Creating a virtual cooking club might be one of the things that you’ve wanted to try but just never thought you could do. With so many of us connecting online now, it’s probably easier than you think. Get ready to join the club.

A woman cooking while participating in a virtual cooking club.
: DisobeyArt

A virtual cooking club is a fun and great way to cook a nutritious meal at home while spending time with family and friends. It’s a terrific way to sharpen your cooking skills in the kitchen while staying socially connected to others.  Laughter and wonderful food are always a winning combination. It’s amazingly easy to start a virtual cooking club and the ideas are endless. Here’s how to start your own virtual cooking club in no time.

Decide on the type of virtual cooking club you want

Maybe you’re interested in creating a virtual cooking club based on your own food lifestyle: vegetarian, vegan, healthy, pescatarian, etc. Maybe you’re interested in creating a general virtual cooking club, where all types and styles of food are cooked. Or maybe you want to create a cooking club inspired by your culture, family traditions, travels, etc. The ideas are endless.

Choose how frequently your virtual cooking club will meet

Start off with monthly. A monthly session is reasonable given how different everyone’s schedule is. You can always take a quick poll in your group to see how frequently everyone’s available to meet. For small, more intimate cooking clubs, you could even create sessions weekly, or biweekly. And, of course, anytime your group requests an additional session for more cooking fun, go for it.

Select your virtual platform 

An image of a virtual cooking club online meeting.
: Buriticá

Zoom is the most commonly used virtual meeting platform nowadays. But there are plenty of other platforms as well: Google Hangouts, Skype, etc. Choose a virtual meeting platform that everyone in your group feels comfortable using.

Choose your club members

A family participating in a virtual cooking club and making spaghetti.
: Racorn

Think about how small or how large you’d like your virtual cooking club to be. Next, will your virtual cooking club be for family members or a mixture of friends and family members? Or would you like a public cooking club where all are welcomed? Once you’ve selected your club members, you can send out your first invite.

Settle on menu ideas

A contestant on a cooking show.
: Food Network

This is where the fun begins. You can choose to cook a recipe from an online site (ahem…like Leite’s Culinaria!), a magazine, or a cookbook. Maybe someone has their own “secret recipe” or a dish that has been passed down and they’d like to share it with the group. You can always choose to freelance, in which certain foods are chosen and then each member creates his or her own dish based upon the ingredients. (Think a friendlier version of “Iron Chef.”)

Then there are themes: Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, “Food Network” Chopped Wednesdays, Vegetarian Thursdays, Pizza Fridays, Sheet Pan Saturdays, and Comfort Food Sundays, etc. You can also base your menu around upcoming holidays, events, and birthdays as well. The ideas are limitless! Once you’ve chosen a recipe/theme/idea for your session, send it out to club members.  

Time to cook

This is where the spatula meets the pan. On cooking day, make sure members have read the recipes from start to finish and understand what the cooking theme/idea is for that session. (Trust us, everyone says they’ve read the instructions, but they really haven’t. David is notorious for throwing a hissy fit in the middle of a recipe because he didn’t read all the way through.)

Next, make sure everyone has all of the ingredients and cooking equipment needed to cook their dish.  Then… ready, set, cook!

Have fun

Two children participating in a virtual cooking club.
: Monkeybusiness

This might seem like a no-brainer, but enjoy all of the laughter and conversations during cooking. Take photos, do a little dance, show your food throughout the cooking process, and enjoy yourself. Consider recording the gathering and sending it to the folks who weren’t able make it.

Eat your hard work

Once everyone has finished cooking, it’s time to eat. Enjoy your delish dish and take this time to share and connect. Enjoy all of the memories being made.

About Christina Roman

Christina has been a registered nurse for fourteen years and nursing and cooking have always been her two passions. In 2017, she finally decided to pursue her culinary dreams and graduated from Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in 2018, and will be completing several more online culinary certifications in 2021.

In 2019, she won a recipe contest for a signature pasta sauce (Christina’s N.Y. Lip-Smackin’ Garlic), which is currently being sold on and in supermarkets across the United States. She is thrilled to be a part of Leite’s Culinaria as an LC tester.

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