A chance meeting with a Shaman outside our hostel in Sydney turned us vegan and planted the seed that grew into Club Cultured. True story.
We, Harry and James, were backpacking around Bali and Australia at the time and, rather than coming home with suntans and a love for poached eggs, avo on sourdough and banging Aussie coffee…we arrived home to Essex looking slightly burnt with a bag full of fermented beans.
Having been around so much epic plant based food in Australia, and then having a DMC with the Shaman outside our hostel in Sydney, it felt like fate when we tried tempeh for the first time from a roadside vendor in Canggu. It was like nothing we’d ever tasted before (Essex isn’t really all there with fermented bean patties…yet), tangy, firm and with a complexity of flavour that set our taste buds on fire. We were hooked.
Whilst we were floating around the Southern hemisphere in a haze of cultured bliss, the third member of the Club, Connor, was back at home cutting his teeth running sections in the michelin starred kitchen of the Ritz in London. Little did we know, Connor was already playing around with his own fermenting projects making kombucha from scratch.
The three of us got together and started messing around making tempeh, initially using James’s Mum’s airing cupboard (not successful), and then later with an old fridge-freezer that we turned into an incubator (more successful). One evening we took some of our tempeh deliciousness to the local pub and the response was overwhelmingly positive.
We knew we were onto something, and the Club was born.
Fast forward a few months to November 2018 and we’d launched our Club Cultured street food truck and were setting London’s vegan foodie scene ablaze with our fermented delights. The three of us took a trip back to the Balinese scene of the crime in January 2019, to learn from (no not a Shaman) a tempeh master who has now become our guru and friend for life. Big up Amita.
We are now very proud and pretty confident to say that we produce the best and the freshest unpasteurized, organic and non-GMO Tempeh in the UK, all fermented without the use of plastic.