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Aug 15, 2007 09:27 AM

Foodie bookclubs?


I'm a reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times seeking book clubs with a heavy emphasis on food, maybe more so than the books. If your book club incorporates food into your night in a unique way, has been torn apart by food issues, has transitioned into a dining club from a book club or has in some other creative way combined books and food, please tell me all about it.

Kara Spak

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  1. Hi Kara,

    My Book Club in Washington, DC is very food centric. There are many times when people won't even finish or read the book but will show up to Book Club because we often times hold it at a bar or restaurant with excellent food and drinks. This past book club we held it at Proof which is the hottest new restaurant/wine bar in the area.

    We usually try to find great Happy Hour deals with food. Many of the ladies in the group are foodies and like to go out and enjoy all that the DC-dining scene has to offer. In the past we have even adjusted the monthly date that we meet to coincide with Restaurant Week and then we make a reservation for the whole group.

    And after reading Ruth Reichl's Garlic and Sapphire we all met at a friends house, where one of our non-book club friends and an aspiring chef cooked us a multi-course meal to celebrate our love for food.

    Not sure if this is what you are looking for but food has certainly played a major role in the Book Club. And I think its a large reason why many of us stick to the club despite busy schedules and moving around. It's the perfect change to have a girl's night out, enjoy some good wine and gourmet food and (sometimes) discuss a great book!

    If you want more details post your email and I'll write you back.

    1. Have you noticed that CH kind of has a bookclub thing going? We vote and cook from a specific book each month. Often report our successes and not so successful findings often accompanied by photographs. It is pretty broad in scope because we are a pretty international group. Not every member participates every month but I think it is an interesting concept, me in Bloomington, IN cooking from the same book say Carb Lover in Calif. is using or another user in Maine. Also sometimes there are geographic limitations on what we can get to cook with .

      If you will check out Andrea Nguyen's site and look at her blog and go to to her archives, check out Cooking Vietnamese in the Midwest. I got in touch with her because of a question about an ingredient in her new cookbook Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. She thought that Asian cookery was pretty much limited to the coasts and was surprised to find home cooks in the Mid-West were into it too. I sent her lots of pix of dishes from her book I had made and also from an Asian potluck supper from our dining group.