Champagne corks should indeed be popping around the Royal County as a new business has emerged onto the culinary landscape of the ‘Ding. Pop-Up Reading is the brainchild of two very savvy professional businesswomen who, by pure chance, met up through their respective careers for a Berkshire-based global telecommunications organisation.
Laura Mariel González and Anupama “Anu” Haran became friends just a year ago when, from their respective posts in Spain and India for a telecommunications giant, they relocated to the UK as part of a two-year international work programme. Through their newly-forged friendship they discovered a mutual passion for food and from this, they have launched Pop-Up Reading; a new breed of Supper Club which brings a truly international taste of the world to the dinner table. Anu transforms her home into the venue for each event, and guests contact her or Laura to book a place at one of the Supper Club dinners. It brings a novel twist to the Supper Club dining experience and it is a unique facet to the business which the ladies are creating.
Laura explained: “Simple food, cooked to perfection. I think that’s our essence. We’re both perfectionists and have done plenty of trials so that we can create dishes to the best of our ability.”
Anu added: “A huge amount of what we do is down to the dynamic we have between us; we make an atmosphere conducive to conversation and socialising. Our first Supper Club was on June 14 and had a Venetian theme. Everyone who went to that one has booked for our Israeli Brunch which we’re holding on July 6 at 12 noon. We want everyone who comes to our Supper or Brunch Clubs to come and have a good time!”
Laura chipped in: “Indeed,” she added, “When we’re in the kitchen cooking and can hear laughter coming from the dining room, it’s the best compliment going!”
Laura originally hails from Buenos Aires. Though Argentinian by birth, her parentage is an eclectic fusion of nationalities – her mother is Italian and her father Paraguayan! Italian food ruled supreme in her childhood home, and she has fond memories of her grandmother’s tomato passata sauce. She relocated to Spain where she met her husband in Barcelona.
Anu is from India and her parents were diplomats, a career which entailed the family relocating every three years. “I have travelled all my life,” Anu commented, “I’ve lived in Belgium, Syria, Sri Lanka and many more countries besides. Each place has left a mark on me with it’s cuisine and although I’m Indian by birth, we seldom eat Indian food at home such is the diversity of our tastes.”
Laura continued: “Our husbands have been very supportive. They love trying our recipes and give their opinions. We want to create a sense of anticipation with our food – it’s all part of the experience! We were anxious last month when we held our first Supper Club but those who came absolutely loved it!”
“We’re sincere about our food,” Anu concluded, “we make sure that we source the very best ingredients to produce dishes of the highest quality. We obtain a lot of our ingredients from the Farmer’s Market here in Reading, and are always on the look-out for local suppliers with unique high-class ingredients.”
The ladies’ eyes flash with eagerness and passion when they discuss food and their gastronomic experimentations and sample testing. It is clear that they love what they do. They exude a genuine warmth and enthusiasm which makes it clear that they are nothing short of the perfect hosts at their dining events. With club evenings taking a theme for the menu basis, Pop-Up Reading introduces a kaleidoscope of tastes from around the globe which sits comfortably cheek-by-jowl in an intimate homely setting. With fresh ideas sprouting on a daily basis, Pop-Up Reading is something which has longevity and variety; providing the people of Reading and beyond with some sensational tastes from across many continents without the risk of being pegged into a specific niche business.
Whatever you do, make sure you pop their Supper Club on your list of events to go to this summer. You’ll be popping corks in celebration at their culinary perfection!