Everyday Food Blog

expert advice: how to start a supper club

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When I was writing an article about supper clubs for our September issue I called up Debi Shawcross, author of "Friends at the Table: The Ultimate Supper Club Cookbook" and, perhaps even more impressively, the founder of her own eight-year-old supper club with neighbors. "Because hosting duties are shared, a supper club is like the dinner party that keeps on giving," says Shawcross. Read on for her advice on starting your own supper club with staying power.

Choose the group. Six to 10 people is ideal because it's a group size that's lively but easy to coordinate. Ideally your number will be small enough to fit around your dinner table, but large enough that, if one person or couple can't come, it doesn't ruin the whole plan.

Create a calendar. Decide how often to meet as a troop. Shawcross' supper club meets every other month; you can dmeet more or less often depending on what your schedules allow, but decide early and lay out a calendar for the rest of the year.

Divide the duties. The host is usually in charge of picking a theme and making the main dish; other members bring sides and desserts that fit the bill. Shawcross points out that a good theme, such as seasonal foods, a particular holiday, or a type of cuisine, can turn a random array of items into a more focused menu. Or, try a theme centered around a current happening, like making a British supper the month of the Royal wedding.

Keep it going. Maintain your momentum by creating a Facebook page where members can share photos and comments, link to recipes, and create invites.

Comments (4)

  • avatar

    We had some members who were vegetarian while others were "carnivores" at our monthly Supper Club last Saturday. Our hostess' solution? "Thread your own kabobs," with a wonderful mango chutney/pepper sauce. It was a hit with everyone!

  • avatar

    Great way to stay connected with friends! I love the theme ideas suggested and the idea of making one dish for the group rather than the work of planning and making the whole meal. I'm already putting together a list of friends to give this a try!

  • avatar

    I am so happy to see this post and be able to reply. I purchased Debi's supper club cookbook "Friends at the Table" and am completely impressed. It is full of tips and ideas, laid out in such a thoughtful way, and beautifully photographed. The recipes themselves are amazing, yet relatively easy to make. They are even laid out by season. For anyone who loves to host the occasional dinner party - or who wishes to start a supper club - I highly recommend this book.

  • avatar

    I went out and bought this book after reading about supper clubs and it is wonderful! I started my own supper club last month with friends and we just finished our first one last weekend. What fun! I adapted a few recipes in the book and loved the different ideas.

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