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March 17, 2022
Words by Genevieve Phelan.
What’s your love language? The thing that stirs your sense of self and purpose, or the way you care for others? For 20-something Melbourne chef privée Sophie McIntyre, it’s food in bowls and bums on chairs around warm and inviting tablescapes. It’s humble, soulful plates of pasta and thoughtfully curated dinner parties, sans smoke and mirrors. Club Sup — her heart project — burst onto the scene in a series of candlelit soirées last year, turning strangers into friends and a riven city into a connected one.
Sophie is a self-taught maker of yummy things, a lover of smart design and a girl deeply connected with her social ‘outer rings’. She’s mortal (like the rest of us), and is quick to shed light on the woes as well as the wins encountered through business, life, and inevitably, menstruation. A quick glance at her Clup Sup Instagram or site canvasses balms for the brain (i.e. community recipes) and tonics for tired, burnt-out bodies as we sprint towards that end-of-year mile.
For budding freelancers or creatives itching with desire to craft something totally unique and meaningful of their own, Sophie might be a local mentor to turn to for some blueprints on giving that idea a crack.
Here, we talk reignited energy, flickering on-and-off flames of creativity and how to indulge your girlfriend during a particularly diabolical period. Reader discretion: don’t continue if hungry.
For those unfamiliar, what is Clup Sup and why did you start it?
Club Sup is a dinner club that brings together strangers to create new connections and fight against the severe loneliness that restrictions created. It is 12 people (all strangers) coming together over dinner a couple of times a month.
What does cooking for others give you in return?
This feeling that I know I've nourished someone's body, mind and soul. Sorry that sounds so woo-woo, but it's true. I love that it brings together humans, giving us time for pause. We've eaten nearly three times a day, every day, for our lifetime. It's what we know how to do best.
In a self-started business, what do you do when things don’t always go to plan?
You have to stay calm and sort of embrace the challenge of it all. I started this business in a very volatile time, so things not going to plan happened nearly every day. I very much just pivoted into something that still stays authentic to the brand, and feel excited about the turn that everything has just taken.
You’ve got a housemate with heinous period cramps, or they’re just generally PMS-ing. What do you feed them?
Hmm, definitely my sausage pasta laden with butter and parmesan — truly a hug in a bowl. I get crazy hunger when PMS-ing so pasta definitely fills that criteria. If they're a sweet tooth, it's this pressed chocolate torte which is essentially baked mousse and just heaven.
What's your love language?
It's maybe no secret that my love language is ‘acts of service’, so cooking I feel is the main way I know how to communicate. Club Sup itself is one too — creating a space for others to feel safe and welcome and like they can make friends again.
How has Clup Sup allowed you to start working and collaborating with other lifestyle brands?
I have been very lucky to work with brands on creating an environment that is very similar to the home. I think that it’s something I’ve very much wanted to create for my guests, and it’s transferred well into a marketable product.
Who are some of the people with the most ‘Moxie’ you’ve met through work and play in the last year?
It's probably Farah behind 'Bud of Love' Wines and Georgie behind 'Georgie’s Grubs Cookies'. They inspire me so much literally every day and they're so supportive, always innovating and moving with the currents of their evolving businesses.
Where can we find you (bars, cafes, restaurants) booked in over the coming weeks?
I am super out of touch these days, so I hit my default which is The Builders Arms for a beautiful pub meal, or Supper Inn in Chinatown for a big group dinner...the best Chinese and BYO.
And where will be next first self-care appointment?
Spin (at United Ride, Richmond) or a HIIT class (at FoxFit). Exercise is my ultimate self-care for the brain, mostly, and then the body.
What’s something you’ve consumed lately that changed your perspective or felt meaningful?
A book called "An Everlasting Meal'' by Tamar Adler: a book for anyone who loves food but not super sure how to get into cooking, or for anyone who needs to fall in love with cooking again. I read it during lockdown, when I wasn’t feeling like cooking and only wanted to eat scrambled eggs for dinner. It is truly the most magical book with beautiful chapters on how to cook economically and nourish yourself, as well as entertain. I want to buy about 10 copies and give it to everyone I know.
Images via @clubsup_ on Instagram.
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