Steph's Pick | Cooking Club

May 6, 2011

Some of you may remember me mentioning that at the beginning of the year a couple friends and I started the Scottsdale Cooking Club. (As if I need one more random thing to be organizing... but hey - that's what born-out-of-the-womb party planners do, right?!)

Well I'm pleased to report that things are going VERY well. I've even had a couple of you mention that you've either started your own cooking clubs already or are thinking about starting a cooking club in your area. Nealy & Liz - way to go girls!

Which is actually the reason for this post...

First of all, if you're wanting to start your own cooking club be sure to head over to my post - Scottsdale Moms Blog: How to Start a Cooking Club. This post highlights all of the things you'll need to consider in getting your own cooking club started (it's really easy ladies - don't be nervous).

Secondly, if you're not quite totally interested in started your own cooking club just yet... but are wanting to get your hands on some of the recipes that we share at the SCC ... SMB guest blogger, Mandi N, has given great updates on our first few meetings (a couple recipes/post included - woot woot!). Follow the below links for these updates:

And lastly, I wanted to share a couple things I've learned from starting a cooking club. Consider it "Steph's Do's and Don'ts of Starting a Cooking Club" :)

I always have to remind my perfectionist self that with every new thing there is a bit of a learning curve. I'll admit, there are a few things I would change about what we're doing now... which is why I wanted to share them with you all so you don't make the same mistakes too :)

  • Although we LOVE our group of 18 ladies I think we all have decided the ideal group size is 10-12 people. Simply b/c the amount of food to consume is manageable and in a group of 10-12 you are generally able to chat with everyone in attendance sometime throughout the evening. (there's nothing I hate more than leaving one of our meetings and feeling like I didn't even say hi to _____ and ______ ).
  • Keep serving sizes very small. You want everyone to be able to taste everything throughout the evening and it's just too hard on the tummy when the serving sizes are too large.
  • Encourage attendee's to think outside of the box and bring a full array of items. Like appetizers, main dishes, desserts and even drinks. We learned this the hard way. :) Our first meeting was "Husband's Favorite." Now ladies... it sounds like a GREAT idea to add a number of awesome recipes to your list of things to make your hubby... and in that regard it was. BUT... my tummy has never felt so terrible in my life as after this meeting. Why? Well...of course most everyone brought a main dish that contained anywhere from 1-2 lbs of MEAT (including me)! I love me some meat peeps but I literally felt like I had a 2 lb hamburger patty sitting in my belly when I left that evening. I couldn't even sleep that night because of what I now call my "SCC Hangover." All that to say, encourage participants to sign up to bring a number of different types of items. :)
  • Hostess Note: Be sure to have plenty of serving utensils. Now we've decided to alternate who will be hosting our group each month. You could have your group at one house every time.... it's really up to you. BUT one thing I have learned from participating in 3 months of a cooking club is that the hostess needs to have a number of serving utensils. I'm talking at least 1/dish.
  • Nametags. Although they aren't as necessary now, it was super helpful to have nametags for all in attendance during the first couple meetings. **When I get a chance I'll be sure to take a pic of our nametags and maybe even upload a downloadable file (if I'm feeling super ambitious)
  • Facebook Groups are AWESOME. Like I mentioned in my "How to Start a Cooking Club" post, it's important to find some sort of communication that works best for your group. In our case starting a SCC Facebook Group has been perfect. We use the event wall to RSVP and post what everyone will be bringing. I'd totally suggest using this feature on FB! Five Stars for sure *****!!!!
And that's it!

As always, feel free to comment below with any questions you may have.

Oh - and for those interested - here's a pic of our group at our first meeting...

Happy Cooking (clubbing)!!!


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