Cooking Club: Great Ideas and Delicious Recipes for Fabulous Get-Togethers by Dina Guillen, Michelle Lowrey
One of the hottest trends to sweep the country in the past decade is the growth of supper clubs and other forms of cooking groups. The combination of socializing while cooking together or eating dishes made prior to meeting up has become a much-loved pastime for participants in thousands of clubs around the country. This book is a fantastic resource to starting one's own club, and for generating theme nights for club meetings. Also included are profiles of 12 different clubs from around the country, including a vegan potluck, a wine pairing group, an adventurous eating club (think Fear Factor-style dishes), and a group who uses their meetings to raise money for local charities. Following the Introduction, "Guidelines to Starting and Maintaining a Successful Cooking Club" contains such information as how to recruit members; determining who performs what roles for club meetings (Does the host prepare all the dishes? Does everyone cook together in one kitchen? Do members cook from home and bring dishes to the club?); how often a group should meet (Once a month? Every other month?); and how to determine budgets for each meal. Twelve themed menus, from comfort food to grilling to Italian night, are presented throughout, each menu containing eight courses, all of which can be prepared early and can easily be transported to a designated meeting place. Together these menus constitute a full year's worth of monthly ideas safe for any cooking club. Accompanying each menu are tips to decorate and ways to make each evening's theme stand out. The book is written by Dina Guillen and Michelle Lowrey (The Plank Grilling Cookbook), two members of the 8-year-old, Sacramento-based Kitchen Table Cooking Club, which has been featured in Cooking Light magazine.