Choose how frequently your virtual cooking club will meet
Start off with monthly. A monthly session is reasonable given how different everyone’s schedule is. You can always take a quick poll in your group to see how frequently everyone’s available to meet. For small, more intimate cooking clubs, you could even create sessions weekly, or biweekly. And, of course, anytime your group requests an additional session for more cooking fun, go for it.
Select your virtual platform
Zoom is the most commonly used virtual meeting platform nowadays. But there are plenty of other platforms as well: Google Hangouts, Skype, etc. Choose a virtual meeting platform that everyone in your group feels comfortable using.
Choose your club members
Think about how small or how large you’d like your virtual cooking club to be. Next, will your virtual cooking club be for family members or a mixture of friends and family members? Or would you like a public cooking club where all are welcomed? Once you’ve selected your club members, you can send out your first invite.
This is where the fun begins. You can choose to cook a recipe from an online site (ahem…like Leite’s Culinaria!), a magazine, or a cookbook. Maybe someone has their own “secret recipe” or a dish that has been passed down and they’d like to share it with the group. You can always choose to freelance, in which certain foods are chosen and then each member creates his or her own dish based upon the ingredients. (Think a friendlier version of “Iron Chef.”)
Then there are themes: Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, “Food Network” Chopped Wednesdays, Vegetarian Thursdays, Pizza Fridays, Sheet Pan Saturdays, and Comfort Food Sundays, etc. You can also base your menu around upcoming holidays, events, and birthdays as well. The ideas are limitless! Once you’ve chosen a recipe/theme/idea for your session, send it out to club members.
Time to cook
This is where the spatula meets the pan. On cooking day, make sure members have read the recipes from start to finish and understand what the cooking theme/idea is for that session. (Trust us, everyone says they’ve read the instructions, but they really haven’t. David is notorious for throwing a hissy fit in the middle of a recipe because he didn’t read all the way through.)
Next, make sure everyone has all of the ingredients and cooking equipment needed to cook their dish. Then… ready, set, cook!
This might seem like a no-brainer, but enjoy all of the laughter and conversations during cooking. Take photos, do a little dance, show your food throughout the cooking process, and enjoy yourself. Consider recording the gathering and sending it to the folks who weren’t able make it.
Eat your hard work
Once everyone has finished cooking, it’s time to eat. Enjoy your delish dish and take this time to share and connect. Enjoy all of the memories being made.