5th Aug 2013
Stuart Langley is the owner of The Disappearing Dining Club, who create the UK’s coolest and most eclectic pop-up food experiences. We caught up with Stuart to discuss his dream dinner party, British cuisine and his favourite hidden gems.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job?
The freedom I have to make things happen.
You've been responsible for some of the most exciting and memorable food and drink events in the UK. What have been your favourites?
The Rooftop Picnic & BBQ, which is running until August, was thrown together in about five days when we realised the good weather was going to last.
We nailed New Year’s Eve 2012/13. I just stood back and watched with a massive grin on my face as we fed 250 people a six course dinner in one room, 250 people cocktails & canapés in another room, and had 250 people ready to come in and party with us all before midnight.
Describe a typical working day…
I will work from my flat in Borough from about 8.30am and then cycle over the Thames into East London to meet people for about noon. I try and see at least one new potential dinner party space every week and eat at Back in 5 Minutes, our restaurant in a clothes shop on Brick Lane, once a week. At weekends I'm either involved in one of our dinner parties, or at The Guardian offices in Kings Cross where I teach classes on food start ups.
What is British cuisine to you?
For me British cooking is something that has its roots in the home. British cooking took a beating from two world wars, rationing, recessions, and it's grown up very quickly.
Name your favourite hidden gems to eat and drink in London.
Red Market on a sunny Friday night, Saltoun Supper Club in Brixton and Keu in Old Street to name a few.
If you could create any event, what would be your dream project?
Wow! I really want to hook up with the people who run Open House to run dinner parties in some of the spaces that they make available over Open House weekend. I'd also like to host a dinner party that runs across London, all at the same time in amazing public locations; 20 tables of 10 people on rooftops, in gardens, in parks, on the tube, on the Thames, on pavements, in tunnels, in major tourist attractions . . . It would be a logistical nightmare but a real achievement. We think we can do anything when it comes to making somewhere the perfect place for a dinner party.
If you could share a couple of bottles of Saint with anyone in the world, who would it be?
My business partner and DDC head chef, Fred. Somewhere hot. After retiring early.