Cambourne Experimental Cookery Club

What is the Cambourne Experimental Cookery Club?

Cambourne Experimental Cookery Club brings together families in Cambourne for shared meals on a regular basis. This club is a fun way of meeting new friends and making different food from around the world. 

Families of the Club are split into groups of around four, with each group having no more than 8 people. This group will stay together for a year and take it in turns to host a meal for others in the group, plus partners and children. 

The start of each rotation is in September and all members will attend an induction day to get assigned/split into their respective groups. The host provides a starter, main meal and dessert, with guests bringing drinks. 

The experimental bit comes in because members are encouraged to try new recipes, preferably from other cultures or nations. Cookery books and YouTube provide ideas.

The aim is fun, meeting new friends and making different food from around the world. There is no marking or criticism – only good discussions around the table along with families.

Each family is only expected to host one meal per year – although if groups would like to arrange more, then this is encouraged.  When new members join throughout the year, new groups are created using the same size criteria.

At the end of the first year of the Club, a fundraising Finale dinner is held with members of the Experimental Cookery Club coming together to cook for the whole club in the village hall. 

How did they get started?

The idea for the Cookery Club came from Shrobona Bhattacharya, who had been part of a similar cookery club organised by the Women’s Common Room Club in Queen’s University Belfast.

The Belfast club had been founded after World War II and had keen and eager members aged in their 80s and 90s, who greatly enjoyed their regular meet-ups. 

Shrobona kept the basic principles the same but made a few changes to suit the younger couples and newcomers living in Cambourne. 

The Cookery Club is one of several initiatives run by registered charity CamCare UK. 

How is it funded?

The Cookery Club is very low cost.

Membership is free, with the only costs for members being those of organising one dinner per year for the group.

The annual Finale fundraising dinner takes place in the village hall. The Parish Council made the hall available free of charge to the Club. 

Who helped with advice and guidance?

The Cookery Club is supported by local charity CamCare UK. CamCare UK was set up with advice and guidance from Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service (CCVS). 

Stories from the group can be seen in the Cambourne Crier:

The first year 2016: August issue 2016: Page 31, the last cover page of Cambourne Crier.

The second year 2017: July issue 2017: Page 32, the last cover page of Cambourne Crier

The third year 2018: July issue 2018: Page 9

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