kitchen which gives our chef the opportunity to explore ways to showcase them with a full three course menu, a cheese course and suggested wines. We keep the price of the menus very affordable and as the name suggests it is a Supper Club not a blow-out dinner, although we've been told that our portions are generous! We also make sure there is minimum cooking required, everything is prepped and ready to finish off quickly and ready to serve. It couldn't be easier or more delicious!

Does seasonality play a big role in your product choices or Supper Club menus?

Seasonality is the main point of the Supper Club for us. We take three ingredients that are not only bang in season but perfect that week to evolve the menu. Seasonality and Regionality - we want to showcase not only the products but how they can be put together for a really wonderful insight into places and their recipes. Whether a Cornish lobster menu or a Tuscan steak menu you will hopefully be transported to the region when enjoying the supper.

Do you have any favourite products for the Summer season?

We love all the wonderful summer fruits, rich creamy Burrata and Mozzarella and jewel hued vegetables from ruby red tomatoes and peppers, violet and purple aubergines to wonderful salad leaves from the outdoor grown Flourish people in Cambridge. Dipping a ripe white peach in Moscato d'Asti sparkling wine can transport you to a warm terrace overlooking Tuscan hills, even if you are sitting in your London kitchen. Young pecorino cheese is perfect with stone fruits, and the spicier hard cheeses are perfect with crisp chilled celery and radishes. Camembert with cherries - perfect!

As July is National Picnic Month, what products would you recommend for the perfect picnic?

Make it simple - a few of your favourite cheeses with summer fruits like cherries, apricots or figs, a crusty baguette and slices of prosciutto, salami or our cooked smoked ham with cornichons really only require a bottle of wine to set the scene. All our ‘to go menu’ from our kitchen can be enjoyed relaxing in the park and can be ordered in advance. With a bit more preparation enjoy our Burrata and Mozzarella served with a tomato salad, smoked salmon with a lightly pickled cucumber and dill salad and rich creamy Robiolina cream cheese all of which are also perfect picnic favourites. However, my perfect picnic is to have a chunky cheddar sandwich, some firm tomatoes, with a good crunch when you bite into them. I can stuff that into a pocket or my bag and pop in a bottle of Kernel Table Beer and go off to Regent's Park and enjoy in the Secret Garden. We are set up with everything you need including paper plates, wooden cutlery and picnic glasses. Just tell us and we will open the wine, stick the cork back in, and you are good to go! Just add sunshine.