Simon and I are members of an incredible club founded by Gemma Greaves called Cabal. I can't say too much more about it - as we'd have to kill you - but I can say that its members (excluding ourselves) are a wonderful bunch who meet up once a month to take part in a variety of experiences we probably wouldn't normally undertake.
We've met an ex-NASA spaceman on a mission to save Earth, we’ve heard first-hand from Ross Kemp about his experiences with the world’s most dangerous gangs, we've put on our own stand-up comedy events starring extremely brave Cabal members and we’ve been taken on an incredible, humbling journey by one of our members who went from childhood paralysis to walking to the North Pole. But above all, Cabal is about meeting like-minded people and making friends. Which leads me nicely to Cabal's 4th birthday party recently.
The party was at Tramshed in Shoreditch. A waiter took me through the restaurant, under Damien Hirst's imposing formaldehyde 'Cock and Bull', out the back, past the kitchens, through winding corridors unseen by diner's eyes and up a flight of steps into a wonderful, hidden gem of a space in the belly of Mark Hix's restaurant. I joined my fellow Cabalians and Mark Hix himself. Mark was busy creating mouth-watering morsels and happily chatting to everyone. It was a lovely, relaxed atmosphere and the perfect venue to celebrate our club in style.
We heard how Mark and his head chefs meet in the space to experiment and challenge each other to keep their creative juices flowing. Surrounded by hundreds of random ingredients, each chef is tasked to create new, experimental dishes on the spot. The one daunting rule is that they can't create anything they've made before. There were obviously some horrendous and sometimes hilarious results along the way but nineteen glorious new dishes were born out of this process and are now available in Mark's restaurants across London and beyond.
It reminded me that to break new ground we need to step out of our day-to-day, shake things up and fight the fear of failure. Human nature leans towards comfort and safety and although feeling uncomfortable and out of our depth can be terrifying, it can lead to great things. So, let’s dive into the deep end and leave behind the armbands a little more often.
Cabal’s 4th birthday was memorable for all the right reasons. I’d like to thank Mark Hix for his hospitality and brave kitchen antics, Gemma Greaves for connecting us to such an inspiring group of people and experiences and to everyone involved for organising a wonderful night and making Cabal such a unique club. I can’t wait to see what we’re up to later this month.
Co-founder and ECD at Hometown