Written by Sophie Wyatt
Introducing the dynamic dining duo putting the fun back into food. Maria K-Georgiou and Rhiannon Butler are the creators and hosts of Mam Sham, the cult supper club combining ‘good grub + lols’. Bringing back supper clubs, but with a twist of comedy, the events are constantly growing in popularity, so we had a chat with the pair about the concept of supper clubs, their love for food and some of the wacky and wonderful people they’ve had the chance to work with.
The future-foodies first met at school, where they became best friends over some ropy teenage trends.
‘Our eyes met across a crowded room on the first day of secondary school, v romantic. We instantly bonded over weird movies, questionable music taste and studded belts, it was all very rock n roll tbh’.
And thus, Mam Sham was born. The immersive supper club fuses amazing food with both entertainment and social aspects. The idea came to the two best friends after they saw a gap in the market for events that offered up a combination of both of their favourite things; great food and great comedy.
‘We selfishly wanted to create something that we wanted to go to, so combined our two favourite things. Whilst there are plenty of alternative dining experiences, some of our main goals were to put an emphasis on quality running throughout the experience, to create a space both accessible and welcoming, and lastly to harness great talent’.
Supper clubs have been around for years, but over time have evolved into events with any number of unique ingredients. We asked the pair to try and define supper clubs in their own words, but they explained that the term holds such a broad aspect, that it would be impossible to sum it up in just a sentence.
‘It can be six people in a home kitchen trying a budding chef’s new dish, or it can be two-hundred people sharing a banquet in a location you would never have thought of as a dining room. We put ourselves in between that and the ‘events’ category. The quality of the food is extremely important to us, we’ve worked with some incredible people in the biz, but then there’s also the whole production side of things with the entertainment being a massive part of the night. We also like to finish everything off with DJ’s and dancing, the final moments being us holding each other in the middle of the dance floor, slow dancing’.
The fun social events are constantly growing in popularity. As the word spreads through friends, family and social media, the demand for tickets has sky rocketed. The pair also donate all the money made from the events into charities such as End Youth Homelessness UK, and the Refugee Women’s Centre. We asked what they think it takes for a supper club to be successful in modern society.
‘There are so many different ways of defining success but for us, it’s about creating a unique experience where people are going to have more fun eating, drinking, laughing and chatting than they’ve had in a long time. When they come back again and again, that’s success’.
Mam Sham prides themselves on their savvy combination of diverse entertainment and an array of incredible food, and in doing this have had the chance to work with many very successful comedians and chefs. This obviously made it very difficult to narrow down some of the favourites.
‘Ah there are so many! It was amazing working with Black Axe Mangal (you can take a look at some of their mouth-watering food on their instagram @blackaxemangal) for our event Hardwired. We’re massive fans of their food and we love Lee and Kate so that was a lot of fun. Our latest event with Four Legs (@fourlegs_ldn) was a marriage made in heaven, they were like the yin to our yang.
The list of comedians we could mention is endless but some performances that have really stood out are Jamali Maddix, Thanyia Moore, Mawaan Rizwan and just so many more. We also love Baby Lame, easily one of the UK’s best drag queens, completely hilarious, a total superstar and an absolute delight to work with’.
We also asked the pair, one of the hardest questions two foodies could be asked; where is your favourite place to eat?
‘Singburi, Black Axe Mangal, Westerns Laundry… don’t make us pick a favourite child’.
Then we put them to the real test with our quick fire food questions:
Eating out or cooking at home?
R: ‘Eating out- Nothing makes me happier’.
M: ‘Eating out ASAP’.
Classic cuisines or fusion dishes?
R: ‘Love a bit of fusion’.
M: ‘Variety is the spice of life’.
Rice or Noodles?
Starter or Dessert?
R: ‘Starter (often the best part of a menu)’.
Cooking for someone or being cooked for?
R: ‘Cooking for someone’.
M: ‘Both, but depends who it is….if it’s Rhiannon….cooked for!’
The lockdown has come at an inconvenient time for a lot of business owners and events planners. But it will not stop the planning for future Mam Sham events, as Maria and Rhiannon explained to us that their future events will be not only continue to be charitable, but also a celebration for everyone that has gone through these strange times.
‘It’s definitely a weird time to be talking about events with all the social distancing taking place. But we’re hoping when things have smoothed over, everyone will want to be as indulgent and hedonistic as we’ll be, so the aim is to throw a huge shubz to celebrate those who have gotten us through these times. Like most of our ticketed events, it will be charitable, specifically to raise money for the people who have suffered most during this period. We will rise from the ashes baby!’
In the mean time check out the Mam Sham Instagram page for food envy, and to catch the details on any future event: @mam_sham_