Mezz -- it looks like this is one time when we may have to separate the "pros" from the "amateurs." 'Coz from the poll choices, it looks like you're asking about the kind of group where people who love to cook and to eat get together just to do that, with progressive dinners and that sort of thing. Those are serious about what they do, but still very, very different from the professional organizations some of us belong to: ACF, US Pastry Alliance, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, International Association of Culinary Professionals, Roundtable for Foodservice Professionals, etc. etc. even American Institute for Wine and Food. These groups are more for networking and education, and not so much for casual fun (although conventions can be a blast! :beer: :talk: :beer: :talk: :chef: )
Like CC, some folks in the business definitely DO get together and cook just for fun. Not sure you'd call that a "club," though.
I kind of wish I could do that with some of my "civilian" friends -- but they're always saying they'd be scared to cook for/with me. :cry:
I seem to belong to this club my friends have formed.
It involves them putting together a menu,normally theme driven,
and involving many courses.Then I,m sent an e-mail saying I,m invited,and all I have to do is come up with the corresponding
recipes,buy the food,and cook.
The only benefit that I can see,I have no fees or dues to hand out
and the wine appears out of nowhere,and I'm exempt from cleaning up.I quess I feel privelidged to be a member,at least this is what my friends say.
Yes, Suzanne, I should have been clearer. I did not mean a professional organization like Chaine des Rotisseurs, etc. where professional networking might be one of the puposes. I guess I meant an informal circle of friends or acquaintances who share a love of food.
I was prompted to post this because of a new member's mention of being part of a cooking "club". Sorry I wasn't too precise.
Personally, I'd love to be part of a group in which the members cook for each other. Wanting to socialize with the particular individuals might be a big portion of what's to be gained from associating with the group, but a love of food and cooking would be the most important.
Me too, Mezz. It's just so great to COOK with and share the fun with other people. The closest I've ever come was when we hosted a seder and I sent everybody recipes from Joyce Goldstein's Cucina Ebraica. One of the best meals ever!
BTW, Kimmie, anyone who can make a really good tuna fish salad sandwich (you know, canned tuna, Hellman's mayo, etc) can make my mouth very happy. And I'll be a lot of home cooks are much more ambitious bakers than I am!
Suzanne, I promise you that if I ever come to NYC to visit, I will cook with you. I am not afraid (well not completely). In fact I volunteer to make you fideua. Simple country food. Just don't bring CC - now THAT is a scary man to cook for. . .
I never belonged to an official club, but when i lived in Barcelona I used to have long discussions about food and then we would buy and make it together with various friends. But it was never organised enough to be a club, although we did also have wine tastings (unfortunately we never spat the wine out) and olive oil tastings (which seemed to have just as much wine at them as the wine tastings). They were good fun.
My husband and I along with my sister and her husband belong to a dinner club. There's 12 of us total...we meet every other month at someone's home...the in-between months we try out a new restaurant. With all four of us being new in town we've really enjoyed this...made some great friends of fellow foodies and are having a great time discovering different restaurants in town..
Tomorrow is Incurable Epicurean summer fare...off shoot of Mo. Mycological Society. (wild shrooms) Usuallly quarterly meals always fun.
professionally, chef's collaborative, hang out with ACF, Friends of James Beard, St. Louis Culinary Society, Slow Foods....
Some of the best parties I've been too were cooking on a Farm from the garden....wine, beer, fresh foods!!!
And of course shroom meals.
I couldn't answer the poll, because I was asked to be a part of a culinary club today but haven't been yet. It's an extension program, from one of the state universities, and a lot of ladies I work with are involved. They focus on community service and cooking, and go on trips to eat too. =)