Sort-of Secret: Jeudr3di, maybe the coolest supper club in Toronto right now

Sort-of Secret: Jeudr3di, maybe the coolest supper club in Toronto right now

One end-of-summer dinner started with a very interesting amuse bouche

A chef cooks mushrooms on a charcoal grill

More Sort-of Secrets

The sort-of secret: Jeudr3di, an eclectic supper club with rotating culinary talent
You may have heard of it if: You’re in the proprietors’ extended circle of friends
But you probably haven’t tried it because: It has no permanent home and is advertised only through Instagram and word of mouth
Arriving at a Jeudr3di dinner party might go something like this: you make your way to a secret location disclosed over text the day before. At the door, there’s no red velvet rope or greeter checking names off a list. Instead, the entrance is marked with a red carnation tied to the door handle. Through the door, there’s a staircase—a trail of carnations leads to the top floor. The door to the rooftop opens to reveal a crowd of eclectically dressed (and uniformly hip) Torontonians in their 20s and 30s, milling about a roomy patio complete with black lounge couches, a tended bar, three charcoal grills and a long table set with a red tablecloth, vintage crockery and name cards.

A long communal table set for a recent Jeudr3di supper club

A table for a recent Jeudr3di supper club is set with name cards

This was the scene at the last summer dinner hosted by friends Alexandra Francis and Brutalé, a former creative producer and a former fashion designer, respectively. “When the hospitality industry shut down during the pandemic, we didn’t have anywhere to go, so we started hosting community dinners and potlucks with friends—and friends of friends—behind an abandoned warehouse. Those events evolved into the dinners we hold today, which are experiences grounded in community, collaboration and connection while celebrating dining, art and culture,” says Francis.

Starring a rotating series of top chefs—like Casa Paco’s Rob Bragagnolo and Milou’s Mikey Kim—every dinner has a different theme and is held in a different location. And aside from guests paying for the food that’s served to them, Jeudr3di is nothing like a traditional restaurant dining experience—there are no menus, dishes are served family style and everyone sits at the same table.

Guests of a recent Jeudr3edi supper club mill around on the rooftop of a Toronto building

The bartender at a recent Jeudr3di supper club mixes drinks
A guest at a Jeudr3di event holds a cocktail

Related: K.Dinners, a supper club hosted by a Michelin-star-calibre chef inside a ceramics studio

“Our inspiration is drawn from what we’ve coined ‘Martha Margiela’: Martha Stewart meets pioneering fashion designer Martin Margiela; a bridge connecting fashion and hospitality,” says Francis. “We want to create spaces that encourage meaningful connection, conversation and spontaneity.” Sign-up is through a Google form shared on Jeudr3di’s Instagram account, after which guests get a text from an anonymous number with event details, including the location. This type of intentional mystique could feel gimmicky in the wrong hands, but the pair pull it off—partly thanks to their careful curation of details, from napkins hand-sewn and pressed by Brutalé to tableware made by local designers like Eric Lachance.

A chef cooks skewers of chicken over binchotan charcoal for a Jeudr3di supper club

Ramekins filled with chicken on skewers for a recent dinner party held by Jeudr3di

But the star of this show is, of course, the food, which is all served on ornate hand-made crockery. Bar Bowie’s chef Ronan Shaftoe recently helmed a gorgeous yakitori dinner, featuring chicken (12 whole birds for a group of 22, to be exact) grilled over charcoal, creatively seasoned and served with a variety of delectable sides.

The meal started with chicken miso soup—the base made with bones left over from the butchering process, cooked in dashi for an entire day for maximum umami and finished with a mix of miso, burdock root and yuzu peel. Though, technically, the meal kicked off before that with an unusual amuse bouche: a microdose of mushrooms. It was entirely optional, and not enough to get downright high, but a definite vibe-enhancer. Guests were also given the option to partake in a non-psychoactive herbal mix, available via a roll-your-own-smoke tray complete with papers and filters. Like we said: this isn’t your average supper club.

Guests at a Jeudr3di supper club roll their own cigarettes

Someone tosses a salad

A table, midway through a sold-out Jeudr3di supper club

What followed was a parade of skewers, served with rice and paired with sake or wine. Shaftoe’s goal was to use every part of the chicken—mission accomplished. There were thighs skewered with negi (Japanese green onion) and brushed with tare (super-concentrated broth seasoned with black pepper and ginger), achilles tendon with salted egg butter, chicken fillet with yuzu and miso, meatballs made with the offcuts of the butchering process, and crispy skin with umeboshi plum, to name a few options. Even offal-squeamish diners went for seconds.

Related: Oui Aïa, a monthly supper club held at a private location in downtown Toronto

For snacking between skewers, there was delicate daikon pickled with floral shiso and rice vinegar as well as punchy okra pickled with dashi. With it all came two salads: one with a base of tender pea shoots and kale, dressed with citrusy ponzu and finished with fried lotus root and baby pickled ginger; the other a mix of cucumber and wakame, dressed with sesame oil, freshly ground sesame and salty shio koji (a condiment and also what sake is made from). Dessert was an innovative take on classic French île flottante. Traditionally, it’s a crème anglaise with poached meringue served with almonds. For his version of the dish, Shaftoe made tahini custard laced with black sesame paste and meringue with freshly ground sesame.

A chef grills chicken on a charcoal grill on the rooftop of a Toronto building
Bottles of sake chill in a bucket on a Toronto rooftop during a recent Jeudr3edi supper club

All in all, the experience lasted around six hours. Drawing out the night is part of Francis and Brutalé’s strategy to make it feel more like a real-life family dinner (but a nice one, not one filled with passive-aggressive bickering and simmering resentment). Between the food and the amiable conversation, it went by in a pleasant haze and, somewhat unexpectedly for its undeniable cool-kid vibe, really did transmit the warmth it was going for. Francis and Brutalé grew up attending large family gatherings—hers hosted by her Lebanese grandmother, his by his family in the Philippines—which probably has a lot to do with their project’s palpable heart.

A dinner party held on the roof of a Toronto building

Looking ahead, the pair will draw on their design backgrounds to extend the Jeudr3di brand into homeware, accessories and apparel. They will also host more branded dinners—of which they recently hosted their first, with the dating app Feeld. But, at its core, Jeudr3di will keep its focus on the culinary and artistic subcultures that inspire its creators. “Part of our philosophy is to influence from the bottom up,” says Francis. “To showcase established chefs but also the line cook; to be inspired by new wave aesthetics and expose the community to new personalities. Ultimately, this journey is leading us toward owning spaces and curating a distinct taste that we hope one day will be universally recognized.”

Jeudr3di, @jeudr3di