How to Start a Cookbook Club: Fabulous Cooking Club Tips for 2023

Cookbook Club: Cooking club for 2023

Having a cookbook club is like having a dinner party every month with some of your closest friends. While there are many ways to start a cooking club, we wanted to provide you with the easiest way to get started.

*Cooking Club Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

How to Start a Cookbook Club

1. Decide What Kind of Book Club You Want to Start

The first thing you need to decide when starting a cooking club is if you want everyone to bring a dish that has already been prepared or if it’s a cooking club where you all make the dishes together.

Both of these are great options but, you should keep in mind a few things if you are choosing the second option. You will need a space big enough for your entire group to cook and participate. You will also need to figure out how to divide the shopping and expenses. These are all logistics that you should arrange ahead of time.

You can also decide what kind of food you are interested in cooking different kinds of food. Will you be cooking middle eastern food, comfort food, or vegetarian food? Will you be baking in your cooking club? Will you be having drinks to go with the meals?

2. Figure Out Who You Want to Invite to Your Cookbook Club

When you are considering starting a cookbook club, the next step in the process should be deciding who to invite.

Tips to find members to join your book club

  1. Decide how many people you want in your book club
  2. Decide if you want friends/family only or if you want to include people you don’t know (eg. friends of friends/ acquaintances)

Cooking and eating are often intimate experiences. Eating in front of new people can be intimidating. Emotions can get high if food burns or doesn’t turn out great.

For this reason, you will want to choose people who are friends and will vibe well together. For example, if you have a friend who is a vegetarian and another who only eats meat, perhaps they may not be the best choices for your cooking club. You may want to only include close friends for this reason.

On the other hand, you may want to use your cooking club as an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. The choice it completely up to you.

We recommend choosing 5-6 people for your book club. This is the perfect amount to make a main dish, sides, and desserts; or work together in pairs to make a main and a few sides together.

3. Decide Where & When To Meet

The third step for starting a cooking club is deciding the important logistics of where and when you will meet. Unlike a traditional book club that requires time in the month leading up to your meeting to read the book, in a cooking club, you will need time on the day of or the day before to make your dish.

Tips for deciding where and when to meet:

  • Decide who will host the first meeting
  • Decide if it is the same location or rotating each meeting
  • Decide how often you want to meet

First, you will need to decide who will host the first meeting. After that, you will need to decide if you are hosting at the same location or rotating with each cookbook club meeting.

Keep in mind that if you are all cooking together, you will need to have enough space for everyone to cook. If you are cooking at home and bringing a dish, you can decide who will host months in advance or each month at the end of the meeting, choose the next person to host.

Make sure you all decide how often you want to commit to your cookbook club.

4. Establishing Guidelines: What are the Cookbook Club Rules?

Cooking Club Guidelines:

  1. The host will choose the cookbook. Decide if they will choose the menu items as well.
  2. Everyone must contribute food and/or wine.
  3. Everyone must help with cleanup.

You have a few options for starting a cooking club. The easiest way to start is to allow the host to choose the cookbook. After you have made that choice, there are two ways to go. You can have the host choose the entire menu or the host chooses the cookbook and others pick their own recipes to contribute.

It is important to coordinate who is making what so there isn’t a main dish and three potato dishes. You will want a selection of sides and desserts.

You will also want to consider if you need to provide vegetarian recipes, vegan recipes, or recipes that take into account other dietary considerations such as allergies or religion.

Everyone has to clean up. You can decide amongst yourselves if people should have different roles. For example, if you have a friend who cannot cook or does not have the time to cook, they may want to bring wine and be the main cleanup person.

Keep communication open and clear so that every member of your cooking club feels like they can contribute.

Our Favorite Cookbooks for a Cookbook Club

There are many ways to get books for your cookbook club. While the host may want to share her cookbook, you may end up loving the recipes and you want a copy of the books yourself.

  • Kindle: Most books are available on Kindle. This is a light and portable way to read books
  • Bookshop.org: If you want to purchase a physical book, consider supporting independent bookstores with Bookshop.org

What is a cookbook club?

A cookbook club is a chance for people to get together for a family-style meal. Your club will choose recipes from the same cookbook and make a dish for everyone in the club to share.
Usually, the host will make the main dish and the other group members will make the sides and desserts.

How does a cookbook club work?

There are four easy steps to creating a cookbook club:
1. Decide what kind of book club you want to start
2. Figure out who you want to invite
3. Decide where and when you want to meet
4. Create Guidelines/ rules for the book club

After you pick a cookbook and the host, organizing a cookbook club is easy. Everyone makes a dish from the same cookbook and you and your cooking club can get together to enjoy a family-style meal.

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