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How To: Start Your Own Gourmet Club

Ah, Gourmet Club! Amazing themed nights with food and drink to the extreme. This particular picture is of delicious pizza toppings including, sautéed onions and peppers, barbequed chicken, sliced meatballs, and ham and pineapple, just to name a few. My husband Dan and I hosted the “Food Court Night.” We dressed like various mall employees (Rindy and James in black and white stripes for Foot Locker, Eddie and Sabrina in Olive Garden aprons, and Amy and Jerry looking quite “Gap-ish” ) and ate food such as make your own California Pizza Kitchen Pizza, Joe’s Crab Shack cocktails, and Olive Garden Salad. All recipes found at We have been doing this for four years and have done various themes such as: Sock Hop, a Hawaiian Luau, a Murder Mystery, Red Neck Night, Kentucky Derby, Low Country Crab Boil, and the list goes on. Here is how to start your own.

  1. Get with a fellow foodie and choose who and how many people you want in your club. Eight is a good number. Always best to choose other food enthusiasts with adventurous palates.
  2. Decide when and how many times a year you plan to meet, with each host rotating through the dates. Commit to these dates and plan ahead with your babysitters if needed.
  3. Two weeks prior to the event the host will send out the “Top Secret” file. This file contains the revealed theme, what each quest is to cook including recipes, and expected attire. Keeping it all secret lends to great anticipation among the gourmands.
  4. Create a scrapbook or binder to include recipes, tips, thank you notes, wine lists, and pictures from each event.
  5. At each place setting supply a “question”, this gets the conversation going and always adds to laughs and memories. Ex. If you could do anything successfully, what would you do? Who would play you in a movie? What was your first job? Describe your first kiss?
  6. Be sure to have each quest bring storage containers to share the leftovers– if any!