Suppertime, and the Living Is Easy

Supper clubs offer convenience, companionship

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic

Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD

Worker bees -- that's most of us -- spend our days buzzing around, so busy that by mealtime we're famished for convenience. Yet our fast-food and frozen standbys may not only lack nutrition and ruin our waistlines, they're woefully short on new tastes -- and leave us hungry for an old-fashioned sense of community.

Maybe that's why the phenomenon of supper clubs is spreading from coast to coast.

"A supper club is a group of people who enjoy great food and friendship," says Maelynn Cheung, managing editor at Cooking Light magazine. "It merges all kinds of people with diverse backgrounds -- and then creates lifelong friendships. On our message boards, we've counted several hundred clubs."

From California to Guam, from Australia to the U.K., people have discovered that a regular gathering of food-loving friends can be a relaxing, healthful way to savor novel cuisine, learn new cooking techniques, and feast on two of the greatest gifts: time and companionship.

Being part of a supper club "definitely improved the quality of our lives," says Suzanne Lilbell, a graphic artist in Phoenix. "It opened up doors to new friends and experiences that I will always cherish. It really felt like a 'Common Bond Salon.'"

So how do you start your own "salon"? Finding fellow foodies is as easy as posting a message on the bulletin board at work, at your gym, in the neighborhood newsletter, or on the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic message boards. Or look within your church, book club, or sports team. "Most people belong to something," says Cheung.

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