All About “Cook-and-Dine”

Food-Explorers-Cook-and-Dine
Photo by Sebastian Altmüller

Are you keen to attend a “Cook-and-Dine” session with your spouse/partner?  Would you like to host a session in your home?  Here is how it’s done!

Timing

A “Cook-and-Dine” session is typically held on a Saturday evening so that both you and your spouse/partner can attend together.  

Depending on how many dishes there are to prepare, participants are requested to arrive around 6.15pm.  The plan is to sit down for dinner before/around 8pm.  Dinner is usually over by 10.30pm.  In other words, each session is roughly 4 hours long.  

Before the session

So that we can keep to this time frame, the dishes selected ought to take not longer than 90 minutes to prepare and to cook.  Ingredients to be marinated or soaked can be prepared the night before.

Once we agree on the dishes to cook, please let me have the recipes (electronic form preferred).  When you provide the recipes in advance, I would be able to re-type them in a standardized and numbered format and print out copies for reference on the day itself.  If necessary, copies could also be distributed electronically to all participants after the session.

I can assist you with the buying of groceries if you like.   By the way, in case there are not enough knives and chopping boards in your kitchen, it’s no trouble to ask the participants to bring their own.

On the day itself

The host will introduce the dishes we will be preparing, and he/she will tell us what needs to be done.  In “Brigade de cuisine” terms, he/she is like the “chef de cuisine” and each of us takes on the role of a “commis”.

At the end of the session, we tally up the amount spent on groceries and split the costs evenly amongst those attending.  As experienced in previous sessions, the hosts usually contribute pantry items which we need in small amounts e.g. herbs and spices, salt and pepper, so there is no need for additional purchases.

So that the host is not overwhelmed by the amount of dirty dishes at the end of the session, we clean up as we work, and help tidy up the kitchen and dining area before we leave.

Cancellation

As much as we love our cooking sessions, sometimes life happens and we have no choice but to cancel at short notice.  The host would have purchased groceries in advance for the total number of confirmed participants, so we request that you let us know as soon as possible.  Very often, there is a waiting list, so someone else can take your place.

Hosting a session

“Cook-and-Dine” sessions are fun, but there is also quite a bit to do when it comes to hosting a cooking session – researching recipes, buying groceries, prepping ingredients the night before (depending on the recipes), tidying up the home before and after a session…  Bearing this in mind, we ask that all participants take turns to host in their homes.  You may attend one session before deciding if you would like to host a session of your own.  I would be pleased to help you set it up!  Feel free to specify the number of participants you can accommodate in your kitchen, or at your dining table (if it’s a sit-down dinner).

Can’t wait to get started?  I look forward to hearing from you!

Faeimm Tang
queenbee@foodexplorers.net