This category of our hot food trend of 2009 starts online and then heads back out into the real world of tangible food, friends, and experiences. The foodie meetup groups are plentiful and great resources. I’m not sure how family friendly they are, but the great thing about meetup groups is that you can start your own fairly easily.
According to their “about” page, “Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups.” There are meetup groups about everything and anything. Here are some of the local food-related meetup groups and what they do.
The Cambridge Moveable Feast
This is more than a foodie meetup group. According to their welcome page, “This group is about Exploring Life in the Hemingway Tradition with an emphasis on Culture, Continuing Education, Fine Dining, and The Occasional Adventure.” The group has 499 members, has hosted 127 meetups/events, and was founded in November of 2006.
Some of the Moveable Feast meetups include a wine tasting, Phantom Gourmet’s guide to Boston’s best restaurants, a Beaujolais sip and mingle party, and the Art of the Meal: A lecture about the menu in a proper upper or middle class home during the Gilded Age given by Susan Williams, Professor of History and American Studies at Fitchburg State College.
Boston Raw Food Meetup Group
This group is primarily raw foodists in the Boston area. It has 348 members and they have hosted 74 meetups. They meet to share recipes and meals (in the raw), at restaurants and potlucks. It is open to anyone living or interested in the raw food lifestyle. I learn about restaurants in the area that I had never heard of such as Rawbert’s and Grezzo . I am not a raw foodist, but I have learned to make a few great raw food recipes from Adrienne Martin of Abundant Living when she did a class at Drumlin Farm. She piqued my interest and my palate with her green smoothie to start the day (it isn’t quite as hippy dippy as it sounds and it tastes good!)
Some of the Raw Food meetups include, the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, potlucks, raw restaurant outings, a sprouting class, a screening of The Future of Food, and Raw Foods 101.
The Boston/Cambridge Ethnic Food Dining Meetup Group
This group is made up of 866 people who are interested in dining out! The group was founded in November of 2006 and there have been 23 meetups so far. According to their welcome page the group is to: “Meet People Interested in eating exotic food in metro Boston area! Discover new restaurants, enjoy delicious meals and make satisfying conversation with friendly dinner companions.”
Some of the Boston/Cambridge Ethnic Food Dining outings include, Shabu-Zen Japanese Hot Pot (there is already a waitlist for this event), House of Tibet Kitchen (also waitlisted), Saray TurkishRestaurant (also full), Yo Ma Restaurant (Cuisine from Burma…okay they’re all waitlisted so if you’re interested join and reserve in advance.
Cooking & Baking In Greater Boston
This group consists of 277 cooks and bakers, was established in March of 2008 and has had 21 meetups thus far. According to their welcome page the group is to share and compare notes about baking, cooking, and recipes. There are also specialty events, shows, demonstrations, miscellaneous culinary discussions, and the exploration of unique restaurants & markets.
Some of the Cooking & Baking In Greater Boston events include, the upcoming Super bowl Kickoff with Jake’s BBQ & Gordon’s Wine and Beer, Hands on Pasta class with Dave (full),One Year Anniversary at the Red Fez, dinner and cookie swap, basic candy demonstration class with Lorraine, Brookline Market tour and Wine Mondays.
Food Snobs Unite (FSU)
This group consists of 255 food snobs. They have hosted 27 meetups since their inception in November of 2007. Nothing states it better than this small selection from their verbose welcome page, “If you take pleasure in regaling everyone with tales of trips to Formaggio Kitchen & Savenor’s to your coworker’s on Monday morning, then you are a food snob. If you talk shop about local chefs like Ming Tsai & Frank McClelland like they were baseball legends, then you my friend, are a food snob. Come out & meet other Food Snobs in a myriad of culinary forums (ie dinner parties, night out at a restaurant, or even a local wine & cheese course).”
Some of the FSU meetups include, dinner at Blue Ginger , Live Flamenco at Tasca, T.W. Food‘s tasting menu, dinner at Rialto, and the list of great Boston area restaurant outings goes on.
Gourmet Tasters Group
This is a relatively new group, started in September of 2008. It is based in Concord, MA and has 94 gourmet gurus as it’s members. They have hosted 6 meetups so far. According to their welcome page, “This is the group that will host wine tastings, chocolate tastings, fine cheeses and other gourmet delicacies.”
Some of the Gourmet Tasters have enjoyed, an Autumn Wine tasting, Richart Chocolate Tasting, and gourmet pizza by chef Pepe from Naples (apparently homemade Limoncello was also enjoyed).
There are more meetups out there and more to be formed.
Bon appetit. ttyl your BFF (Boston Family Foodie)
The cherry on top will be coming up next; Chowhound and some of the most recent free foodie iPhone applications.
For more info: Meetup.com