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October 12, 2015

Gluten Free Gourmet Dinner Club

Post by Cinde Little

Gluten Free Gourmet Dinner Club
Gluten Free Gourmet Dinner Club -photo credit Jim Little

Do you have a gluten free Gourmet Dinner Club? Maybe it is time to start one.

Do you find the topic of food interesting? Are you intrigued by other cuisines? Do you enjoy cooking and sharing meals with friends? Want a change from the questions and concerns associated with restaurant dining? Then you should start a Gluten Free Gourmet Dinner Club.

To me Gourmet Dinner Club is the night when you go ‘all out’ for dinner. Creating a tablescape to suit the occasion, planning a multi-course menu and making that challenging recipe you have always wanted to try. It’s about searching for an unusual ingredient that you have never heard of. It’s about stretching your culinary skills, it’s about adventure. Most of all it’s about sharing good times with good friends…or perhaps making new friends.

The term ‘gourmet’ means different things to different people. To some it is intimidating…but it doesn’t need to be. You can set the table with newspaper and host an East Coast Lobster Fest or have a Fish and Chip tasting comparing gluten free batter recipes. You can have a fancy multi-course meal with wines paired to each course, or you can have a showy appetizer dinner in the kitchen with everyone sautéing and flambéing. The possibilities are endless.

Starting a Gourmet Dinner Club

So how do you start a gluten free Gourmet Dinner Club you ask? Find some like-minded people and set a date. You will undoubtedly revise and modify your GF Gourmet Dinner Club criteria as you go so there is no need to over plan.

Here are a few tips from my many years of Gourmet Dinner Club fun.

  • The host chooses the theme. Start with a country or a type of cuisine.
  • Maybe a menu inspired by a favourite chef or with a seasonal theme.
  • Consider planning a meal from a cookbook. One book and it’s done! Cookbooks are readily available to purchase and the library is full of them too (in case you didn’t know).
  • The host creates the menu, cooks the main course and provides the wine.
  • The host then distributes the list of the remaining courses (appetizer, vegetable & side dish, dessert) and lets others choose their recipe. Send out one email and the first to respond gets to choose the dish they want.
  • Don’t take it beyond fun. Store bought items may be acceptable…you get to make the rules.

COUPLES FORMAT for Gourmet Dinner Club

This naturally lends itself to a weekend event and can be as elaborate as you like. If four couples meet every other month you only host GF Gourmet Dinner Club once every eight months. This format makes the effort of planning the menu and setting the table manageable. Just do the parts that sound like fun, the parts that are worth the effort to you.

SINGLES FORMAT for Gourmet Dinner Club

Whether you are a part of a couple or not you may be the only one interested in this idea. No problem. If your current lifestyle lends itself to a weeknight evening dinner go for it. With the busy schedules we all have these days my long-standing Ladies Gourmet Dinner Club meets on a weeknight, but sometimes on a Friday. We take turns planning the menu and have a multi-course meal still following the guidelines listed above. We drink a little less, end a little early and we all absolutely love it! And some years…for a very special occasion…we might even invite our husbands.

Admittedly I am a foodie. Foodies have gourmet dinners for fun. Foodies talk about food, share photos of food, cook, follow food trends, pay enormous sums of money for specialty ingredients and search out hard to find ethnic foods. My Gourmet Dinner Club has a lot of stories including huge successes in the kitchen, hilarious food failures with a lot of laughs and good times.

For your gluten free Gourmet Dinner Club you set the rules and then you decide who gets voted off the island. I can’t wait to hear some of your stories and see some photos. Please share them below.

What if your friends aren’t interested? Use social media to find those like-minded people in your gluten free community. Locally you can chat at the:

Gluten Free Calgary website, on facebook or twitter @GFyyc
Calgary Celiac Association website, on facebook or twitter @CalgaryCeliac
Reply in the comments section below or tag me on twitter @LittleCinde
Whether you find yourself flambéing saganaki for Greek night, piping profiteroles for a fancy French dinner, rolling out homemade pasta for a taste of Italy or grinding curry paste from scratch for a tantalizing Thai curry…it is all about fun in the kitchen. I hope you will start your gluten free Gourmet Dinner Club soon and share your culinary adventures in the comments below.

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