Join the Cooking Club!

June 20, 2008 10:36:28 AM PDT
Our area is filled with fabulous restaurants. But there's a growing trend among friends to stop eating out.Instead, they're staying in to cook with friends.

It is certainly easier to make a reservation for a group of friends and eat dinner at a restaurant. But people are finding that cooking together can save money and strengthen friendships in ways that a restaurant outing can't.

It's a weekly expedition for Susan Martin and Jon Paul Buchmeyer. A visit to the food share that sets up shop in Washington Heights, fresh, locally grown produce that will dictate what they'll eat tonight.

Once at Jon Paul's home -- it's prep time. Juan Pablo is head chef.

The menu comes together. Salmon is the main dish and dinner will be served in the garden.

"We're five, tonight," said Jon Paul Buchmeyer.

And this happens every week. It's a ritual.

"Yeah, we don't put a time frame," said Susan Martin. "We spend all this quality time together."

In fact, Bon Appetit magazine has just initiated a feature called the Bon Appetit Cooking Club. With ideas for cooking as a group from recipes to wine tips, they are making the community food experience a pleasant one.

"We call it Wednesday dinner," said Katey Riordian. "We've been doing it for four years now."

Katey Riordian and her friends gather in her small Greenwich Village kitchen. Garth Priber acts as head chef. But others shop for groceries and everyone shares the expenses.

Tonight it's pork, potatoes, gougers and good times.

From downtown to uptown, supper clubs like these are worth coming home to.

"It's a little different than being in a restaurant," said Jon Paul Buchmeyer.

It is a totally different experience than dining in a restaurant and on many levels it is so much more intimate and fun. If you're looking for cooking club ideas, check out Bon Appetit magazine for recipes and wine tips.

For more information, go to Bon Appetit Magazine