When I lived in Texas, one of my friends started a cookbook club.
It was so fun!
If you’re looking for a way to get together with friends more often this coming year, a cookbook club could be just the way to do it.
how a cookbook club works
If a cookbook club is new to you, the idea is that – like a traditional book club – every month you get together as a group. But instead of talking about a book you’ve all read, you all make a recipe (or multiple recipes) from a cookbook and you get to try them all together.
If you love to cook or bake and love sharing food with friends, you can’t go wrong!
There are multiple ways you can organize your cookbook club – like a book club, there’s no RIGHT way to do a cookbook club. Make it work for your group!
Here are a few ways to organize a cookbook club:
- Each month, the host picks a cookbook and everyone . Then everyone chooses a recipe they want to make from that cookbook. You can go completely random or you can have a limit of the number of recipes from each section of the cookbook so you get a good representation of the types of recipes – say, two appetizers, a main dish, a salad, two desserts, and a drink.
- Pick a cookbook and do it for multiple months or even a year. If you want to make EVERY recipe (or most recipes) from a certain cookbook, this is a fun way to do it and it makes it easier for people to buy a cookbook that they’ll know they’ll be using for months instead of just for one month. And how fun is it to have a cookbook where you’ve tried virtually every recipe in it?
- Pick a food blog and everyone makes a recipe from it. The cooking club I belonged to was this kind – each month the host would choose a food blog and we’d each share which recipe we were planning to make from it.
- Choose a food theme. One of the hosts of our cooking club did this one month and it was really fun! You can choose an ingredient (lemon or chocolate or artichoke or spinach or whatever speaks to you) and everyone comes with a recipe and dish that includes that ingredient. Or it can be a more general theme like desserts or a specific kind of food like smoothies or brownies.
Basically, the sky is the limit with how you want to set it up (and you don’t have to stick to the same setup forever!).
A few tips for a successful cookbook club
- Set the expectations up front. I’ve talked about this in my post about how to start a great book club, but the most important thing is that everyone is on the same page. If you expect everyone to take a turn hosting, make sure that’s clearly communicated. If you’re willing to host every time and everyone else just brings the food, make that clear.
- Choose hosts and cookbooks or blogs for the whole year. I always think it’s easiest for a book club or cooking club if the whole year is laid out in advance – then everyone is on the same page from the beginning.
- If you’re cooking from one cookbook, it can be helpful to bring it along for the following month and let everyone flip through and pick their recipes right then, especially if not everyone is going to have a copy of their own. Or have them send out an email where everyone can indicate what they’re making so no one is scrambling at the last minute.
- Think about the details in advance. Because there is food involved, there is some extra level of detail that a book club doesn’t necessarily have. Are you going to sit down to eat? Will it be buffet style? Will you use disposable dishes (and if so, who provides them)? Does everyone help with cleanup afterward or is that on the hostess? Does everyone bring serving utensils with their dish or does the hostess provide those? You don’t have to go wild, but thinking through a few of those logistics beforehand makes it less stressful for everyone, especially the hostess. And, of course, you’ll get better as you go at knowing the right things to think about – don’t let it keep you from starting at all!
Have you every belonged to a cookbook club? Or would you be interested in one? I’d love to hear how it worked!
if you liked this post about how to start a Cookbook club, you might also like these other posts:
- My 8 favorite cookbooks
- The best cookbooks for kids
- 10 of my favorite meals for large groups
- The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Photos by Heather Mildenstein