Once a month, I get together with some of the most fun, creative ladies in town. We eat, laugh, dance, and share during one of my favorite evenings: Ladies Supper Club. Each month we’re at a different gal’s house, bringing a different course according to the host’s theme. It’s a chance to be daring, try crazy recipes—hoping for an amazing dish but laughing if it flops.
Since I’m sure I’ll be posting more of the recipes I make for Supper Club (like my Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova), I wanted to share more about it. I also want to give some tips on how to start your own!
Two years ago, I had ran into some friends at a local café. They introduced me to Sunshine, who had recently moved to our town. In talking about Chicago (where she had moved from), she told us some hilarious stories about her Supper Club there. As we chatted, the idea came up—why not start our own Supper Club? We started making plans, and decided on June 13th for our first one. Other than a few busy months during the holidays, we’ve continued to get together once every month at a different host’s home and have dished up some pretty fabulous food. It has been a wonderful way to stay connected and guarantee that we get in some “girl time” no matter how busy things are.
How to Start Your Own Supper Club
Gather Your Group
You can make it as big or as small as you’d like, but we’ve found that 6-8 is the ideal number of people. Since each person will bring a course, that’s enough to have: appetizer, soup, salad, veggie side, non-veggie side, main course (host), drinks, and dessert. You can add or combine courses as needed—there have been months that we’ve been short a person or two and the host just picked which courses to eliminate.
Decide on a Date
We settled on Friday nights. They started off falling on the first or second week of the month, but over the course of two years, we now get together closer to the last Friday of the month. There will be times you have to go 5 or 6 weeks between Supper Club, or where you might end up with two in one month, but once every four weeks or so keeps it special and consistent.
Create a List
As I mentioned above, you’ll want a list of courses that you can rotate people through. You may decided that some courses (such as dessert) can be optional, depending on how may people are coming. Or (as we’ve recently decided to start doing), if there are more people than courses, the host gets to pick what they want extra of (another appetizer, salad, etc.). We use email to send out the list and make all of our plans. It makes it easy to copy and paste the list of courses, and then rotate down whom is bringing what.
Choose a Theme
To keep it fun, Supper Club should have a different theme each month. They don’t have to revolve around the same thing—be creative! Here are some examples we’ve done: Italian, Julia Child Recipes, Tapas, Chocolate, Blueberry, Holiday. We found it easiest to start off with regional themes (Mexican, Italian, etc.) and then worked our way to ingredients and chefs. The theme is completely up to the host, and the main dish that they make sets the tone for the theme. We also have a traditional December theme: we go out! Since the holidays are normally full of parties and events, we just pick a fun restaurant and skip the cooking for that month.
Once you’ve got your date, your theme, and everyone is assigned a course, there’s only one thing left to do—feast! Make it fun by dressing up in your favorite heels or that crazy dress you just haven’t been brave enough to wear. Supper Club is a place to experiment, have fun and enjoy being a little goofy.
It’s also great time to pull out your cameras and document all the fun. We’ve really enjoyed looking back at some of our previous themes (and hairstyles) in Sunshine’s “Supper Club” album on Facebook.
Feel free to make your Supper Club tailored to your and your friends–there are no real rules, just ideas. The most important thing is to be creative, enjoy the food and each other!