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At our monthly Cook & Serve meetup event, we will be cooking a gourmet dinner for the 100+ residents of the men’s emergency homeless shelter in Rockville, which is run by Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless. Although they recently completed renovations to the shelter facility, they do not have the ability or equipment needed to cook meals at the shelter (they have warming and storage ability only). Therefore, the shelter relies exclusively on volunteer groups to provide hot meals to the residents. Our group will be using our culinary skills to help bring a gourmet-quality hot meal to the shelter on the first Sunday of each month, and hopefully we’ll all improve our cooking skills as a result.

None! We welcome all ranges of culinary abilities…from professionals to “all I know how to cook is toast, and I usually burn it.” Many of our members are very comfortable in the kitchen and are happy to demonstrate techniques or give cooking tips during our cooking sessions. This is a great way to improve your cooking skills, and you will always bring home a printed recipe packet so that if you like what we cook for the shelter, you will be able to cook it for your friends and family too!

Membership dues are $20 every six months, and they cover all group expenses, including fees charged by, basic cooking supplies and equipment, and purchasing ingredients if no one else is available or able to purchase it. Members who come to the monthly Cook & Serve meetup on the first Sunday of the month will also be assigned one or more food ingredients to bring to contribute to the recipe we are preparing that day. Lists of ingredients and recipe packets will be sent out about 3-5 days in advance. Ingredient costs run between $20-$40 per person, depending on the number of people who are participating and the particular recipe we’re making that month.

We understand that situations may arise at the last minute that prevent you from attending a Cook & Serve meetup event for which you have previously RSVP'd. However, this particular meetup group is a VOLUNTEER COMMITMENT, not simply a social gathering. The shelter counts on us to live up to our commitment to provide a hot dinner on the first Sunday of each month, and we can't do that unless our members live up to their commitments to attend, provide ingredients, and help cook. Our cancellation policy is as follows:

-- Please do NOT rsvp to a Cook & Serve event unless you are sure you can attend. If you are "tentative" or a "maybe" please wait to rsvp until you know for certain that you will be able to participate. Remember, your rsvp is a COMMITMENT, not a tentative reservation.

-- If you must cancel, please give us as much notice as possible. If you give less than 3 days' notice (making it nearly impossible to reassign your ingredients to someone else), you will be asked to pay $20 to cover the cost of the ingredients you were supposed to have brought. You will not be able to RSVP for another meetup until this has been paid.

-- If you are a no-show (you simply do not show up and do not notify me that you will not be coming), we reserve the right to cancel your membership, and you will not be entitled to a refund of any membership dues paid.