Chefs' Club Blog

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Create Your Own Chefs’ Club!

Work in progress 🙂  Updating bit by bit…feel free to comment with other questions you have about starting up your own Chefs’ Club!

Where to begin:

1) Decide how many people you would like to have a part of your Chefs’ Club.  (This part can be tricky. We had a lot of friends that we thought would be interested.  We checked in with people and if they weren’t able to commit to a once/month meeting or if they just had too much on their plate or weren’t interested, we asked someone else.)

2) Decide what roles you would like to have each month.  Ours include:

  • Appetizer or Soup
  • Salad Course
  • The main dish
  • Side #1 (vegetable)
  • Side #2 (starch)
  • Dessert
  • Before or After Dinner Drink (we usually do before…by the end we are stuffed!  Plus it’s fun to have something while we are all preparing dinner together.
  • Wine
  • Kitchen Helper/Music (helps out wherever needed and brings the tunes for the evening!)

3) Decide how often you would like to meet. We meet one time per month.

4) Decide what is important to you.  For us, some our biggest goals were:

  • learning to cook new things
  • trying to use seasonal ingredients
  • researching and teaching one another about ingredients and technique in the kitchen
  • challenging ourselves to try new things and expanding our cooking repertoire
  • having a creative outlet
  • fellowship and fun – sharing life with friends in a meaningful and purposeful way

For us, we try to integrate ingredients we haven’t worked with, or change to a theme night to learn about a different culture or cuisine if we are ready to change it up.  You can change the ‘rules’, so to speak, to align with your goals!

5) Get creative.  You may want to read about the ‘history’ and ‘how it works’ sections of our site, but be creative!  How can this work for your life? Do many of your friends have children?  Enlist the men to watch the kids, or get a couple of sitters and bring them to one house.  Are there budgetary constraints? Put a monetary restriction on each course and let people find creative solutions to stay within the designated budget. Make it work for you and your lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1) How do you decide when to meet?

This can be difficult, as you can imagine!  We all have busy lives, but something that helps is that we all really love it, and therefore make it a priority each month.  Normally, we throw out a few dates at dinner the month (or two-months!) before.  If we agree on a date then, we are good to go!  We usually try to do Saturday evenings, although we have done Fridays and weekdays.  Saturdays work best for us (no rushing home after work and no need to wake up exceptionally early in the morning.)  Sometimes we throw out dates via email and the date that most or all can attend is the date we’ll meet.

2) How do you decide what the ingredients of the month will be?

This, too, we try to decide when we are all together at dinner the month before.  We have a few resources to try to look up seasonal ingredients and use that as a jumping off point.  We try to ensure they are ingredients that we are excited about, but also at least one ‘challenge’ ingredient to expand our horizons.  Often, we look at our 4 ‘special’ ingredients and think ‘oh no, those sound horrible together!’ — thankfully, it always turns out well, despite our initial thoughts!

3) How does it work with so many people in one kitchen?

This can be quite tricky, but as long as people are flexible, it’s not really a problem.  Sometimes we have to bring pots/pans with us if we want to be sure there is something available to cook in, but most of the time, each of us are making such different things that it’s not too much of a problem.  The timing of things in the oven and different temperatures can be something to work on, but often, with the staggering of the courses, it works out well.

4) Does everyone prepare their dish at home or together?

With the exception of dessert, everyone prepares their dishes together.  That way, we can help each other out and all be a part of the process.  Sometimes, if there is a lot of prep work, we may do some of that before we arrive, but the rest we prepare together. Even the “dessert” person usually does this, but sometimes she prefers to make it at home if it is very involved, otherwise she would be baking throughout the course of the dinner!

5) How long does the evening last?

We

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