When the Chef Brings Home Samples . . .

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I’ll have to admit, one perk I love about being married to a chef is the random samples we get to enjoy as a family.  You know what I’m talking about.

Your chef walks in the door late one night after work with a box full of samples – bread, steak, seafood, forks, knives, napkins . . .

The funny thing about samples, is that the chef only needs a bite or two to tell if he likes something and wants to use it in the restaurant.  And what do you do when you have 10 different steaks to try and get only one of each?  You can’t sell them in the restaurant, obviously.  So you cook them and try them (and depending on the job, you can do this at home so your family gets to enjoy the samples.)

Pin this for later!

Pin this for later!

Over the years we have had samples of steak, tea, bread, soup bases, sauces, seafood, paper supplies, condiments, sanitizing wipes, silverware, knives, etc . . . you never know what you’ll find in our cupboard, freezer or fridge around the time of a new menu roll out, a new restaurant opening or a restaurant rebranding.

The latest sample that has arrived in our home is the reason for this post.


No fancy picture, because how in the world do you make these look nice in a picture?

No fancy picture, because how in the world do you make these look nice in a picture?  However, I can’t leave a picture out because it cracks me up.  And this is only a SMALL sampling of what we have!!

Yes, paper napkins.

My chef/husband is working on rebranding one of the restaurants in his restaurant group and he doesn’t like the current napkins they are using.  So he asked for some samples of bar napkins and table napkins from his supplier.

Now where are these napkins you ask?  In our garage of course!

And what are we using as napkins on our table?  Random napkins from restaurants all over the US.

We’ve got 1 ply, 2 ply, and I have no idea the difference between the rest of the bar napkins.  (Well, they are stamped on the back to say what kind they are, but I really don’t care.)  Hey . . . free napkins.  The kids think it’s funny to choose one each meal.

And what are we using for paper towels?  Large table napkins of course (which are actually really great).  At least those are plan white (to match our dishes – lol).  They don’t look the greatest in the paper towel holder though . . . But why buy paper towels when we have all these to use?

Perfect fit!

Perfect fit!

I have no idea why I find this so hilarious, but I do.

Of all the samples over the years, my favorite has been bread samples.  I wish I didn’t love bread so much, but I do.

What do you do with 20 different types of bread that your chef needs to try?

Sample them of course.  Then wrap them up in saran wrap and foil and label them.  Stuff as many as you can in the freezer out in the garage.  Then give away the rest to friends, because seriously, who can fit that much bread in the freezer out in the garage??

I’m sure we are not the only chef family who enjoys this perk.  What are some types of samples you’ve seen brought home over the years?  Let me know in the comments below!

From one chef’s wife to another,


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  1. Jessica I

    Sometimes, we get a random sampling of meat. Like… Kobe beef hot dogs. We took 2 packages to the in law’s to taste and decided while they were good, they weren’t something that would sell in our area. But we had fancy hot dogs for a night!

    • Jennifer

      Funny. 🙂 Probably the most expensive hot dog you’ve ever eaten, right?


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