How to Start a Cookbook Club

We’ve all joined a book club at some point in our lives — but what about a cookbook club? The premise is in the name — it’s a group that chooses different recipes from a cookbook, discusses the dishes, and, of course, enjoys the food.

This concept might be just the ticket to bring your self proclaimed “foodie” friends together, try new foods, up your cooking skills, and improve your connection with food and each other. Planning on starting your own cookbook club? We have some logistical tips and inspiration to ensure you get the most out of it. 

person reading cookbook

How to start a cookbook club

Consider the number of people in your group

While it’s an option to physically cook the food together, most people approach this potluck-style. This will certainly help determine the amount of people in your group as 10 people in one kitchen seems like a nightmare.

Consider space available, if you’re rotating hosts each month, and the amount of people you feel would be intimate yet inclusive, with different tastes, cooking styles, and cooking skill levels. Also note that if you have a notoriously busy bunch, it may be tough to work around everyone’s schedule. Most people find four to six people are best. 

Purchasing cookbooks

The draw of this is that you’ll also accumulate a collection of cookbooks, which you can continue to use for years to come. On the flip side, it can get pricey to keep purchasing cookbooks, so it’s important to have a plan in place that everyone agrees to.

Would it be best to meet every six to eight weeks, where you still have a regular cadence but aren’t purchasing every single month? Or you could also have two meetings per cookbook since there are often many dishes to work through.

Also, it could be helpful to contact your local bookstore and see if they may offer discounts for purchasing cookbooks in bulk. E-books are also an option or picking a specific recipe website to use. 

Picking cookbooks

Picking cookbooks can be tough — you might be overwhelmed and want to try them all! Having a plan in place could be helpful here.

This could include all members nominating one and voting each month, one group member choosing each month, or maybe something fun like rotating different ethnic foods, working your way through different celebrity cookbooks, choosing only cookbooks from local chefs, or finding books based on where each group member has traveled.

Always consider allergies and dietary preferences before choosing as well. Here are a few interesting cookbooks you can consider:

Final notes

You can plan the dishes with a simple Google doc to ensure the recipes don’t overlap. Also, remember that we all have different cooking skill levels, so it’s important to cut yourself some slack and look at this as an opportunity to develop your cooking skills. Happy cooking!

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About Chelsea Stegman

Chelsea is the owner and founder of Chelsea Stegman Nutrition, LLC. She is a Chicago based virtual dietitian working with active professionals through energy management, recovery, and adrenal health. She takes a well rounded approach to working with clients, including nutrition to fuel strength, cardio, and recovery based exercise; overall recovery; adrenal testing; habit development; and supplementation. You can catch her hanging with her mini husky, exploring the local restaurants, or running by the lakefront. Find her online at