Gourmet Club • Dinner Club • Supper Club
Call it whatever you want, but a gathering of the same group of friends together is nothing short of an evening filled with good food and conversation. My supper club is 17 years strong and these gatherings are some of our favorite social events all year.
My friends Jonathan and Peggy joined me for cocktails to discuss starting some type of dinner group. We liked the name “Supper Club” and felt it was inviting and could be as casual or formal as the host wanted. We decided that 12 would be a good number so we each invited one other couple to the group. It was the perfect mix of people.
Supper Club Guidelines
Our supper club had three simple guidelines that we all follow:
- We would meet for dinner approximately every other month
- Whoever was hosting that month would be responsible for the whole meal
- It had to be a home cooked meal, no take out food
Supper Club Inspiration
Our very first supper club was at our friends Peggy and Donald’s home. They had recently traveled to Russia so they did a Russian themed dinner.
Our most recent Supper Club was at our friends Marti & Domenic’s home on Valentine’s Day. The table was beautifully set in shades of pink and red. Marti always sets the table with place cards and she prefers that we don’t sit next to our spouse (or date). At dessert time, we turn over the place card and switch seats again. The great thing about this is that by the end of the evening, we have had a chance to engage in great conversation with everyone.
Marti also added a fun twist to the Valentine theme. She had us take turns telling the group how we met our spouse (or date). After each person spoke, their partner had a chance for a rebuttal. It was fun to hear how the couples met and we learned something new about each one.
Over the years we have had such a wonderful variety of entertainment, delicious food and camaraderie.
Jonathan hosted a Meatloaf and Martini party. He served three different flavors of meatloaf and a variety of martinis to choose from.
Our friend Jeannie hired someone to give us Salsa Dancing Lessons on her deck
I hosted an Arabian Nights dinner party with my Lebanese family recipes and treated the group to a belly dancer after dinner. I couldn’t have pulled that evening off without my supper club guest, my dear mom. Nothing like making your guest work for food!
Other get togethers were casual including fourth of July barbecues, Italian night and Sunday brunches.
Only the original three friends knew each other at the beginning and they are still members. Through the years, other members came and went. New friends replaced them. Today, having the chance to visit our friends at Supper Club is just as important as the meal that we will be sharing.
Since we only host a dinner at our home once a year for the group, I have quite a bit of time to think of a new theme or menu. My husband and I have always wanted to host a Seafood Boil and wanted to serve it outside on our lower deck. It’s not an easy thing to plan as you must have the perfect time of year where it’s not too hot or cold outside AND no mosquitos! We were lucky to have found the ideal day last September.
We used folding tables to accommodate all 14 guests and I used lots of candles for lighting once darkness set in. It was a magical night!
Supper clubs can be whatever you want them to be! My friend Jane had a supper club consisting of a variety of girlfriends from different areas of her life. My sister-in-law joined a supper club in Los Angeles that she saw advertised online through Cooking Light Magazine. Her club always has a theme such as an ethnic potluck or a vegan meal and each member brings a dish.
You can assign recipes to your guests or have them bring a dish of their choosing in a certain category. Cookinglight.com is a great resource for Supper Clubs. You can search for groups to join in your area on their website. I have also heard that meetup.com is another place to look for a group to join if you are new to town and would like to join some type of dinner club.
Young or old, city life or suburban life, Supper Clubs are a great way to socialize in the intimate setting of a home instead of a restaurant. They can be done on a budget or you can make it as fancy as you would like. It can be homemade pizza or as formal as a five-course meal.
Our friend Jonathan owns a catering company and we are blessed to be able hire a server for the evening to help with serving and clean up. It’s a splurge but well worth it as our group has grown to 14 people. It allows us more time to enjoy our guests.
Gather some friends together that you think may want to start a supper club. Decide what type of club you want, how often you want to get together and how many people can fit comfortably in your homes. If you would like to be in a club but don’t have friends that like to cook, check out the websites mentioned above for a club in your area.
Supper Club App
I found this Supper Club app that is in the development stages but I will keep an eye on it for when it goes live early this year. It sounds like you may be able to connect with others in your area to form a club as well as share recipes, etc.
Dining Out Supper Club
If you and your friends prefer not to cook, you can start a Dining Out Supper Club. Friends can take turns organizing the event.
I would love to hear your Supper Club stories. Please share in the comments below. Thanks for visiting.