A Cook-the-Book Party

Staff Writer
Have a new cookbook you're dying to use? Plan a party around it with this fun and social get-together idea


I love cookbooks. Even in this day in age when our favorite recipes are available digitally via iPad, computer, even our cell phones, there is nothing quite comparable to the joy of sitting back with a glass of wine at the end of the day (or in the morning, with that cup ‘o Joe) and leafing through a cookbook looking for inspiration on what to cook for your next get-together, for the family… or for yourself.

But then the reality of purchasing every new book that catches your eye sets in. It's expensive. And what happens if you only cook two recipes in that new Ina Garten cookbook only before another book distracts you? You're going to run out of bookshelf space.

A cookbook party is the perfect get-together for the food-loving, book-loving set. As a host, you get to gather friends together for an afternoon of good company and delicious food. As a guest, you get to enjoy cooking with friends, maybe learn a new cooking technique or recipe, and get a taste of that new cookbook you’ve been lusting after, without running the risk of disappointment when a) the recipes don’t meet your expectations or b) you only like a few. And with a never-ending supply of cookbooks out there, the options for future get-togethers are endless.

The Plan

1. Get together a group of friends who love to cook, bake, or mix a good drink. It would be a mistake to overlook that close friend who is more apt to burn down her kitchen than cook a pot of oatmeal — especially if she’s known for her killer cocktail-mixing skills. Nominate one person as coordinator. This person will keep track of when the parties will be held and who will host. For easy scheduling, it’s best to set the date for each get-together and who is hosting well in advance.

2. When it’s your turn to host, you get to choose the cookbook and what the menu will be. You can choose old favorites your friends have always wanted to learn, or challenge yourselves and conquer a recipe that is completely new.