Following the success of last year, Peroni Nastro Azzurro returns with the second edition of the sell-out concept, ‘The Supper Club’: Menu39 – a unique pop-up communal dining experience curated by #TheItalianWay – hosted in an exclusive, outdoor, never-before-visited 39th floor location in the beating heart of the city – with a menu centered around 39 inspired, carefully selected ingredients.
Starting March 18th – 23rd for one week only, The Supper Club will be bringing the concept of immersive dining and aperitivo culture to life. #TheItalianWay has once again partnered with Milan’s burgeoning and popular supper club: Ma’ Hidden Kitchen to challenge them with an inventive new approach to community dining, to bring the gastronomes of Dubai the very best in Italian cuisine for Menu39, as part of the ongoing #TheItalianWay campaign.
The Supper Club will be presenting a new challenge to the Ma’ Hidden Kitchen team this year with the concept, Menu39. Menu39 is a 5-course pairing menu built around a curated selection of 39 local and Italian ingredients, created by Emanuele “Lele” Nardoni, Melissa Arroni and Head Chef Stefano Ratti.
The dinner and curated drinks will be presented on the 39th floor of a secret location, exclusively seating at one singular table. Stefano Ratti is a top Italian chef who has worked in numerous Michelin-starred restaurants across the globe as well as working alongside internationally renowned chefs such as Carlo Cracco, Gordon Ramsay, Andrea Aprea, and Antonio Guida.
We had a chance to speak with Emanuele “Lele” Nardoni, co-founder of Ma Hidden Kitchen, to learn about the successful Supper Club concept and to hear what they have in store for Dubai this time around.
- How did ‘Ma Hidden Kitchen Supper club’ happen? What was the inspiration behind this move and is this a full-time venture for the two of you?
The idea came about 12 years ago during a trip to San Francisco. We were looking for a place to eat soul food and while wandering around the net we came across a website where a local lady was inviting six people to taste a Creole menu at her place. We did not ask too many questions, we sent an email request and two days later we were in Oakland in a garage together with 6 strangers eating delicious meals. Needless to say, we had a great time meeting new interesting people in a very special atmosphere.
We immediately thought that Milan needed a place like this, a place to socialize with strangers during a meal. But unfortunately, once back to Italy, we continued our life without returning to the subject.
Then, in March 2012, after years of dinners prepared at home for our friends, we had the luck to remember that experience so we decided it was not enough to share our passion for food with a few intimates but it would have been much more fun and exciting to open our kitchen to anyone interested in trying out a social experience new and different from the usual ‘going out to dinner’. And in April 2012 we started.
Managing our Supper Club is actually a full-time job if we speak in terms of dedicated hours, however since we don’t’ consider it as a job, we decided to keep on doing our former jobs so that we can keep on calling it a passion.
*Melissa still works part-time in the Fashion Industry and Lele as a freelance digital art director.
- How do you explain the charm behind a secret supper club (for the guests)? Is it the venue, food or the people?
Food is the vehicle to help strangers getting together, the venue is the container and gives the warm environment to eat the food but it’s the people that determine the success of an event.
- How did this evolve from an idea until execution?
It was not that hard for us, we were used to always entertaining friends or friends of friends inside our home, our doors were and are still always open, so we just needed to spread.
The challenging part had been finding a way to make it legal managing through all the Italian bureaucracy.
- What would you say were the different milestones thus far with ‘Ma Hidden Kitchen Supper club’?
2012 – Taking the decision to host strangers at our place as an underground restaurant (Melissa was cooking at the beginning).
2013 – Adding professional chefs to the team.
2014 – Turning into a members-only club hosting theatre plays and live concerts in additions to dinners.
2016 – Starting our summer spin-off: Gatherings out in the fields.
2018 – Our first Dubai experience with Peroni Nastro Azzurro and #TheItalianWay.
- How did the concept of ‘THE SUPPER CLUB’ MENU39 come about and the collaboration behind #TheItalianWay?
After the success of the first #TheItalianWay Supper Club last year hosted by Peroni we were invited back but the creative team at Peroni didn’t want to just repeat what we had already done, so set us a new challenge to create an amazing Italian menu from just 39 curated ingredients.
- Why did you pick Dubai as a destination to host the ‘THE SUPPER CLUB’ MENU39?
The collaboration is with Peroni Nastro Azzurro and #TheItalianWay, a brand which epitomizes the Italian way of doing things whether it’s fashion, design or in this case food. For us to be invited to Dubai and partner with a brand we love was win-win.
- Can you describe the success of last year’s edition and how did you go about the concept this time around? Is it very different from last year?
It was more challenging being limited to 39 ingredients, but we love a challenge and it’s a chance to be very creative in how we showcase the menu. It will be a different feel this year, in a secret, never before used location with 39 ingredients, 39 people and all on the 39th floor.
- How did the collaboration with Chef Stefano Ratti come about?
Stefano has been working together with us since 2014. He was looking for something different than working inside a kitchen of a restaurant, so he decided to write an email to us, asking if he could try to cook for one of our dinners. We met in person and we immediately liked each other both in the human and professional field. Since then he’s one of two resident chefs of Ma’ Hidden Kitchen Supper Club.
The Menu39 concept promises an evening like no other, with an innovative gastronomic team flown in exclusively from Italy, curating an experiential Italian menu and presented on a previously inaccessible 39th floor of a building with views overlooking Dubai’s sprawling metropolis. Food lovers of Dubai will enjoy a truly authentic experience in a contemporary, outdoor setting, with a fully immersive Italian dining experience.
The evening will start off at Lounge39 for Aperitivo, followed by live music and a selection of exquisite dishes and curated drinks – all part of the innovative Menu39 concept. The singular community table will be set every evening from March 18th – 23rd where Melissa, Lele and Chef Stefano will serve up Menu39, and be walked through the dishes, the selection and curation of the ingredients, the paired Peroni and curated Peroni-based cocktails and how #TheItalianWay has been brought to life at ‘The Supper Club’ in collaboration with Ma’ Hidden Kitchen.
The #TheItalianWay Supper Club Menu 39 is definitely a one-off experience and not to be missed. Each seat at the table is priced at 350 AED, where guests can indulge in five simple yet elegant courses, matched with a specially crafted drink menu (Over 21s only) *.
Spaces are strictly limited on a first come, first served basis. Reservations required, early booking recommended following last year sell out. Learn more at #TheItalianWay
To book, contact +971 55 9929102 at Intercontinental Dubai Marina.
*Over 21s only