Cooking has always fascinated us. Just take a look at the long list of cooking and baking shows dating back to 1946, and things aren’t slowing down.
People who have never been interested in cooking are looking for information on the many options available for all tastes – home cooking, ethnic cooking, vegetarian cooking, and farm-to-table to name a few. If you have a favorite, you can learn to cook it.
If you don’t believe us, just ask Skelly Stevens, owner of Cooking Club GVL.
As with many companies over the past year and a half, the pandemic has inspired this former publicist and enthusiast of foodie to start her own endeavours.
Her clients included restaurants and hospitality venues in both New York City and Charleston before moving to Greenville in 2019. In fact, two of her previous clients in Greenville, while working in public relations at the Sprouthouse Agency in Charleston, were Husk Greenville now Husk Barbeque , and Chophouse Hall.
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She credits her mother as the inspiration for her love of cooking and describes her as “a great home cook”. Through the many culinary moments between mother and daughter, she realized the meaningful time and relationship that cooking provides together and wanted to share it with others.
Stevens says, “I wanted to connect with the Greenville community and other people, and I thought cooking was the way to do that.” Cooking Club GVL started with 15 members in January 2021. “We now have 100 members and it’s growing,” says Stevens.
Stevens describes the club as informal – gathering in people’s homes, exchanging recipes and breaking bread together – the very things COVID has taken from us. The club brings professional working women and stay-at-home moms together for their love of cooking that they might not have met otherwise.
“My general philosophy,” Stevens explains, “is to make food accessible. I like to keep it simple with accessible ingredients no matter what type of kitchen.” She encourages people to contribute to the larger group whether they are an amateur chef or an experienced home cook.
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The physical structure of eating assemblies occurs in two stages. Members have the right to choose where they wish to participate based on their preferences and schedule. Prep night is a cocktail-style evening with canapes, wine and champagne or a signature cocktail. It has 15-18 members, or more if space permits, and is hosted in one of their homes.
Or they can partake in the next day’s cooking club lunch, which is also hosted at a member’s home. Members work together to prepare the meal from start to finish. “The opportunity to break bread together after the meal is prepared creates great camaraderie,” says Stevens.
All members who participate in a night of prep or lunch will pay $15 to help with costs incurred by flight attendants for ingredients and alcohol. Stevens adds, “There is currently no membership fee, however, as Cooking Club GVL continues to grow and offer additional and exclusive partnership opportunities/events, the format may move to payment.” She encourages interested people to follow on Instagram at Cookingclubgvl.
Stevens is looking forward to opportunities in the near future to work with partners such as Cook’s Station on various topics including Knife Skills, Charcuterie, Wine Pairing and Pasta Making. “We also plan to continue working with guest chefs,” Stevens says.
Although her goal is to one day expand your business beyond Greenville, Stevens now offers her best advice for making a business, “Think about what gets you going—the emotional projects, the things you love—and how you can benefit from the attention , monetization and future development. Anyone can do this!” good Appetite!