A hearty Birmingham food purveyor with the chuckle to match, we nabbed Soul Food Project curator and all about edible events manifester Carl Finn for a natter about his plush upcoming events, The Church Inn and more.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Soul Food Project. Carl Finn, Male, 29, Chef, Bartender, wannabe DJ and soon to be a baker, can’t wait!! I run Soul Food Project with Matt Marriot and my wife. We all add something different to the mix, but we all know that she is the boss!
Why do you think the hospitality industry has seen such a rise in Supper Clubs as of recent? What with SFP hosting so many itself? People like doing stuff, like going to gigs, like trying new places, flavours and experiences. The “supper club” revolution is a result of people being bored of massive chains, brands having a crap offering that only makes sense when its 2-4-1. There is place for them for sure, but the balance needs to be readjusted and people voted with their feet. Supper clubs is something that we have been doing since 2008 with Secret Dining Society, we use SDS as a creative outlet for our staff, it’s easy to work and see you creative juice stop as you are focused on one thing. So SDS allows us to do something, well different. The next instalment is SDS “impediment” 24/5/6/7th of April.
What would be your idea of the perfect supper club, or pop-up in Birmingham, if money and boundaries weren’t an issue? (If you’re not doing it already that is) I would love to host a mile high dinner, and fly to somewhere for dessert. Watch this space ;)
Would it be safe to say that SFP and The Church Inn continually aim for unique parties and events that go beyond what Birmingham may have seen before? Hell yea!! Soul Food Project, is about being different, testing boundaries and not being afraid to doing something because we like it. The Church is a pub and proud to be, it’s great to have a home for our events that we like to do as well as giving the local people a place to do stuff they want to do: Screenings, improve comedy classes and most of all Jambalaya.
You just last year opened the SFP hub and dapper drinking den, The Church Inn. Can you tell us more about why you both chose the Jewellery Quarter and why the New Orleans theme has held such prominence for the bar? The JQ is a place in Birmingham that holds a special place for a lot of people. It’s also a place where loads of people, work, live and visit for a night out or to shop. That in itself makes it unique. With Soul Food project running since 2010, it was ready for its own place and The Church was a love at first. We first looked at it in 2011 and knew we had our home and New Orleans had to be the theme in the front bar, Frenchman Street is one of my favourite places in the world and to give a little nod to it was an honour.
Cocktails seem to come hand in hand with a visit to The Church Inn. Could you recommend your favourite?Midday till 5pm, White lady. Any later a Sazerac for sure!
What bars can you be found drinking in in Birmingham if you’re not at The Church Inn? Don’t worry, we’re not following you, yet. Well The Lord Clifden is a handy short walk away. But I love the Tower of Song in Kings Norton incredible blues bar, always has live music. Hare and Hounds, SFP birthplace and for a cocktail The Bureau.
We’re clambering for any news of your upcoming events. Any information or sneak peeks that you can share before Summer? We have loads going on, we are opening a bakery which is down on Water Street, JQ, so just down from The Church. That’s a big project and we are gaining some top new SFP family members Dom and Lap. It’s also will be the home for are new wood fired oven housed on a trailer so we will be taking SFP on the road.We have also have the Don’s of Brass, Hot 8 Brassband for SFP 4th Birthday party that is on the 25th of May at the Hare and hounds.Cray fish Boils return to The Church roof terrace on Bank holiday Monday’s (April 21st, May 26th and August 25th)