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Gourmet Dinner Clubs

Organizing Your First Dinner Club

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Holiday Buffet
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Some groups call it their Gourmet Club; others name it a Dinner Club. Whatever these clubs are called, they're all about groups of friends who share a passion for food - both cooking it and eating it. They usually meet every 4-6 weeks and share a special meal.

Some groups use these clubs to be adventurous and experiment with new cuisines or gourmet ingredients, unlike the recipes you would find at a typical church potluck supper. Some are based on a theme, for example, apples to celebrate autumn or a beach party to welcome summer.

In some cases the group, in the home of one of the members, cooks the entire meal. Other clubs ask members to bring the dishes pre-cooked, which makes for a speedier evening. In that case the host is usually responsible for the main course. In some clubs the host of the month plans the meals, in others the group gets together to plan it. The typical size of these groups range from 8-12 members.

Here are tips for organizing and running your own Dinner Club:

  • Decide the overall club objective. Is it simply camaraderie? Are you looking for a gourmet experience?
  • Invite friends who share similar food interests and skill levels to join the club. You don't want novices to be intimidated by professional chefs in the group.
  • Determine a set schedule for the club in advance, such as the second Saturday of every month.
  • Decide how the menus will be planned and where the food will be cooked.
  • Establish how many courses will be served, and how they will rotate among members.
  • Discuss whether budget is a consideration, and if so, what it will be.
  • Agree on whether alcoholic beverages will be on the menu, and if yes, whether everyone will contribute alcohol to each meal or take turns.
  • Meet every six months to determine whether the group is happy with how things are proceeding and whether any changes need to be made.
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