[Sca-cooks] Cooking Guild: opinions

Raphaella DiContini raphaellad at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 27 09:32:18 PST 2012

I agree with Euriol whole heartedly! I have worked with several local guilds as well as restarting and driving the local guild where I now live and the Kingdom culinary guild, and they all have their unique needs. I've found that even within the same group it works best to be open to changing with the group's needs. 
In working with other groups as well as starting and driving one myself I've also found that the interest and experience level of your attendees will also make a difference in how to best organize the group, e.g. with the Madrone Culinary Guild they have two meetings a month. The first meeting is a planning meeting and potluck where they disguss guild business, vote on things, plan events, etc. The second meeting is a hands on cooking night, where they will often work on recipes for the next banquet, testing for a new pamphlet, or other research. 
I love that format, but I have found that not only is my local group's calendar so busy that it was hard getting just one night a month on the calendar, but that how feasts are run here are completely different and as a result, so is the roll that the Culinary Guild plays in feast planning and preparation. 
When I first moved to my new barony and started having cooking nights here I'd sometimes get 12-20 people (some of whom just came to be social and sample), and now I get much smaller groups who are all interested in being hands on.  I've also found that posting reminders a week before and then a day before the regular monthly cooking nights seems to have the best outcome as far as giving enough warning and then a closer reminder. 
I would humbly suggest that you poll your populace, and be flexible about accomodating requests. I've found that if you have what you love doing as the default, but offer to have other meetings, cooking nights and classes by request that it keeps things fresh and fun! If you have a consistant number of participants, perhaps you could take another page from Madrone and ask for volunteers to take turns hosting the meetings to how far people have to travel varies and it's not always far for the same people. 

In joyous service, 

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