Does this ever happen to you? -Quandry
  Re: (...)
Ok so not to sure how to handle this in the future.

Derek and I were invited to a bbq at one of our friends house. We're told it nothing fancy everyone's bringing a dish that will serve about 6. I asked what everyone is bringing and decide on my spanish deviled eggs and crab stuffed cherry tomatoes.

When I arrive I have my ice chest in tow as I had everything in bags and planned on assembling them there. I had my tray, my own towel, spoons, garnish etc. Doing my thing...and my friend comes in and says how lovely and tells her other friends that I"m a chef and culinary trained blah blah. They all of course are saying things like 'wow a real chef' 'oh how fun and neat' blah blah.

Well next thing I know the hostess is deferring everything to me like she's never cooked anything in her life. Derek comes in the kitchen to figure out what in the heck is taking me so long and why am I not outside with everyone else having a beer.

He tells me put the knife down and come outside. (he's actually taking the knife out of my hand and leading me away hehe) So outside I go and one of the other gals comes over and says "Denise, she asked me to come get you she has some questions or something about the chicken" Well I can't just say "Um no..she can it herself she's a big girl" so back to the kitchen I go where I remained for the rest of the night till it was time to eat. Even then I was dishing food up. Derek was peeved as I was I.

People hear the word chef and assume that when you come to their house you can't wait to cook.

So have you guys been stuck in that situation? And if so how do you handle it?
  Re: Does this ever happen to you? -Quandry by DFen911 (Ok so not to sure ho...)
Similar circumstances Denise, but with family and friends. I just tell them before hand that I'm only doing my dish. Otherwise I get stuck like you did helping everyone else. Of course my "family" are used to my ways. If these are your friends you should be able to explain beforehand to the hostess and ask her to tell the others you are not here to do things like that. OR, just have your dish prepared before hand so you can just set it out. It may not be as "fresh and pretty", but I doubt the others did their dishes there either.
Don't wait too long to tell someone you love them.

  Re: Re: Does this ever happen to you? -Quandry by bjcotton (Similar circumstance...)
I am not a "CHEF" so I haven't been in that situation BUT I think I would have just presented my dish and deferred to the others---especially the host/hostess. After a few years, one learns to take the moment and stand up otherwise this will always be expected!!! JMHO----
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
  Re: Does this ever happen to you? -Quandry by DFen911 (Ok so not to sure ho...)
I think it must be intimidating to cook for a chef. I have a former brother-in-law who is a chef, and he's so picky about his food that I would never want to cook for him. My point is maybe your friend just didn't want to do something the "wrong way" in front of you or something along those lines. Maybe you could just say, "Relax, you're doing just don't need me. I'm going to go have a beer now." I don't know if that is where your friend is coming from but it's possible...just a thought.
  Re: Re: Does this ever happen to you? -Quandry by TwilightKitten (I think it must be i...)
I am so sorry that has happened to you and unfortunatly I don't think it will be the only time. I don't have much experience in this but I had three thoughts on this one.

1. If you needed to help her so much and spend so much of the time in the kitchen - she was not prepared and not organized. Whether you were a chef or not, you or someone else would have had to step up to get it done.

2. My mother in law always copmlains about one of her friends that when she invites over for a party will bring something elaborate to cook or put together and takes over her kitchen to prepare her dish. Because of her always complaining about that - I never take anything anywhere that isn't already put together, with a serving dish and serving utensils and ready to go - unless it might need a simple re-heat and I have already cleared that with the host. I would hate to be that friend someone else complains about taking over the kitchen. What I am trying to say is - keep your involvement in the kitchen to a minimum so you can't be pulled in.

3. I agree with Tammy that it might have been just insecurity. But I think you are going to get a formed reply in your head about how you are going to respond - or a tag team with your hubby on an escape plan. (with having triplets we always got comments from people, some nice, some mean, but most people just don't think before opening their mouths and speaking. I came up with a few responses so that when I picked my jaw up off the floor in a response to a comment - I could actually respond. There were a few times that someone said something and I was so shocked and hurt that I didn't say anything and it continues to bother me. Having the responses already formulated, really worked well and let me have my say in a not so rude way, and I could let it go). Sorry for rambling.
Mom to three wonderful 7th graders!
The time is flying by.
  Re: Re: Does this ever happen to you? -Quandry by esgunn (I am so sorry that h...)
Not a ramble, Erin. I did not stop to think about the chef intimidation factor----but I can understand how that may be a problem for most hosts that are insecure with their skills.

I am pretty confident with my abilities and creations---guess what---my daughter will be visiting in the fall with her "CHEF" friend---a really BIG DEAL in the Scottsdale, Arizona area----when I first became aware of this I was scared SH@*&%$!---then I said, well---maybe he would like a change of pace and appreciate some basic home cooking---we shall see, but I can totally relate to the "oh my goodness---a real, live chef on the premises"---soo many twists to this scenario. I think it's like everything else--go with the flow but set limits for yourself----can't be everything to everybody at all times---
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
  Re: Re: Does this ever happen to you? -Quandry by TwilightKitten (I think it must be i...)
I agree with Tammy. It probably is a bit intimidating cooking for a chef, or at least it would have been for me when I was younger. Now that I've been cooking for 40 years, I like to think it wouldn't bother me so much.

So, if you ever come out this way Denise, I'll plant you on a bar stool in my kitchen with your drink of choice, while I cook, unless you offer to make something. (But, I will let you throw in your two cents when you feel so inclined, because I always enjoy cooking advice.)

I'm sure someone else will have a much more tactful way of saying this, but maybe next time you could just say that you make it a practice not to cook at someone else's party, preferring to enjoy everyone else's food and recipes. Or, you could say that you don't cook at parties unless you are hired to cater them, but that might sound kind of bitchy, so I don't know if I would do that!


"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."
  Re: Re: Does this ever happen to you? -Quandry by Roxanne 21 (Not a ramble, Erin. ...)
You know I didn't think about that either. I think I'll just say something like "No no this is your party and I'm just so happy to be invited and relax". I think it's interesting that a few mentioned the inimiation factor. Even if I am a chef I still enjoy good cooking. Doesn't have to be cuisine...heck give me a a good meat loaf or a caserole And yes there are time I still do the macaroni and cheese out of the blue's good

Thank you so much guys for your input!
  Re: Re: Does this ever happen to you? -Quandry by DFen911 (You know I didn't th...)
"Relax, you're doing just don't need me. I'm going to go have a beer now."

I think this is the perfect response!! It always amazes me that more folks don't realize, who enjoys food more than a cook??? Home or Professional - I have run into the intimidation factor a lot over the years, even before I went to school, but all you can do is get thru it as fast as possible and grab another glass of wine...

But...there will always be this fascination with professional cooks where ever you go thru the years.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Does this ever happen to you? -Quandry by DFen911 (You know I didn't th...)
I think everyone's comments have this subject well covered. Erin's advice of having a comment ready is the way to go.

The main point is you need to find a way to graciously extract yourself from the kitchen if that's not where you want to be.

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