Do you enjoy compliments on your culinary skills?

Joined Jul 24, 2001
Ok admit it in public!
Do you enjoy compliments on your culinary skills or you just don't care?

Don't you feel dreadful when you don't receive praizes for a dish , meal or dinner you have prepared?

I do :D
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Me too, Athenaeus. I inherited a strong streak of narcissism, and although I try hard to sublimate it, it sometimes emerges when I put dishes on the table. Since I don't usually mess up badly in the kitchen, I get thanked most of the time. My husband, who has no interest in the subtleties of food, does say thank you for pir nightly dinner, but can't really tell if I try something new unless he really doesn't like the flavor or texture. On the other hand, most of my family doesn't like to cook at all; they consider any cooking or baking to be a lot of trouble. So when I cook or bake, they appreciate it.
Joined Mar 12, 2001
I love to be complimented on my cooking. Often I won't be actively looking for a compliment, but I'll notice when it doesn't come.
Cooking is my way of showing love to people and nurturing them, so if the food is enjoyed, then it makes me very happy.
Joined May 26, 2001
Come on, Vivian, we're all human (even Cape Chef ;) ) -- who doesn't like to be told they've done a good job?

But what about when the dish they're praising didn't come out as you'd hoped? They think it's great, but you're disappointed. What then? It took me years to be able to just smile and say, "I'm so glad you like it" and NOT start cataloguing all the ways it could have been better if only ... What about everyone else?
Joined Jul 31, 2000
I wasn't sure how to answer this thread.

I must agree with Suzanne, everytime I get a compliment i'm very humbled by it,but unless it's perfect I always have that little demon on my shoulder telling me all the things I could a should a done:)

Also a diner likes to have there taste justified by the chef. "Oh i'm so happy you enjoyed your meal, you have great taste"

Although a verbal compliment is always nice, the greatest compliment is when you see return buisness from your guest, and positive word of mouth.
Joined Dec 12, 2000
well, if someone comes up to me in the restaurant and tells me that their food was great, it makes me feel good, not because I'm being complimented, but because they enjoyed their meal.
Joined Oct 13, 2001
I agree with you Brad , we are always so much more critical of ourselves than the public . I have learned through the years to let compliments go right through me . Sure there nice , but to me they are embarrassing also , isnt this what I get paid for ? I have learned to tell myself that hey , I did a good job , I did the best I could have done . This is what really matters to me . Of course I am graciouse to people when complimented but like I said , it is not what I live for . I know if it was done right or wrong and I am my own final judge . Peace to all , Doug
Joined Jul 24, 2001
Yes I know what do you mean. "This is what I am paid for" BUT I belong to those that are persuaded that food can be a life-changing experiences and believe me, I know very well what does "life-changing" mean :)

Socrates used to say that " Music, tames the morals" (he meant the character)

I'd say that his wife must not have been an excellent cook!

All I am suggesting here is that there are moments that you observe this gleam in the eyes of the person who has just tasted your dish and you know that the " compliment" comes from his heart.

Last nigh we had a couple for dinner. To tell you the truth it was a dinner out of a social obligation. The lady, who has this anglosaxonic polite attitude ( Fake politeness) BEFORE she put the fork in her mouth and I mean her tongue hasn't touched the food yet, she exclamated :" You are such a good cook"

She ruined my evening!
Joined Jul 8, 2002
On your point Suzanne about "could have been better" humility
is the great equalizer.If you or anyone didn't think like this we would be doomed to mediocracy. And if people and friends look
up to you as a sounding board as to the quality of food prepared
"I'm so glad you liked it" response would be the correct one.
No one wants to eat food that someone they respect finds subpar
this only leaves them feeling inadequate,and food is about sharing and love.Your attitude should be commended.
Joined Dec 4, 2001
I like the feeling I get when people compliment my cooking, especially if I think it is good also. Like Suzanne it took me a long time to break the habit of telling guests how I could have done it better.
I am not a professional chef but I do have a minor reputation amongst my frieds for being a pretty good cook. So when they eat at my house they usually compliment the food. However, if the food is not up to my standard, I wonder how sincere the compliment is. And then we have these two friends who are actors! :confused:
But yeah. I like the compliments.

Joined Jul 28, 2001
Most compliments go through me and I usually have the same responce as CC'I'm so pleased you enjoyed it'.
My high come from the bussed dishes. That's my make it or break it. A cleaned dish is nice but a dish where I can see that the diner has gotten my theme and things were eaten together in graduations (even if some is left)gives me chills.
Joined Apr 19, 2001
Like all of you, I feel both humbled and proud when I pull off a perfectly synchronized meal. I've had two clients who are very NYC savvy, having eaten everywhere in the City, tell me my plating and menus are better than top restaurants where they've eaten - course that was after cocktails and oodles of wine at dinner!;)

This is pretty timely, because I had a situation last weekend, with brother/sister in law who came to visit, as they do about twice a year. Bard is an unabashed foodie, and Sharon is a quite adequate cook. However, Brad takes it upon myself to say things like 'gee, Sharon, now that you've worked with Jackie in the kitchen this afternoon, maybe you've learned something and can do this at home'. Makes me very uncomfortable to say the least! I came back at him with a comment that Sharon does very well on her own, thank you!

Have any of you experienced this with family members or friends? How did you handle the situation?
Joined Mar 6, 2001
I still get embarrased by compliments, granted that's always my goal (a happy client)... but honestly my favorite compliments are ones I wasn't supposed to hear or they didn't know it was me who made the pastries, etc... Those feel the best!!

I can relate to that situation Jackie, I always stumble and mention all my failures and how I like something that person makes more then my own version. Not a great response, but it's always true and heartfelt. My good ole hubby loves to chime in on all of my everytime I use the broiler in our house it sets off the smoke detector (our vent doesn't lead outside, but it's fun to get teased).
Joined Mar 7, 2001
Oh Wendy I can relate it seems everytime I cook at my mothers home I set off the smoke brother gets quite the kick out of his chef sister smoking up the house
Joined Jan 21, 2002
Generally no, unless it's my mom. I prefer when a customer doesn't notice anything and has everything s/he expected in front of them. It's when they say something's wrong I take notice.
Joined Dec 4, 2001
Am I seeing a trend here? It looks like the amateurs like me enjoy basking in the glory (albeit with a dose of self doubt thrown in) while professionals serving the paying public are more indifferent.
Comments anyone?

Joined May 26, 2001
No, Jock, not indifferent at all. We just almost never get to hear praise, for one thing. And for another, "every day in every way I get better and better." That is, we know what it should be, we know what it IS, and it's our job to strive to narrow the space between the two.

That's why whenever I eat out, I try to make sure to let the kitchen know how much I enjoyed and appreciated their work. Because while it's their job, it's also their (our) life.

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