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Supper Club - Not Your Everyday Food Group PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terrah Kocher   
Sunday, 07 August 2011 23:36

Supper Club - Not Your Everyday Food Group
Read on to hear about how bacon porn and Catch Phrase have created a community of foodies and lasting friendships. Plus: tips on how to start your own supper club.

 

080811FOODb.jpgWith a city made up of thousands upon thousands of groups, clubs and organizations – 7,748 non-profits alone – finding a community to take part in isn't the problem. On the flipside, too many options, paired with expensive dues and time constraints, can make it challenging to connect with people on a personal level, which is why I feel blessed to be part of a little group called supper club. Members from all walks of life gather together, bonded by love for great food, new friendships and a crazy game, called Catch Phrase.

 

My invitation to join supper club arrived in the midst of a networking lunch with girlfriend and style blogger, Stephanie Moore. It was the beginning of a journey in food and friendship for my husband and I that continues today.

 

Supper club is a dues-free, monthly gathering of people from various backgrounds. There are few rules, many new faces and the opportunity to sample unique foods and secret family recipes in the comfort of a home - though not necessarily your own.

 

Looking back, it's amazing to see how food has forged a community of unlikely alliances. Take our club founders for example - Mia Lastra and Stephanie Moore, both transplants to Cincinnati, who founded the group in 2010 as a way to make new friends.

 

"Being self-proclaimed foodies, Steph and I often found ourselves talking about new recipes and dining experiences. In the course of these conversations, inevitably one of us would say, 'Oh, I should introduce you to my friend, so-and-so,' or 'Have you met this couple?' So, we thought it would be fun to organize a group of other foodie friends on a monthly basis for what we called supper club to share in food, fellowship and expanding culinary horizons," says Lastra.

 

And that's just what they did. In the beginning, there were only 10 people, but that number continues to grow. "Today we have 40 people on our list, but typically between 15 to 20 people show up, which is an ideal number for a more intimate gathering," says Moore.

 

080811FOODc.jpgTo become a member of an organization like supper club, you just have to meet a few criteria. You should:
1. Like food
2. Enjoy meeting new people
3. Bring a dish to share

 

If cooking isn't your thing, it's not out of the question to pick food up from a restaurant or grocery store. It's the effort that counts, and a large part of the experience is trying to create new recipes at home.

 

Supper club gatherings don't necessarily have to be hosted in the home, either. If your space is barely big enough for two people, a restaurant serves as a fine meeting place. "Supper club sounds much more official and fancy than it truly is; really, it's just an evening with great friends, great food and lots of fun," says Moore.

 

People might come for the food, but really it's group games like Catch Phrase (played men versus women) that keep the party going long after dessert is served.

 

"We pulled out Catch Phrase during the first supper club gathering; since then, it's become a monthly tradition, where everyone looks forward to the ongoing battle of the sexes," says Lastra.

 

Our founders provide simple steps on how to start your own supper club, including tips for successful gatherings and some of their favorite club moments.

 

080811FOODd.jpgGetting Started:
Gather a group of about 10 people and select hosts for each month of the year. The host is responsible for coming up with a theme and providing the main course. Themes for our group have included "Comfort Food," a Louisiana-themed "Low Country Boil," and "Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)," an experience in authentic Mexican cuisine, among others. Read the blog post, Supper Club - Throwdown with Bobby Flay.

 

One couple, Katie and Jason Main, hosted a food and wine pairing at their home, inviting a sommelier from Cork 'N Bottle to present a series of French wines. Meanwhile, guests brought French-inspired cuisines, such as beef bourguignon, Tomates a la Provencal and French cheese. Read about the wines here in my blog.

 

But go ahead - come up with some of your own ideas, and get creative!

 

General Rules – The Hosts:
The host can send out a Pingg.com e-card to everyone on the list - this can also be done via Evite.com, Facebook or similar online RSVP tools. In the invitations, theme and details, such as recommended foods and directions should be included.

 

Fear not, though - the point of supper club is not to put a lot of work on the hosts, Moore says. "One of our favorite requirements is the 'paper plate rule,' where disposable plates and plastic ware are encouraged. This allows the host to spend more time with guests and less time at the sink," says Moore.

 

General Rules – The Guests:
Guests are to bring a "supporting cast member" - a side dish, appetizer or dessert - and a beverage of their choice. Note: It is important to have your guests indicate what they will be bringing so there isn't duplication. Everyone introduces the dish he or she brought, some interesting facts about the ingredients or the cooking experience. Then, it's time to dig in!

 

Today, I can call many members of the group my friends. We attend each other's birthday parties and baby showers; the men golf together. We help each other network into new career opportunities and share relationship and parenting advice, too. Essentially, we do all the things that make up a strong community.

 

My hope is that you will be inspired to reach outside of your current circle of friends and culinary comforts to form your own supper club community. Bon Appétit!

 

For more images from our supper club, check out my food and wine blog, Corkstories.

Terrah Kocher -

Terrah Kocher is the food and wine columnist for Cincy Chic and owner of TK PR & Marketing in Cincinnati, specializing in online marketing for small businesses, non-profits and gourmet food and wine stores.  Contact her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 August 2011 07:01
 

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