So, some friends and we have started a dinner club. We have done some research on how to do it “right” and have discovered, thankfully, that there is no “right” way! So, we’ll tell you what we are doing and give you some links to other resources. We definitely think you should do it. It’s so much fun!
Ours started with four couples — most online resources say between six and 10 people is the ideal number, so we are good there. Because we all are so crazy busy, we decided just to do it quarterly. This is an anomaly. Most dinner clubs apparently meet monthly or even more often.
We also are going to be the kind of dinner club that actually cooks the meal at the dinner location. Some bring already prepared dishes, but, to us, that seemed more like a potluck than a dinner club.
Anyway, follow here and we’ll show you what we did and give you some links to see what others do.
Our members: Joey and Janet Testerman Creswell, Jacque and Cliff Hawks, Dino Cartwright and Mitchell Moseley, and Alan Carmichael and me.
Alan and I volunteered to host the group in our new condo in the J.C. Penney Building on Gay Street. We haven’t moved into it yet, but it is mostly furnished. We have had several events there — political fundraisers, a baby shower, etc., — so we call it our “event center!”
Jacque volunteered to use her Farmers’ Market haul to make corn and lobster soup and homemade peach ice cream! Who could resist an offer like that?
As hosts, Alan and I were in charge of appetizers. (Since we obviously would be the first to arrive!) I have a favorite appetizer called “Shrimp in Puff Pastry.” But, I call it “Pain in the Ass Shrimp” because, well, you get the idea!
That bottle contains some of our favorite olive oil that you can buy only at The Market on Gay Street downtown. You pay full price for your first bottle (about $14) and then, subsequently, you refill the bottle from a big keg and it only costs about $11 for each refill. The oil, from Greece, is a rich green color and very flavorful.
“Pain in the Ass Shrimp” are a pain, not because they are difficult to prepare, but because there are so many steps. First you crisp up some bacon and combine it with Boursin cheese. Then you clean, de-vein and butterfly the shrimp and stuff them with the bacon-cheese mixture. Then you cut puff pastry into thin strips and wrap a strip around each shrimp. It’s time-consuming, but not difficult.
Cliff volunteered to pair the wines with the food. Corn — which, of course, was the main ingredient in the corn and lobster soup — is notoriously difficult with which to pair wine.
So, here are some other takes on dinner clubs.
Southern Living has five tips: https://www.southernliving.com/entertaining/supper-club
Cooking Light shares ideas: https://www.cookinglight.com/entertaining/supper-clubs/how-to-start-your-own-club
We don’t agree with most of the “rules” in this article. The host does all the cooking. (No!) Children are allowed. (Definitely not!) No cellphones allowed at the table. (Are you kidding me?) They meet every other week. (Don’t these people have a life?) But, you can read it, if you like: http://theweek.com/articles/750874/supper-clubs-are-great-heres-how-start
This blogger has a lot of suggestions and “rules.” See what you think: https://pinchofyum.com/dinner-club
Are you in a dinner club? Any ideas to share?
Fun!!! I have wanted to do something like this for a long time. I think we talked about this years ago & never got around to making it happen. I love to cook, but it’s so much more fun to cook with & for other people.
I would love to do this type of club. My parents were in one for 35 years. Looks great
Gay and Monique: Do it! You’ve already got the first four people!
How can you be sure every course at a dinner is delicious? Invite some very talented friends who know their way around a kitchen to join a supper club, and you will have great food AND great conversation.
Alan: You are SO right!
I belonged to a dinner club much like this when I lived in NY. It was a great way to enjoy great times with people over wonderful food. We each hosted and the host cooked, but I really like this idea of sharing the cooking and still having a lovely sit-down dinner, instead of the dreaded pot-luck. Inspiring!
Hey, Mardel: I really like the shared experience. Reduces pressure on the host. And just makes for a more participatory experience. Getting ready for the next one!
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