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Getting Started in the Gourmet Club

by _maiden_of_meridell_


Do you have pets that love to earn trophies? If you do, you know what it's like to have a pet pester you about starting the quest for a new trophy. My pets have been talking about joining the Gourmet Club for years, but it's taken me quite a while to get them started. This article is going to discuss my experience researching the Gourmet Club before I brought my pets to join. It's my hope that hearing about our start in the Gourmet Club will inspire you to join as well!

When I first thought about the Gourmet Club, I could only think about how expensive it would be to get my pets into the top 200 and on the high score table. Since we started, I've learned how to get the best deals on gourmet items and I'm going to share those tips with you at the end of my article.

However, I'm going to start at the beginning with the interviews that I did before my pets joined the Gourmet Club. I still remember my first visit to the Gourmet Club. I walked into a beautiful marble lobby, and was immediately greeted by a snooty green Quiggle.

"Membership card please?" he demanded.

"Sorry, I don't have one," I said. "I just came here to talk to someone about bringing my pets to join the Gourmet Club."

The Quiggle frowned at me over his silver serving tray and said, "I'm busy! It's the middle of dinner and I have rare foods to serve! Come back later!"

I persisted in questioning him about when I could get an interview, and he finally agreed to speak to me when he had finished serving dinner.

I waited nervously for him in the Gourmet Club lobby, but it was only about 30 minutes before he came back into the lobby and told me to follow him. We walked down a long corridor and into a small private dining room. I was so excited to be able to interview someone from the Gourmet Club that I began immediately.

Me: Thanks for sitting down to talk to me, I'm very sorry, but I don't know your name?

Gaston: It's Gaston. Try not to take too long. I have quite a bit of paper work to do tonight.

Me: Err. Ok! I'll try to be quick. My first question is what can Neopets expect from their first visit to the Gourmet Club?

Gaston: Well, on a pet's first visit they should have double checked the rarity of their items, as we only accept very rare, ultra rare and super rare items. You'd be surprised by the number of pets that think we'll accept rarity 89 items. *frowns* It's quite upsetting to me.

Me: I understand; that would be troubling. Ok, so a pet comes in with their rarity 90 - 100 items and then what?

Gaston: Well, they check in with me; I verify the item and seat them at the appropriate table. We have different rooms and tables for different levels of competitors. The gold dining room is only for members that have achieved one of the top three spots on the high score table. We also have a beginners dining room which is where pets would be seated on their first visit.

Me: And then?

Gaston: They eat the gourmet items they have brought. I mark it down in the records and then they leave. It's very simple when you're getting started.

Me: Does it get more complicated?

Gaston: Not exactly, but when you have Neopets eating unbuyable items you usually get quite a crowd gathered around to watch. It's pandemonium when someone eats an item that puts them into the top spot on the high score table.

Me: Interesting. So Gaston, where do you recommend that pets find their gourmet items?

Gaston: Well, I know that Neopian Foods and the Bakery stock the most gourmet items, but beyond that I'm not really sure. It's not my responsibility to know where to find gourmet foods. I just serve the foods and keep track of what's been eaten.

Me: Ok, Do you know how-

Gaston: I'm really sorry, but I don't have time for any more questions. If you still need more information I suggest that you speak to Lucas; he's been coming to the Gourmet Club for ages and knows everything there is to know about our club.

Me: Alright, well, thanks for talking to me. How do I find Lucas?

Gaston: You can't miss him; he's a large Disco Grarrl and he'll probably be in the gold members room.

Me: Thanks. See you later.

After Gaston ended our interview abruptly, I hurried off to find Lucas and see if he'd have time to talk to me tonight. I spotted him right away as Gaston was correct, it is really hard to miss a Disco Grarrl. Lucas was chatting with a large group of people in the middle of a beautifully decorated dining room. I approached quietly and was just trying to figure out how to introduce myself when he spotted me and said,

"Hello there! I don't believe I know you?"

I was so nervous but I quickly said, "Hello, I'm just researching the Gourmet Club and Gaston said I should speak to you."

"Excellent!" said Lucas. "I'm always happy to talk to new members. Let's go somewhere a little bit quieter."

We walked away from the group and settled ourselves down in some plush armchairs and were soon chatting away.

Me: Thanks so much for agreeing to talk to me, Lucas. May I get started with my first question?

Lucas: Go ahead.

Me: Thanks... Do you still remember your first meal here?

Lucas: Of course, I definitely still remember the first time my owner brought me to the Gourmet Club. I was quite nervous, but Gaston seated me promptly at the beginners table and everyone at my table was just starting out as well. We had a lovely lunch all together, and as we left we received our cards with our Gourmet Club points on them.

