The Gourmet Group, a.k.a “Gourmet”
Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
Last Saturday night our Gourmet Club met for the 350th time since 1971. We started as five couples. The men started their medical practices in Dallas, Texas in the summer of 1970.
One couple, unfortunately, died and so now we are four couples.
Four fifths of us did not know any one in Dallas when we arrived. We all met at a newcomer’s party organized by one of the national medical school fraternities. We were all invited even though none of us were fraternity members.
The five couples hit it off instantly. The woman got together. They thought it would be a good idea to start a five couple Gourmet Group. They wanted to become gourmet cooks.
They all became gourmet cooks. The Gourmet Group’s dinners are the best dinners in Dallas.
Last week I realized the wonder of the Gourmet Group when I was in our kitchen at clean up time. The guys were washing the multitude of dishes a four course gourmet diner generates.
In the beginning, Gourmet’s goal was to prepare a meal from every country on the globe and every region of the United States.
The women would have Gourmet planning. They brought cookbooks and cooking magazines (i.e. Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, Gourmet), and decided on the country or region. Men were not allowed to attend. These meeting lasted up to four hours. I have no evidence but I think they must have discussed more than just the menu.
The houses are rotated in alphabetical order. The hostess does the main dish. The previous hostess brings the wine and bread. Now that we are down to four couples the previous hostess might have to prepare one of the courses.
In recent years, with all of us traveling as much as we do, Gourmet planning has been eliminated. The hostess plans the menu and gives out assignments.
All the meals remain as interesting as they were forty-three years ago. These women are serious cooks.
The couples all feel that we are extended family.
We watched all our kids grow up, go off to college, get married, start their professional life and have their own kids. We are watching these kids grow up. We celebrate life cycle events.
We celebrate some holidays together. We have traveled together.
We schedule dinner about every four to six weeks. The rule is to not schedule anything once the date is set. If a change is essential the couple responsible for the change has to coordinate the new date since the firm date was scheduled when everyone was at the previous dinner.
During dinner we eat, have a couple of bottles of appropriate wine, catch up on our lives, travel, our kids and their kids and sometimes politics.
We are close friends and try to get together as often as possible in addition to the “official “ Gourmet Group's dinners.
Gourmet has been a wonderful life experience for all of us. I would like to encourage others to start a Gourmet Group like ours.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.
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