Pilgrim: A Unique Spanish Pop-up Dining Experience

Written by: Claire Holly Davies

Across the past few years London has seen an abundance of pop-ups seemingly popping up all over the place… sometimes they don’t ever pop back down again, permanently popped perhaps? Among them are the good, the bad and the increasingly bizarre as the city’s chefs, distillers and party planners attempt to lure overstimulated Londoners to their latest venture. Pilgrim, the newest kid to Hackney’s pop-up scene, is one of the good ones.

Pilgrim offers its guests a unique dining experience, serving dishes inspired by the Camino de Santiago – a pilgrimage that has been made since the 9th Century to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, north-west Spain.

Using the finest Spanish produce with ingredients from a selection of the UK’s most reputable farmers, butchers and fishmongers, guests will be served a six course tasting menu aimed at showcasing the menu ahead of the launch of the permanent restaurant site opening in April 2018. So a permanently popped Pilgrim then.

This limited series of pop-up tastings have been created in partnership with Xeco Wines, a contemporary brand of dry sherry wines crafted by three friends who want to reinvigorate a category beloved by the Spanish and English alike since 1340. With a striking bottle design this new brand of sherries is modernising this age-old product – move over nan, sherry just got cool. The menu will take customers on a culinary journey via key regions on the Camino pilgrimage, beginning with a dish inspired by the Camino’s most famous starting point, the Pyrenean village of St. Jean Pied de Port. With a heavy focus on meat and seafood, Pilgrim’s priority is to serve interpretations of regional dishes with a modern twist, never before experienced in London.

Pilgrim, a new pop-up tasting series in Hackney North East London,

Key dishes on the menu include a charcoal talo with Iberico pork short rib and a play on Galicia’s famous dish “Pulpo al feria.” The menu culminates in a re-imagined “Torta de Santiago” a dessert rooted into the history of the Camino de Santiago.

Pilgrim’s founder and co-director Jamie J Duffield walked the Camino himself earlier this year and was inspired by the clear diversities between each region. Shortly after his return, Jamie, along with co-director John-Michael Sookias and Head Chefs Dave and Anthony, went straight back to Spain for an intense, week long research trip that saw the team bundled into a Fiat and covered 2,000km in just five days – during which time they ate constantly. Having returned full of inspiration, they created this vibrant menu which pays homage to their route, showcasing the flavours they experienced and highlighting the culinary offerings of Spain, beyond the typical tapas and paella dishes.

Head Chef Dave Bone, originally hailing from Liverpool has held positions in J Sheeky’s, The Wolsley and Tom Aikens. Taking the position of Head Chef at The Botanist, Sloane Square, at the age of just 25, he has since run the kitchens at both The Princess of Shoreditch and Mac and Wild. Working alongside Dave, Anthony Power, originally from Australia has worked in kitchens all over the world, most notably Canada, Mexico and London, as well as taking the time to co-found Root+Bone Magazine.

The limited series of Pilgrim pop-up tasting experiences will take place at 103B Dalston Lane on the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st of October and again on the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th November, before moving to Palm 2 in Clapton for a run across February in 2018.

Tickets are £45 and are available by clicking here

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