The dinner co-op is a group of about 15 people who enjoy cooking and eating good food. We operate on a 3 week cycle (Sunday-Thurs), each cook with one cooking slot per cycle.
Dinner announcements are sent to a mailing list (email) with a note as to what and when is being cooked and a deadline by which the cook must hear from people who would like to attend. People may bring guests. Typically 6-8 people sign up for a meal. Most people usually start between 6:30 and 8:30. Dinner is usually at the time advertised (give or take 15 mins) and most people leave soon after they eat.
The type of food at dinners varies tremendously, but it is always a step above 'spaghetti and prego'. A couple of our members cook on sunday so they can have more time to cook good meals- sometimes they will spend 4-5 hours cooking a meal. This is not the norm by any means- I like to cook dinner in no more than 1.5 hours and pick my recipes accordingly. A typical dinner (if there is such a thing) might look like this: Salad, Main Course of Fish/Chicken/Beef, Vegetable and Dessert (sometimes just fresh fruit, sometimes something from a bakery, although the more ambitious cooks will bake something).
There are no restrictions as to what kind of food you may cook- attendees self select given their dietary restrictions. However, we have found that dinners with red meat are less popular than dinners that are based on fish/chicken and vegetarian ingredients. Lastly, the more exotic meals are the most popular. Many members cook south asian, mexican and indian food.
Costs for the meal are evenly divided between the attendees, and the billing system is set up in such a way that no-one can sponge off anyone else... you pay for what you eat and nothing else. After the meal, the cook sends a bill to the "treasurer" saying how much it cost and who came. Money is exchanged only at the end of each billing cycle (usually the end of a semester). Costs for a meal range between about $2 and $8. Anything over about $7 is considered an "expensive" meal, and most of us will not bill for any costs over $8 per person.
Feel free to ask any questions regarding details that I might not have covered, and have a look at the FAQ as well.