Me: Do you remember the first item you ate?

Lucas: Oh yes, it was a lovely Golden Juppie.

Me: And now you've eaten hundreds of items and received your membership card for the gold room! That's pretty impressive; are you still at the top of the high score table?

Lucas: Not anymore. I only get to the Gourmet Club occasionally so I've slipped from the top three, although I am still in the top 200. One of the nice things about the Gourmet Club is that you keep your gold card even if you're not at the top of the high score table.

Me: How do you feel about eating items that some Neopets might find un-appetizing, like the Dung Slushie?

Lucas: The Gourmet Club is about experiencing all of the flavours of Neopia. Even some that you might not enjoy very much. You only have to eat each item once, and if you're going to be a true Gourmet Club member, you need to experience everything.

Me: What items would you recommend to Neopets who are just starting out and might not have a lot of money to spend on rare items?

Lucas: I'd recommend Tyrannian foods like the Raptraphant Leg, Evil Blancmange and Honey Blossom, as they're inexpensive and tasty.

Me: And after they've eaten those?

Lucas: Well, they should just focus on finding gourmet items they can afford. You have to remember that the Gourmet Club is a marathon, not a sprint. It's a very gradual process where you eat a few items each day, so when you start you shouldn't be spending hundreds of thousands each day. Just pick up a few things for 5,000 neopoints each day and you'll be doing great. Most people start out focusing on the rarity 90 - 92 items, which are much less expensive.

Me: When should Neopets start thinking about spending millions on gourmet items?

Lucas: Only once you've eaten everything that you can get on the Shop Wizard. There's no reason to jump ahead and spend more neopoints than you have to.

Me: Any other tips for Neopets just starting out in the Gourmet Club?

Lucas: Keep track of all of the items you've eaten. It'll make it much easier to make sure that you're always eating new items. You only receive points the first time you eat an item.

Me: Well, thanks very much for chatting with me, Lucas. I've learned a ton about the Gourmet Club and I think I'm probably ready to bring my pet here tomorrow.

Lucas: You're definitely ready; just remember it doesn't have to be hard to start out in the Gourmet Club. Actually, I think that planning the first few meals is probably the easiest as you have lots of options. Just remember to always check prices on the Shop Wizard, and use the search option to check the rarity of the food you're planning on purchasing.

Me: I'll remember your tips, and thanks again for all your help.

After I talked to Lucas, I felt much more confident about bringing my pets to the Gourmet Club. I left the Gourmet Club, and went straight to go pick up our gourmet food for the next day. My Kacheek, Tykura and I returned to the club the next morning and were greeted by Gaston again.

"Welcome back, here for your first visit?"

Tykura looked really nervous so I answered for her, "Yes, this is our first visit and we've brought a rarity 90 Ghost Marshmallows and a Whole Garden Fresh Pizza."

"Excellent," said Gaston. "Please follow me this way."

We followed Gaston into the beginners dinning room, and sat down at the table he showed us to. The table was nicely set with white china and we unpacked our picnic lunch onto the plates. Soon our table was full of other pets who were just starting out in the Gourmet Club; we all ate our items and chatted away over lunch. After we finished, we headed back out into the marble lobby where Gaston congratulated us and presented us with our beginners membership cards.

Since our first memorable day at the Gourmet Club we've come back again and again and we've spent a lot of time searching for new gourmet items to eat. We don't have an unlimited budget, but we've been doing well finding affordable items to eat. We've been looking for rare items that have been given out by Key Quest like the Chocolate Cowry Shell and the Whole Garden Fresh Pizza. When Key Quest has seasonal promotions, it's one of the best times to find inexpensive Gourmet Club items. We also look for rare items that Tarla has handed out like Braku Berry Juice. These items are cheap and a great place to start when you're just getting into the Gourmet Club. As Lucas said, just be sure you always double check your prices on the Shop Wizard and you can use the sidebar search to check the rarity of the items you are purchasing.

You should also surround yourself with other people that are fans of the Gourmet Club, we recommend joining one of the many Gourmet Club guilds as you'll find many other Gourmet Club fans who will be happy to share tips and tricks with you. If you don't want to join a guild, you can always ask for help on the Neoboards; just make sure you use the right section.

We recommend that when you start out, you focus on items priced below 10,000 neopoints. Once you've eaten all of those items, you'll be much more familiar with the Gourmet Club and you'll be able to be confident as you look for more expensive items and even move into the adventure of eating unbuyable items.

Well, these are all of our tips and tricks and we hope that our little guide has been helpful to you, and that you'll be joining us in the Gourmet Club soon!

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