Cooking clubs are a popular social gathering many culinary enthusiasts participate in on a regular basis. Members often plan a set menu in advance using agreed upon recipes from a cooking magazine or cookbook. From there, each participant brings their prepared dishes to share with each other on a set date and time. It is a great way for members to eat through a cookbook or to enjoy a fun filled day eating good homemade food with friends.
With school out (or almost out) for summer, organizing a kids cooking club is a great way to get your child excited about cooking, exploring their creativity, and staying in touch with friends throughout the summer.
Here are some simple tips to organize your kids cooking club:
1. Invite friends – Cooking clubs should have at least one other member but not more than is manageable for participating parents. The club may start small and then parents and their children can agree on how many members would be ideal.
2. Decide on a theme – Much of the joy of cooking comes from deciding what you want to eat. As a group, ask each child what types of dishes they enjoy eating or if they have a particular interest in learning how to cook certain types of ethnic foods. Dishes should be something that peaks their curiosity or interest. Keep in mind themes should be age and skill appropriate.
3. Logistics – Where will your club meet? How often? Decide in advance if your club will be rotating locations at different members’ homes or meet in the same location every time. For a summer cooking club, schedule in advance which days you want to meet keeping in mind many families will be vacationing throughout the summer.
4. What to cook? – Recipes should be decided and agreed upon by the group. For instance, if your club decides to do a cookie club, make sure members aren’t duplicating different variations of the same cookie. One idea would be to write down different types of cookies and allow each member to choose which one they want to make. Cooking from a cookbook? Decide in advance which recipes your group will cook from making allowances to adapt recipes for health reasons such as nut allergies or celiac disease.
5. What to bring to each meeting – The host of each meeting should provide plates, napkins, eating utensils, and beverages. Members should bring their chosen/assigned dish as well as enough copies of their recipe to share with each member.
6. Have fun – Club meetings should be about eating good food and having a great time with friends.