Secret supper club launches in Winnipeg

They don’t know what’s on the menu. They don’t know where they’ll be eating. And the 31 guests at a secret dinner party November 23 also won’t know who's on the guest list.

Food enthusiasts embrace element of surprise

On November 23, Leane Funk and her three partners, host November Rain, a four-course meal for 31 diners at a secret location. (Robin Summerfield)
They don’t know what’s on the menu. They don’t know where they’ll be eating. And the 31 guests at a secret dinner party November 23 also won’t know everyone on the guest list.

But that’s all part of the fun of November Rain, Saturday’s inaugural dinner party of the Winnipeg Supper Club, the organizers said.

The four-course fete is the work of Leane Funk, a professional server and former advertising account manager, cook Julian Saray, and two other partners. If all goes to plan, the quartet will host secret dinners every six weeks or so throughout the year, said Funk. 

“We’re trying to add a bit of excitement and mystery to the event. And we really want it to become something for Winnipeg to look forward to,” said Funk. 

About six hours before Saturday evening’s dinner, guests will receive an e-mail, text or call from Funk revealing the location, which will have a commercial kitchen.

Without giving away too much, Funk said they will serve comfort food a la rustic life on the farm. 

The 35-year-old returned home to Manitoba more than two years ago after a seven-year stint in Toronto.

Since coming to Winnipeg, she has noticed a growing buzz in the city’s food and restaurant scene as more young chefs gain celebrity cache and media attention. 

Leane Funk holds an invitation for November Rain, the inaugural dinner for the Winnipeg Supper Club. If all goes to plan, the supper club, created by Funk and three friends in the food service industry, will hold secret pop-up dinners every six weeks or so. (Robin Summerfield)

“We really just wanted to get on board,” she said.

Funk and her three partners (all of whom are food and wine enthusiasts), launched their Facebook page in early October. 

They sold the first four tickets, two for $125, within two days.

The Winnipeg Supper Club is one of the more visible so-called ‘pop-up restaurants’ which have hit the local food scene recently. 

Chef Darryl Crumb, owner of Tot Wheels food truck and a former contestant on Top Chef Canada, hosted his own secret dinner earlier this Fall. Meanwhile, Deer + Almond chef and co-owner Mandel Hitzer is also behind the Secret Dinner, invite-only meals held sporadically throughout the year. Hitzer is also one of the co-creators of RAW/Almond, the pop-up restaurant launched at the junction of the frozen Red and Assiniboine rivers in January 2013.


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