Spoof 'French Launderette' supper club goes viral

Thursday 04 August 2011 00:00 BST

One woman's cheeky response to Thomas Keller's pop-up restaurant in London has gone viral in the Twittersphere, with restaurateurs and major dinnerware companies offering their services for her poor man's version of Keller's Michelin-starred restaurant The French Laundry - The French Launderette.

When Sabrina Ghayour, a private chef, cooking instructor and Keller fan, heard about her idol's plans to open a pop-up version of his Napa Valley restaurant The French Laundry at Harrods this fall, she decided to host a parallel supper club of her own - at a fraction of the price.

A seat at Keller's London dining table will set guests back £250. A seat at Ghayour's dining table will be £2.50 - one percent of the cost.

Within 24 hours of floating her ideas on Twitter Monday, she received an offer from London restaurant The Chancery to host her event, while Riedel offered to cater her event with their stemware.

She's been fielding reservation requests on Twitter and 30 of the 70 spots for the four-course meal have been sold.

"Have now silenced the landline as I can't deal! But my email inbox is on fire too," she tweeted

In an interview with industry publication BigHospitality, Ghayour said she lost her job a month and a half ago and wouldn't be able to afford a meal at his temporary London outpost.

"After a few hours spent on Twitter, it quickly became apparent that many other people wanted to dine at Keller's pop-up, but were put off by the cost and in most cases unable to afford it. So I came up with a novel idea for an alternative supper club."

Ghayour's poor man's version has also gained the attention of Keller himself who gave his stamp of approval. According to Ghayour, Keller heard about her project and said it's a ‘charming idea.'

"Wooohooo he is sending me a cookbook and a personal note!" she tweeted Wednesday.

Though the menu is secret, she told BigHospitality it will be inspired by some of Keller's most famous signature dishes.

Keller's pop-up restaurant opens Oct. 1 for 10 days, while Ghayour hosts her supper club Oct. 2. All donations above £2.50 will go directly to the Action Against Hunger charity.

Ghayour will begin taking bookings Sept. 1. Her email FrenchLaunderette@hotmail.co.uk .

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in