London Road resident Robert Stordy, 70, says the group could take whatever shape its members decide, from practical cooking lessons to competitions, discussions, or advice sessions on menu planning and sourcing ingredients.
Now semi-retired after teaching culinary arts for many years at the University of Derby, Robert is hoping to go beyond the model of a school offering set courses and classes.
He said: “It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time but it was put on hold for a couple of years due to the pandemic. Now I’m testing the water to see what interest is out there. It would be for members to drive it wherever their interest takes them.
“As far as I know, there are no clubs locally. There are a lot of people out there who really enjoy cooking, and many might be newly hooked on it after being in the kitchen more during lockdown. It would be open to anyone who is interested and there would be no pre-requisites, so it would suit absolute beginners to very good amateurs.”
The idea is partly inspired by the famous Pudding Club, which started in Gloucestershire in 1985 and now brings people together all over the country to indulge in their love of desserts.
Robert added: “If people wanted to get hands-on straight away we could start with practical sessions but I would like it to be far more than just lessons. Firstly, its a social event where members can share ideas and their passion for food.
“I used to teach public Saturday classes at the university but they didn’t really leave time to properly explore all the issues each dish raised. I’d like this to be a supportive environment which could become whatever its members wanted it to be.”
Robert is offering to contribute his time to the project for free and has begun scouting for kitchens which could be used as a low-cost venue, but would like to hear from any potential members before making firm plans.
Anyone interested in joining the club can contact him via [email protected]