Move over book clubs, cookbook clubs are having their moment

By Katy Thornton

May 23, 2023 at 1:11pm

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For anyone who has failed to finish a book for bookclub.

While the idea of a book club always sounds like a lovely and quaint way of spending time with friends, they're quite simply just not for everyone. Most people enjoy the social element of the evening more than discussing character development, looking for an opportunity to catch up with pals as opposed to discussing the reoccurring themes in the work of Stephen King or Taylor Jenkins Reid.

That's why a Cookbook Club may be a bit of you instead. If your favourite part of your monthly bookclub meetings are the refreshments, then why not make that the prime focus of the evening?

The trend has taken off on, you guessed it, TikTok, and we're kind of obsessed with the concept.

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Video via TikTok / alana lav

How to throw your own Cookbook Club

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So, how does a Cookbook Club work, you may ask? The concept is simple. Once you’ve agreed on a cookbook, each person in your club will make a dish of their choice from the book, and bring it to the next meeting. Instead of poring over metaphors and plot devices, you'll get to judge the cookbook based on the dishes you create.

Hannah Duxbury of Hello Fresh shares her top tips for hosting your own cookbook club.

  1. Four to six attendees is the perfect number of members for a low stress Cookbook Club. This means you’ll really get to sample a good selection of recipes without having to cater for a huge group.

  2. Create a shortlist of cookbook titles, ideally focusing on different cuisines, that you want to get started with. Once you’ve done this, set up a group message to choose which cookbook you want to start with, and ensure everyone will be able to use it long-term (or that it has recipes that fits everyone's dietary requirements).

  3. Hannah recommends planning a club meeting on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, depending on people’s schedules and availability. Ensure your schedule works for everybody.

  4. Ahead of meeting, make sure everyone has picked a different dish to avoid doubling up. If you have a lot of members, adjust the portion sizes to avoid food waste.

  5. For the finishing touches, why not create a themed playlist in line with the cookbook for the perfect soundtrack to your evening. Depending on how far you want to go you could even theme your table scape so it matches the book's aesthetic.

We've got a few good cookbooks to get you started if this sounds like a bit of you.

  • Hot Fat - Russell Alford & Patrick Hanlon
  • TAPAS - Vanessa Murphy & Anna Cabrera
  • Bored of Lunch - Nathan Anthony
  • Bake - The Cupcake Bloke
  • Taste - Stanley Tucci
  • And for mains - Gaz Smith & Rick Higgins
  • The Currabinny Cookbook - William Murray & James Kavanagh
  • No Fuss Vegan - Roz Purcell
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Header image via Instagram / Blasta Books & Unsplash

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