Cooking from cookbooks
Part book group, part diner party, these fun get-togethers will keep you motivated. Here's how to launch your own and do it up right
ON TUESDAY NIGHTS, a group gathers at Read It & Eat, a culinary bookstore in Chicago. Each person brings a dish she has made from a specific cookbook, forming a complete dinner party during which everyone feasts and discusses the food. “These dinners bring people together and encourage them to try recipes they might never have attempted,” says Esther Dairiam, the shop’s owner. Now, you may not live in Chicago, but you can be inspired to start your own cookbook club. Round up friends and acquaintances, figure out logistics (will you rotate hosts?), and pick your first book. These tips will make your club extra dynamic.
Make sure your group has chemistry.
Six to 12 people is ideal, Dairiam says. Any fewer, and you’ll lack variety; any more, and it will be difficult to have a cohesive discussion. Invite people with similar food preferences. This is one place where vegans and Paleos won’t mesh.
Consider your cookbook list.
Pick a theme—say, diving deep into Indian or Thai food—or visit a new cuisine at each meeting. In any case, go for books that are slightly out of your comfort zone but not too complicated. Read on for cookbook ideas and recipes from
some of our favourites.
Bring the meal to life.
Create a shared sign-up sheet in Google Docs for dish contributions. The right mix will evolve when people see what others are making. →
Grilled Salmon With Blueberry Szechuan Chili Sauce Scarlet Turnip Galettes Mango-Apple “Ceviche” With Sunflower Seeds