Imagine going out for brunch and there is no lineup at the restaurant. You are not seated elbow-to-elbow with other diners, and you don’t have to try to catch your overworked server’s eye for a coffee refill. Instead, you are seated at the only table in a warm, cozy room that is tastefully decorated with vintage furniture. A cocktail and a full cup of coffee sit in front of you as you slice into your perfectly poached egg. At your table are a mix of friends and strangers, old and young, and everyone is having a good time. This comfortable togetherness is exactly what Allison Dent and Stephen Cooper, the culinary duo behind the supper club Tuck Together, are creating with their new Vancouver, BC, brunch club.
A brunch club, a derivative of a supper club, is a culinary experience catered and hosted by a chef, often in their own home. In a sense, the chef hosts a party, and you are the guest. Like most dinner parties, you are welcome to bring wine to share, and you will likely be among a combination of friends and people you have never met before. Dent and Cooper started Tuck Together as a supper club after moving from Vancouver to London, United Kingdom, in 2014. Dent explains their main goal was to “create an atmosphere where strangers could get together and socialize with the common thread being good food.” Dent, a trained chef, develops the menu and cooks. Cooper is a natural at providing attentive and engaging service.
After they created Tuck Together, Dent and Cooper travelled through Southeast Asia for six months before returning to Vancouver. They relaunched Tuck Together with a focus on brunch. Dent and Cooper’s biggest source of inspiration at the moment are the flavours they experienced in South Korea. The brunch menu is a mixture of classic and experimental with items like sourdough buckwheat waffles with Korean braised brisket, homemade kimchi, poached eggs, and espresso hollandaise.
If you have never been to a brunch or supper club, Cooper says, “Rather than a restaurant, it’s a small, intimate experience that brings together like-minded people that are willing and able to be open to other people and experiences.” Dent says that attendees get a unique culinary experience, because the chef has full control over the creation process. Perhaps her favourite part of hosting the dinner parties is, “Being able to create something from start to finish in all its successes and failures. Being able to share that with people for one night is a very special and rewarding experience.”