Tips for Inviting a Chef and His Family Over for Dinner

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tips for inviting a chef over for dinnerI would love to know how many chefs and their families get invited over to other people’s houses for dinner.

Anyone?

Anyone?

Neither do we.

I will admit that there is a chance that we don’t get invited over for dinner because no one wants to hang out with us.  That could be the case.  Maybe we are truly obnoxious and no one wants to be around us and everyone is just too nice to tell us they can’t stand us.

I will also admit that with my chef/husband’s crazy and ever changing hours, it could be difficult to find a time to have us over.  However, if someone really, really, REALLY wanted to, we could make it work.  Sure we might have to reschedule a few times, and they would have to listen to me apologize a million times about rescheduling, but eventually it would happen.

However, I think it’s far more likely that people are TOTALLY FREAKED OUT AND SCARED to cook for a chef.  (At least that’s what I’m told by others.)

Is that really true?  Is my chef/husband really that scary and intimidating?

If so, have you read this article about what so many chefs are eating after they come home after a long day? (Make sure to click over to the Huffington Post link at the bottom of the post and read all the comments from other chefs as well.)

My chef/husband eats Top Ramen more than he eats anything else.  And he’s not alone . . .

How scary could it really be to cook for someone that loves Top Ramen?

Apparently pretty scary.

So scary in fact, that we once showed up at a friend’s house at the same time as the Pizza Hut delivery guy.  My friend didn’t want to cook for my husband (who was a line cook at the time), so she ordered pizza and we laughed about it all night!

In the past six years, two, yes TWO families have invited us over for dinner (besides our family.)  The meals were wonderful.  We loved sharing the food with them around the table and talking and getting to know them.  And I have good news!!  My two sweet friends who cooked for my husband and our family lived to tell about it!  CRAZY!!

I say this jokingly, but this is the reality of being married to a chef.

Now in all fairness, a few others have bravely cooked meals for us and brought them over when my chef/husband was in a car accident and broke his back (gotta love the long hours of a chef and how tired they are after work . . . NOT!!)  They saw a need and either didn’t care he was a chef at the moment or freaked out a bit and cooked anyways.  I will be forever grateful for these ladies that fed our family when we were not able to!

So why are people (even very close friends and family) afraid to cook for chefs?  They worry he won’t like it or that he’ll critique it?  They worry that he’ll say he loves it but then bash it when he gets in the car to go home?

Sure, he critiques food when we go out to eat (all chefs do, even if they do it silently in their head).  But those are professionals cooking in a restaurant.  Unless you are trying to get a job in his kitchen, don’t worry about it.  It’s not a job interview.  It’s just dinner.  Everyone has to eat!

I cook for my chef/husband all the time.  He’s used to eating “normal” food prepared by a home cook.  I’m not an amazing cook.  I cook to feed my family.  Yes, I have access to more recipes and cookbooks than I know what to do with.  But really, we eat just like you do the majority of the time.  Nothing fancy.

So now that I’ve made you all feel guilty and you are trying to think about when you can invite us over for dinner (just kidding), here are a few tips for when you invite your favorite chef and his/her family over for dinner.

  1. Don’t make a new recipe.  Prepare something you’ve made before that you enjoy.  If you like it, chances are we will too.
  2. Don’t spend too much time preparing the meal days and days before we are scheduled to come.  My chef/husband’s schedule changes often and unexpectedly and there is a chance I will have to reschedule.  Please don’t take this personally.  We still like you.  But we also like having a paycheck that pays our bills and when you run a restaurant, sometimes things come up that are out of your control and you have to take care of them.  Sorry if that is hard to understand, but that is our life as a chef’s family.
  3. Don’t cater to our kids.  They eat what we eat.
  4. Please don’t make Top Ramen.  (Sorry . . . I couldn’t resist throwing that one in.  Although if you did, we would laugh hysterically and it would be a great new blog post for me.)
  5. Be confident and relax.  Your family eats your food all the time and they have lived to tell about it.  So will we and I’m sure we will enjoy it.

Just a few tips, nothing life changing.  It’s really not a big deal.  I promise!  Take a chance.  Pick up the phone.  Send a quick text.  Send an email.  Invite your favorite chef and his/her family over.  I’m sure you’ll do great!

Other chef wives and significant others, would you add anything to the list?  I’d love to know your thoughts . . .

From one chef wife to another,

Jennifer

 

 

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