When friends invite a chef to a BBQ, house party, Bonfire, Kids Birthday Party, Superbowl Party?????

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Be prepared to cook.  Tonight my buddys superbowl party.  He said he had everything taken care of but hes cooking.  Just bring some steak and salad.  Long story short games starting.  The frozen shrimp cocktail is still frozen and he wants to put it out.  I have to take over end up cooking 4 10 people and don't sit down till almost the 2nd half.  Just in the home kitchen sweating watching people laughing and enjoying themselves.  Just like usual but I'M NOT WORKING.  Bitchin rant over.  Thanks
 

pete

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It just kind of comes with the territory.  Get used to it.  I kind of enjoy it.  It's a different kind of cooking and usually ends up being a pretty social thing as most of my friends and family tend to gather in the kitchen anyway.
 
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    I have eaten too many bad meals at other houses because no one knew what they were doing. A couple of summers ago I was invited to a friends summer bbq. She had plenty of nice ingredients but clueless about preparation, cluttered kitchen and no planning. We wouldn't have eaten until midnight and then badly. I stepped in with nominal assistance that wasn't entirely understood or appreciated by the hostess although the guests were quite grateful. 

     Then there are those home cooks who seem to feel they have to prove themselves, despite having no professional training. They won't take advice, don't want an honest opinion but expect you to say how wonderful everything is despite the obvious problems a little advice could have prevented. Then feel the need to announce that "Even the chef likes my cooking." 

   Or the guy who brought an apple pie to a party and during a moment we were seated together, asked my opinion of the pie I didn't realize he made. My honest response "It needs work", was met with silence. He's not very friendly since. 

    Or the time I did a morning after the wedding brunch as a gift for  a close friend. About a week later, I received a phone call from someone who wasn't even at the wedding asking me to do the same for them. For free because I did it for my friend. 

     I am now grateful when someone will ask for my professional expertise. I enjoy cooking and eating well and would rather step up and help make sure things go smoothly for people who appreciate my talents and expertise than suffer through one more disaster for the sake of appearances. When faced with someone clueless who refuses help, I typically claim to have already eaten rather than get indigestion.
 

kuan

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Maaaan!  I can't stand it!  Sometimes I just have to step in!
 
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I never feel the need to step in. I figure they invited me, not "the Chef". If asked that is a different story. Of course if I get the feeling it was somewhat premeditated, I might take that into consideration when I receive their next "invitation".

If asked my opinion on a dish, I say "It's pasta (or scampi, or BBQed chicken, or pie, or whatever), what's not to like plus I didn't have to make it!" If pushed for my opinion then I reply "I make it slightly differently and I am sure that we all are somewhat prejudiced when it comes to our own methods as that is human nature. If we didn't feel our way was best, why would we do it that way?" Usually by that time, people are no longer listening or just let it drop. For really stubborn types, my wife jumps in to mollify the conversation by saying something to the effect of how I am the easiest person in the world to cook for...unless he is paying you to do so, in which case...watch out!
 

pete

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I never feel the need to step in. I figure they invited me, not "the Chef". If asked that is a different story.
I generally agree, but I do often find myself drawn to the kitchen.  Like I said, at least with my group of friends and family, we often tend to gather in the kitchen so once there I often find myself with a knife in my hand or behind the stove, but I'm usually being social and have a drink within easy reach so I don't view it as a "hardship."  But I don't feel the need to step in.  There have been plenty of meals where I've sat my butt on the couch and socialized or watched the game and done absolutely nothing, but it's the rare occasion where I don't happily agree to give a helping hand and usually those times my wife will step in and say that this is my first break after 10 straight 16 hour days and she will jump in, in my place, giving me a chance to relax, but this happens very rarely as again I usually find this type of social cooking to be very relaxing.
 
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Anyone who's ever invited a "Chef" friend over to dinner knows the stress and anxiety.

It is an honor to be invited over to a friends house,  because I know the friend will cook their heart and soul out to please.
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2015
Laughing now but its not funny. I can't sit and watch somebody screw up food. My buddy was putting simple things out overcooked/undercooked/ cold/ Frozen. I confronted him, and almost every dish was good just needs some tlc. But he told me it doesn't matter its just food. I about lost it and cooked for the guests like I was trained to do
 
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I usually just turn my inner chef off and play nice. I usually go the "always nice when someone cooks for me" kind of route and make sure I have the salt handy (nobody ever seasons their f-n food, lol) 

I'm usually pretty easy going too...a few overcooked chicken wings or rotel/velveeta dip isn't going to ruin my night. If I know in advance the food is likely to be bad, I always offer to bring something (so I know I'll have at least 1 thing good) or pre-eat so that I'm not too hungry when I arrive. 
 
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Rotel tomatoes were on sale a couple of weeks ago.  I added some chorizo with the velveeta.
 
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Had this happen more than once. Also been to parties where my assistance was not asked for/desperatly needed and just let others cook. One guy staked out the grill at one party and his gf, who didn't know me, was saying something like, "well you guys are happy to let him do all the work" and I almost laughed in her face.
A lot of my friends pleasantly surprise me, though, laying out quite good spreads.
 
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at any friends place i have ever been to.....i end up taking charge of the whole cooking because i cant stand them messing up lol...most are more than happy to let me do it because in the end...everyone loves eating more than cooking..atleast the people i know.
 
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The best chef in town invited me to Christmas dinner one year when I was in college and everything was burned or poorly seasoned. I later found out that he was a real worker; had meticulously derived recipes for his restaurant, but when he had to wing it, he had no general cooking instincts. It was very educational. 
arent those 2 different philosophies?

i have seen chefs who eye ball everything then there are chefs who will use precision scale and measure to 1 gram precision
 
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I just see is like its 90% second nature for most of us at this point, We really are not putting as much effort into it as a home cook that is thinking about the recipe, using thermometers, googling how to do something or if something went wrong and most of all taking 10 times as long to cut something. we have worked so hard to gain a skill that we use to make strangers happy. I would defiantly do anything I could to make my friends happy and there days a little easier every chance I get. plus when I drink I ALWAYS want to cook haha.
 
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I enjoy whatever is offered and keep my professional opinions to myself. If I expected restaurant quality I'd go to a restaurant. I have no problems helping out if asked because I love cooking so it's hardly ever a chore though if invited over with expectations of cooking I mean look...just ask.
 
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