So I'm Making a Cooking Club at my University...
...and I'm wondering what sort of activities you guys might propose for such an organization? My ideas so far are:
*Occasionally just cook together, but with some commentary on why a recipe works/why it doesn't/how we could improve it
*Food-related trips into Chicago (though what we could do here, besides just go out for dinner, is beyond me; Taste of Chicago is only in July, isn't it?)
*"Good Eats" screenings? Chances are quite a few members will know very little about cooking, and Good Eats is pretty good for teaching stuff. I'm especially looking at the "technique" specials (i.e. knife-work). Maybe watch an episode and then make its recipes.
Keep in mind I'm not a great cook myself, but I do enjoy it and cook pretty often, so I'm not a complete idiot either.
it's possible that it was originally on the Chicago board and the mods moved it here...because though you listed one Chicago-centric idea, you also listed others that aren't, and the title of your post isn't specific to Chicago. i actually think it makes more sense to keep it here to get the bulk of your ideas, and if you need a few suggestions for local activities you can specify that separately on the Chicago board.
phew, okay, now onto the good stuff :)
- cookbook of the month - select a cookbook and choose recipes for each member to prepare - you can even set it up as a potluck (also check out the ongoing series on the Home Cooking board to see how CH does it)
- ingredient of the week - develop a list and assign them to members in advance. each week, someone presents a mini-lesson to the group with information about the ingredient - history, where it's grown or produced, what to look for/how to select the best when shopping, cuisines and recipes that use it...and maybe choose one recipe for the group to prepare using the ingredient.
- cuisine of the week - similar to ingredient, but focus on the cuisine of a specific geographic region
- technique of the week - again, same principle. you might even be able to get a group discount on skills classes at a local cooking school
- book discussions about the works of the great food writers (search the Food Media board for inspiration)
- store tours - contact the local ethnic & specialty markets to see if they do this. it's a great way to learn about new & unique items.