As Borough Market’s Cookbook Club signs up its 200th member, the club’s host Angela Clutton pops a cork in celebration
You know how it is when you reach a landmark number in life and feel the need to take stock? To think about what has been achieved and what lies ahead? Well that’s how we at Borough Market Cookbook Club feel now that we have… (roll the drums, pop those corks)… reached our 200th member. Hurray!
To have gained so many members since we launched towards the end of April this year is pretty good going. By the time you’re reading this I imagine we’ll actually be quite a few over the 200 mark as there’s a steady stream of new members every week. And I can honestly say that every single time the email lands from someone saying they want to join up, I still get a little buzz of excitement.
Fittingly and with remarkable serendipity the 200th member lives in SE1. All the Cookbook Club members are of course loved equally but I confess there is a special place in our hearts for our ‘neighbour’ members. For them we keep back places at every event to allocate free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. We do it because the idea of community is very much at the heart of the club, and in part that means connecting with the actual community of people in Borough Market’s local area.
The Cookbook Club has also always been about building its own community and I really feel we are managing that with members right across London, all over the UK, and worldwide too. (Hey there to you guys in the US, New Zealand and Germany if you’re reading.)
I know not everyone is able to make it along to the events in The Cookhouse so we try very hard to make all members feel involved. That’s why each month I write a recipe for the club that has been in some way inspired by one of the books we’re doing, or perhaps another cookbook, and it’s why we send round offers for discounted tickets to some Borough Market events. We’re planning more things too for more Cookbook Club members to take part in and will be emailing about those soon.
The Cookbook Club events are still the heart of the action, though. We’ve done two now and have four more planned before the end of the year. Someone asked me the other day what I think is best about them and really that has two answers. Firstly, the members who come have absolutely understood that it is in no way a cooking competition. It is not about whose dish is ‘best’. Secondly, there’s a real honesty about the discussions. Members feel at ease talking frankly about what they thought of the book and what did or maybe didn’t go well with the dish they chose to bring along. There’s a third thing, actually, now I come to think of it: seriously good food and plenty of it!
A corker of a cookbook
More Cookbook Club events are being planned for 2017 and in January we’re trying something new by going for a Saturday lunchtime in The Cookhouse. Hopefully that will work well and appeal to members who find midweek tricky. It’s a corker of a cookbook planned for that one, too.
Details will be announced soon, and members will hear first—so if you want to join up just email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and home address. Remember, it’s me at the other end of that email and I’ll be giving a big old grin that you want to be part of our Borough Market community built by sharing good food, good cookbooks and good company.