Houston’s New Super Secret Supper Club Builds Intrigue — and Foodie Mania: Meet the Farm GirlsBY Anne Lee Phillips // 05.21.18
Kelly Pyle, Jill Smith, Barbara Steen, Selina Stanford, Angela Bookmyer
Two refreshing specialty cocktails were served to guests upon arrival. Sign by Nancy B. Creative.
Floral arrangement by Maxit Flower Design
A watercolor map of the secret location Hope Farms by Nancy Bihlmaier of Nancy B Creative was emailed to guests the week of the event.
The Farm Girls: Marcia Smart, Courtney Paddock, Kelley Sullivan Low
Recipe for Success's newly opened Hope Farms was the perfect venue for the inaugural Farm Girls Supper Club
Gazpacho shooters. Nancy B Creative calligraphed vintage seed packets with the name of the dish
A vintage canoe, brought in from Courtney Paddock's family farm, is filled with chilled beer and wine.
Only local brews would do. Saint Arnold beer fills the vintage canoe.
Andrew and Karen Johnson
Nancy Bihlmaier, Caroine Brown, Anne Lee Phillips
Kerry Kirk, Amy Margolin, Meredith Kirk
Each place setting featured a different vintage plate procured by Goodie Rentals in Round Top and a watercolor menu by Nancy Bihlmaier of Nancy B. Creative.
Guests enjoy the first course. Photo by Anne Lee Phillips
The dramatic long table sits pretty undernear the two-week old barn at Hope Farms
The dinner was filled with special touches, like this watercolor menu by Nancy Bihlmaier of Nancy B. Creative
A dramatic al fresco evening. Photo by Kerry Kirk
The hype for the inaugural Farm Girls Seasonal Harvest Supper Club began last summer. First, the Instagram account @farmgirlssupperclub appeared. Once it was revealed that three of Houston’s top entertaining mavens — Marcia Smart of Smart in the Kitchen, Courtney Paddock of Little Coterie, and Kelley Sullivan Low of Sullivan Spread — were behind it, the follower count quickly grew.
A few months later, the “Farm Girls” — as they dubbed themselves — posted that ticket sales were coming soon for this super secret supper club.
The premise? Seasonal, curated dinners that celebrate Houston with farm fresh cocktails, wine, a seasonal family-style dinner amongst “a patch of glorious green earth somewhere in Houston.” Maps with the secret location were to be distributed to guests four days prior to the event.
Once tickets were released, they sold out quickly at $200 a pop, despite (or perhaps because of?) the lack of information regarding the location.
Guests were right to trust Smart, Paddock and Low. What transpired was a magical evening, showcasing the rural side of Houston, with an emphasis on community and the fading art of the dinner party.
Four days prior to the event, as promised, details for the secret supper club were emailed to guests. Immediately setting the tone for what was to come, a stunning watercolor map by artist Nancy Bihlmaier of Nancy B. Creative revealed the location as Hope Farms, a new urban farm created by Recipe for Success. The farm is so new that Recipe for Success hosted their first event — the inaugural iteration of Chefs in the Field at Hope Farms — there the week prior.
Hope Farms is a seven-acre urban agricultural operation that employs U.S. veterans, who grow fresh, affordable produce. The farm also serves as a gathering place, offering regular cooking and gardening classes for children and adults, a weekly market, and public events, such as the Farm Girls Supper Club, that celebrate local food and the power of shared meals to build community.
On the evening of the supper club a full moon and perfect spring air — complete with a light breeze and low humidity — enhanced the backdrop of lush greenery at the farm. As guests arrived in “farm casual” attire — think wellies, cowboy boots, breezy spring dresses and washed denim — they were greeted with welcome cocktails — either an Aperol spritz or the Farm Girls Buck (bourbon, lemon, ginger beer, and bitters) in the chef’s kitchen garden. Delectable hors d’oeuvres such as english pea and mint crostini and gazpacho shooters were passed by servers donning matching gingham shirts, with vintage seed packet menu cards calligraphed by Bihlmaier and festive flags proclaiming “Houston strong” — after all, this evening was all about celebrating our beloved city.
Free-flowing floral arrangements by Maxit Flower Design and a vintage canoe belonging to Paddock’s family farm in New Ulm hauled out to Hope Farms, stocked with local Saint Arnold beer and rosé added to the ambiance.
Then Smart rang a literal dinner bell, and guests moseyed over to the long dinner table set for 80 with vintage plates procured in Round Top by Goodie Rentals (a side project by Little Coterie). A bountiful and delicious multi-course, family-style supper (mezze platter, roasted vegetables, Greek salad, peppercorn-crusted ribeye, lemon olive oil cake with lemon curd) complete with wine pairings transpired. Watercolored menu cards by Bihlmaier spelled out the courses for guests, who sipped, supped, chatted and laughed the evening away.
One thing’s for sure — we’ll be stalking the Farm Girls’ Instagram account, waiting for them to release the next date (it’s planned for autumn).