Former Arbennig chef John Cook launches new vegetarian supper club, DIRT

Whether you’re already a fully-fledged vegetarian or just thinking of cutting down on meat, you’ll love the sound of DIRT; a new, pop-up vegetarian supper club starting this month.

Promising a ‘seed to supper’ approach, the DIRT supper club will use locally grown, sustainable ingredients and innovative cooking to challenge clichéd assumptions about vegetarian food; that it’s bland, unimaginative and unrefined.

DIRT events will ‘pop up’ twice a month at venues all over South Wales, including Cobbles Kitchen in Ogmore and The Beach House in Oxwich Bay.

The chef behind the concept is John Cook, formerly of the critically acclaimed Arbennig restaurant in Pontcanna.

John explained that his recent decision to sell his 80-cover restaurant and start a pop-up business was driven by a new-found passion for vegetarian cooking.

He explained, “My wife and I spent the last five years creating something we’re really proud of with Arbennig, so it was obviously a big decision to walk away from that, but I am really excited about what’s next.

I’ve developed a real love for cooking vegetarian food, it’s what gets me excited in the kitchen, and that passion is what I want to share with people when they eat DIRT.”

John’s menu for the first few DIRT events consists six courses, and almost all of the ingredients will be sourced from an independent grower in Llanblethian in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Courgette, salted ricotta, mint, cucumber, wasabi
Courgette, salted ricotta, mint, cucumber, wasabi

John continued, “I wanted to buy directly from a local grower so that we could keep everything as fresh and as seasonal as possible; this way, we’ll be able to pull the veg straight from the ground and bring it to people’s plates in less than 48 hours. It also means we can use all the imperfect, wonky veg that you wouldn’t find in the supermarket but which still tastes absolutely amazing.”

The first two DIRT pop-ups will be held at Llaeth & Siwgr in Cardiff city centre on the 21st July and Cobbles Kitchen in Ogmore on the 26th July.

Tickets to the first two events cost £40 per head and whilst the Cardiff date is now SOLD OUT, there are still tickets available for Ogmore, which you can purchase here.

To stay updated on future DIRT events and to find out more, follow @DIRTpopup on Twitter and Instagram, or sign up to the newsletter here.