Hi! I’m Keili Gunden, world-traveling food-lover and The Tabletop Cook. It's nice to meet you!
About tabletop cooking
Tabletop cooking is the best way to make memorable meals with your favorite people, but there aren't many online resources dedicated to this fun style of cooking and even fewer that take it on as a broad subject.
Sure, you have your fondue sites and a couple of people who love raclette, and there are vibrant blogging communities of people who love every kind of Asian food, but The Tabletop Cook is the only website dedicated to providing tips, techniques, and recipes for any and all forms of tabletop cooking.
It’s also a community and a forum for you to share your favorite dessert fondue, bulgogi, or tempura stories, photos, recipes, and/or product reviews. I want you to be a Tabletop Cook, too--have you submitted any recipes or product reviews yet?
Please check back often as we continue to grow. If you want to keep up to date with new content and get exclusive previews and additional info, sign up for our free and private e-mail list. We can also keep in touch on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
I love fondue. I love raclette. I love hot pot. I love yakiniku. I love Korean barbecue. I love cooking with friends. I love long conversations over dinner and drinks. Those loves are propelling me to explore tabletop cooking throughout history and around the world by testing and writing about new recipes, cookbooks, appliances, grills, and restaurants. My goal is to inspire you to have new experiences with friends and food through the stories, recipes, reviews, and pictures you find here, whether I wrote them or another tabletop cook did.
Growing up, I traveled around the world with my family, following my dad from government post to government post. I developed an open mind and a taste for good food wherever it was found. As an adult, I lived in Asia for six years, where I fell in love with hot pot and barbecue in their many forms. When I returned to the US, I was really enthusiastic about recreating the experiences I’d had for my friends, family, and colleagues. There weren't any fondue or hot pot restaurants, no place to get Japanese barbecue or in our small town, so I learned to make everything myself by studying cookbooks, YouTube videos, regional cooking blogs, and getting ideas from my friends back in Taiwan and China. It helps that I can can read and speak some Chinese and French, too!
My husband and I enjoying our beer cheese fondue at home with friends
I think it’s a lost opportunity to invite the people you love to your home and then sit them in front of a television screen. I also don’t think it’s very fun as the host to be stuck in the kitchen getting everything ready just as your guests arrive, or to spend hours cooking a meal that is devoured in 45 minutes. With tabletop cooking, I've found a more leisurely, comfortable, and intimate way to entertain and still be a part of the party. The food itself is a conversation piece. Pieces of meat and vegetables grilled, boiled, and fried at the table are usually small, so that you and your guests can eat for hours without feeling overly full. And unless you have a monster raclette grill for 12 people--and a table big enough to accommodate them--the parties are usually small, intimate affairs between 2-6 people. I haven't had a tabletop cooking dinner yet that didn't leave everyone feeling warm, fuzzy, and full of good food and memories.
I'm so excited you're here because I’m sure that once you get the inspiration and direction you need, you’ll be hosting meals that make wonderful memories, too. And when that happens, I’ll hope you’ll come back and tell us all about it!
Some of my favorite online stores might have just what you need for your next tabletop meal!
Asian Food Grocer has a great selection of essential ingredients and many hard-to-find items.
Cilantro Cook Shop has a great selection of quality raclette and fondue sets.
For The Gourmet has an amazing selection of cheeses and chocolates.
Sephra specializes in chocolate, caramel and fruit fondues... and fountains.