Start a Cooking Club

Start a Cooking Club

Yours truly, making some mozzarella…

During yesterday’s #Attune Twitter chat*, in which I posed several questions about reading food labels, the conversation shifted from a spirited one about labels to an even more enthusiastic one about bringing back Home Economics classes and the sad fact that many people no longer know how to cook (Sandra Lee doesn’t count!).

At the end of the chat, Annelies asked a terrific question: How can you help just one person in your circle learn how to read labels or cook?

That got me thinking. How could I do that? I know from comments and emails I receive that I have a positive impact through my blog, but in my personal circle? How many friends have I actually helped learn to cook? (Granted, I’m not the world’s greatest cook, either, so I’m happy to learn from my friends and family, too!)

I then realized the best way to help someone learn how to cook is simply to cook with them. That’s how children learn from their parents,of course. I remember cooking in the kitchen with my mom (and with dad on the weekends for pancakes). I also learned a lot by cooking with my college roommate Jim (to this day, I remain grateful to him every time I dice an onion and manage not to cut myself).

So how can we get people cooking together? Sure, you can invite a friend over to cook dinner with you – that’s certainly a great start. But what if we take it further? There’s been a resurgence in “Book Clubs” in the past couple of years, right? Where everyone chooses a book to read that month, and then they get together to discuss it?

Well, how about Cooking Clubs?

Say you get together a group of six friends, and once or twice a month you all meet at someone’s house, taking turns of course, to get together and cook dinner. One person hosts. One person makes the appetizer. Two friends make the entrée. One person makes a (healthy!) dessert. And one person does the dishes.

Or get four friends together, and meet up one night each week, so each person hosts once a month. You get the idea.

I know I’m not the first person to come up with this idea. “Supper clubs” have existed for a while (and here are some good tips for those) but these days it seems it’s more likely that people are going to get together at a restaurant for dinner. Or people will cook their dishes at home and then bring them, like a potluck.

To be clear, I’m specifically not talking about a potluck where people show up with completed dishes. I’m talking about six people in the kitchen, making dinner together from start to finish. Sure, you might need a bigger kitchen, but do what you can. Set up a prep station in the living room if you have too! Get someone outside with the BBQ. Do whatever it takes to cook. Together.

I bet everyone will learn something. It’ll be a ton of fun, too.

What do you think? Could you find five other people interested in doing this with you? Why not email them right now and get your cooking club started?

* I’m a proud Brand Ambassador for Attune Foods. Part of the fun is our weekly twitter chat on Wednesdays at 9am Pacific, 12pm Eastern. We all follow the #attune hashtag, and discuss various food & health related topics. I hope you’ll join us next week!

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31 Comments on "Start a Cooking Club"

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Lana
Guest
3 years 7 months ago

That’s a great idea, Andrew! I have been thinking of that for some time. Supper clubs are a wonderful way to combine several things I love into one enjoyable evening:)
Happy New Year!

Jean Layton
Guest
3 years 7 months ago

Love, Love, Love this idea.
Once our local move gets finished with my pots and pans out of the boxes, I commit to getting a group together.
Might even do a teen age group for my girls friends. I’ve always been the mom with the mess anyway, happy to teach them the basics.
Bellingham, in their wisdom, actually removed the home ec classrooms from the high schools about 4 years back. There is literally no place to learn how to boil water for ramen or make a simple omelette.
So sad.

annelies
Guest
3 years 7 months ago

That is sad to hear they actually still had home ec classes and decided to remove them. Argh. If kids learn how to cook, then they will be adults who know how to cook. There are so so many adults who don’t know how and I hope your cooking club group works out. You are so skilled and have so much to teach! 🙂

Jayne
Guest
3 years 7 months ago

Great idea Andrew! Happy New year by the way!

Arthur in the Garden!
Guest
3 years 7 months ago

You are having to much fun!!

annelies
Guest
3 years 7 months ago

This is such a great idea Andrew. And fun. And a great way to see friends more regularly too. Huzzah!

jolene
Guest
jolene
3 years 7 months ago

Just don’t talk about cooking club.

Katie
Guest
Katie
3 years 7 months ago

I love this idea! I think it would be great for some of the Moms in my neighborhood! I loved my Home Ec class in middle school…I learned the “correct” way to wach dishes. I really wish I still had the book we made…had some great recipes

Katie
Guest
Katie
3 years 7 months ago

Oh…and how does one correctly chop and onion without cutting themself? I usually use a food chopper…

Dana
Guest
Dana
3 years 7 months ago

LOVE IT! As for “How many friends have I actually helped learn to cook?” – you can count me as one!! Some of my fondest memories of hanging out with you – including when we first met and you were prepping portobella mushrooms at an engagement party – are in the kitchen. Whether making cheese, dinners at home, Big Bear meals, camping, etc. Seems like we’re always cooking together and what I’ve learned from you is that healthy and delicious is very easy to do (even from scratch) and worth the time!

Jamie
Guest
Jamie
3 years 7 months ago

Ok!!! I just e-mailed a large list of people and gave them two upcoming dates to choose from. Yay! 🙂 I think it is a fabulous idea to learn from each other and just spend quality time with people you love!

Karen
Guest
Karen
3 years 7 months ago

I’m heading off to my cooking club tonight! There are 7 of us and the host plans the meal, buys the groceries (and wine!) and make the appetizer and the dessert. Everyone else jumps into the kitchen and rolls up their sleeves. We all pay the host $25. When we leave, we all get a copy of the recipes done up in a booklet – some people make it look very scrapbooky and lovely…whatever you want to do! VERY FUN and my confidence in the kitchen has soared!

Teresa
Guest
3 years 7 months ago

We have done this a few times and it is fun and exhausting at the same time. It’s fun to plan the meal together, too. We all learn something and some people do demos, too! It’s nice if people bring a copies of the recipe to share. Have fun.

sunny
Guest
sunny
3 years 7 months ago

We do it and we call it mommy day care.

The tradition started when I made tamales at Christmas and shared them with neighbors. It was not as much fun making them alone so I asked some friends over. Now we take turns and share cooking and recipes regularly. This month we are sharing our favorite soups!

LiztheChef
Guest
3 years 7 months ago

Fabulous idea!

Kristine Duncan
Member
3 years 7 months ago

This is fantastic idea! Graham Kerr had a cookbook out several years ago called The Gathering Place with a similar theme and it might serve as a good resource for menu ideas for a cooking club. The idea was to cook/eat with your friends, the recipes are healthy, and there are modifcations for vegetarian and meat options.

Ellen T
Guest
Ellen T
3 years 7 months ago

This is such a fun idea! I belong to a small book club (we call ourselves Book & Cook) and when we meet each month the host ususally themes the dinner to go with the book. I’d love to have a once a month cooking club that creates the meal together. I have several foodie friends who have taken technique classes that I’d like to learn from. I think I’ll put this idea out to my local friends on Face Book!

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