Bless Supperclub Pop-Up Dinner
Over the past couple years, the food scene in Philadelphia has been drastically growing. There’s always a new restaurant or a new café to check out. There’s even been an increase in pop-up dinner events throughout the area. I personally think pop-up dinners are great because they give chefs from all backgrounds an opportunity to showcase their talents in a fun and more personable way. There are many hidden gems within our city that have yet to be discovered. And within those hidden gems are the creators of the food we fall in love with. There’s one special gem that I was honored to have met. Her name is Tonia Renae.
Tonia Renae is someone who possesses the natural talent of cooking and she’s been continuously mastering her craft over the years. Tonia took her passion and decided to show it through her food at an exclusive event, The Bless Supperclub Pop-up Dinner. This would be a dinner that would be served family style. It was Tonia’s first pop-up dinner and I had the opportunity to be an attendee for this special event. I couldn’t wait to experience it and be apart of something that she was so passionate about.
Upon my arrival, I was greeted by the one and only, Tonia Renae. I received a very warm welcome and was shown to the main room where the dinner would be held. She had a big night ahead of her, so she had to return back to the kitchen. As soon as I entered the room, I was greeted by the host for the evening. She was extremely polite. As for the room, you could feel it was prepared with love. The ambiance was perfect. The candlelit room set the tone for evening and it was a great feeling.
For the event, complimentary red and white wine as well as sparkling water were provided. I decided to go with wine as my first choice. There was also live entertainment provided for the evening and I arrived early enough to watch the singer and band set up. The performer for the event was named Jakeya. I could tell this was going to be an enjoyable dinner. The guest began to arrive, seats started to fill up and the band began to play. It was showtime!
The first course started to make its way out. We were served Thai curry shrimp empanadas. They were cooked perfectly and had the right amount of spicy red curry for flavoring. I love shrimp, so this course already won me over. After everyone enjoyed their share of empanadas, it was time for the second course to come out. Next was an Asian noodle salad. It consisted of julienne carrots, edamame, red cabbage, crunchy ramen, shaved almonds and mandarin oranges. I really enjoyed this salad. It was packed with flavor, freshness and the mandarin oranges gave it a wonderful touch.
In between meals and great conversation, the band continued to play. Jakeya is an extremely talented woman. Her voice is simply captivating and singing comes naturally to her. If you haven’t heard of Jakeya, you have to look her up. She performed Aretha Franklin “Rock Steady” that evening, and goodness, when she hits those high notes she makes you feel good! You can’t help but appreciate pure natural talent. By this time of the night, everyone was feeling good and enjoying each moment.
It was time for the third course. Orange chicken with scallions and sesame seeds. This course was delicious, the sauce had great consistency and I especially enjoyed the tenderness of the chicken. Coming up next was creamy coconut rice. This paired well with the orange chicken. By now, I’m feeling very proud of Tonia. Tonight was visibly a success and the night wasn’t over yet. We still had a few more things ahead of us to enjoy and so far everything was wonderful.
Next, we were served a sweet and spicy sriracha glazed salmon with sweet potato fries. I think this dish was my favorite dish of the evening. I really enjoyed the flavor of the glaze and the salmon was cooked PERFECTLY. It wasn’t dry at all and the portion was great. I would’ve never thought to pair it with sweet potato fries, but surprisingly it went exceptionally well together! Along with the salmon, we were also served a vegetable stir fry. This was the last dish. It’s always nice to end a meal with a light, tasty and healthy option!
As the evening prepared to come to a close, many thank you’s and a huge round of applause was given to the one who prepared our meal. The talented, humble and amazing Tonia Renae. She came out and gave a brief speech and expressed a heartfelt appreciation for all who supported her throughout the planning of this event. She also expressed her gratitude for everyone who came out and attended. It was great to see pure happiness and feeling of accomplishment on Tonia’s face. She definitely had a lot to be proud of. A huge thank you goes out to Ms. Tonia Renae for allowing me to be apart of this beautiful event. It was an honor to attend and it was great being able to witness this milestone in her life. The dinner was a success!
Tonia sent all the guests home with a special treat. Packed away all nice and cute in little individual boxes were Green Tea cupcakes with Matcha Cream Cheese frosting. They were so adorable and they were sinfully delicious! I enjoyed mines at home while I was tucked away in bed. What a perfect late night snack! Again, thank you Tonia Renae for your hospitality and congratulations on such an incredible evening!
If you want to learn more about Tonia Renae, you can check out my Q&A with her here . If you want to follow along with Tonia's culinary journey, you can find her on Instagram at www.instagram.com/bless.supperclub/