When you think of fine dining, what do you think of? Do you picture exotic food combinations, a professional chef, or the most beautifully decorated restaurant? What if you could bring the fine dining experience to your own home or even impress your co-workers with an amazing corporate catering event? Nkem Oghedo, a former business consultant and Harvard Business School graduate, created Adá Supper Club as a manifestation for her love for food and to help fill the diversity gap that exists within the fine dining and food space. Adá Supper Club, which has been featured in major publications such as The New York Times, Thrillist, and Food and Wine, allows Nkem and her team to audaciously insert themselves into the industry of fine dining in efforts to give black and female chefs a voice and an opportunity to tell their stories through their culinary creations.
Adá Supper Club specializes in corporate-catering events where hybrid teams are privileged to embark on a culinary journey of delicious three course meals handcrafted by expert chefs with the ambiance of fine dining. Adá Supper Club also provides virtual experiences so that you can bring fine dining into your own home. Customers can simply visit their website, Ada Super Club – a night in, choose their dinner date and meal type, wait for the deliverable to arrive at their address and follow instructions for set-up with a guided video. There are also opportunities where customers can learn more about the chef and the inspiration behind the meal they are indulging. This helps to create a true appreciation of the art as well as build trust and admiration for the chef.
The Inspiration Behind It All
Nkem admits that she has always had a passion for cooking and has been fascinated with the variety of combinations that can be formed from culinary expertise. For her, creating delicious dishes is a form of art. Just like painting and dancing, cooking is a form of expression. “Food is a connector, food is art, and art should be expressed,” Nkem told BAUCE in an interview. “That’s why I make it my mission to give a voice to the unheard, so that their art can be showcased.”
In addition to striving to showcase expression through culinary ventures, Nkem is also committed to giving a voice to the unheard. While she masterminds the decorative and managerial components of Adá Supper Club, she also intentionally hires black and female chefs to bring the culinary vision to life for each catering event. Nkem noticed that in the realm of fine dining, black female chefs are often left out of the equation. Adá Supper Club makes sure to showcase the skill and mastery for this forgotten demographic in the culinary realm by hiring them for her corporate catering and private dinner party projects. Since the company’s inception in 2020, talented female chefs such as Cybille St. Aude and Brittney “Chef Stikxz” Williams have been featured in Adá Supper Club meal experiences.
The pandemic that took a multitude of businesses under also impacted the catering industry. Instead of throwing in the towel, and closing her doors for good, Nkem was able to redirect her team and introduce them to the idea of virtual dinner parties. Customers are able to have food delivered right to their door and follow along with videos from the Adá Supper Club team on how to properly set up their dinner party with appropriate table placing, color coordinated decorations, and a step by step guide on how to properly prepare the food so that it tastes just as good as if the chef prepared it only seconds prior. Nkem admits that although the pandemic presented
its challenges, she is thankful that it allowed her to dive into entertaining for virtual dinner parties so that she is able to reach a wider clientele. To gain more customers, Nkem had to rely on outbound marketing and essentially pitching her company to get her business off the ground. This tactic can be taxing, but Nkem stresses that you shouldn’t let a sereis of “no’s” stop you. “If you keep reaching out with no response; keep it moving,” Nkem said. “Divine timing is the key. When God calls you to something, doors will start to open naturally. You don’t have to force what God called you to.”
The Message to You
So many young entrepreneurs believe the lie that they have to know everything about the industry they are in before taking that first step in their business. Nkem put it best when she told BAUCE Magazine: “As a business owner you don’t need to know everything about that industry. [Instead] find people who do know.” Nkem believes her path to success is built upon finding the right people to support her vision. She cultivated her team by simply reaching out to expert chefs in her area via Instagram and attending network events that her target audience would likely attend. After she was able to build rapport with expert chefs, Nkem then outsourced her clients cooking needs to reputable professional cooks in her network. “If you wait until you’ve researched every little thing, and contemplated every scenario where things can go wrong, you will look up 10 years later and still be square one,” Nkem said. Her key advice for women looking to launch a business is to find people who can fill in the gaps to your blind spots and go from there. “It’s okay not to have everything figured out in the beginning; just start!”