Chefs Talk: Are your friends and family reluctant to cook for you?

Are your friends and family reluctant to cook for you in fear that you might consider their cooking to be less sophisticated or creative than yours?



Jena Stewart- Devour   250.590.3231

My friends get so nervous, we rarely get invited to anyone’s for dinner. I almost hate to explain that as chefs when we can eat it’s usually on a milk crate in some despicable alley, stuffing our mouths with carbs and only with a fork, because a knife is never within reach. If our friends just roasted a chicken and threw some veggies on the plate I would be so happy. Hint hint.


Zoe O’Doherty-La Piola   250.388.4517

Both my husband and I are chefs and have this problem, but worse then that is when you get invited over for dinner and somehow you get wrangled into cooking it.


Ronald St-Pierre- Locals   250.338.6493

Most of my friends are happy to cook for us as they know that the visit is what it is about– sharing a meal in good company. But many other friends have told us that they wouldn’t have us over in fear of their cooking… too bad, so sad. I would be happy with hotdog as long as they buy the sausage locally!


Matthew Rissling- The Marina Restaurant   250.598.8555

I usually take the ‘less is more’ route– I really love simple home cooking, so I don’t think anyone feels reluctant to cook for me. The whole point is getting together, and that’s usually more important than what’s being served. I am happy to sit down to pasta with good bread and a simple green salad or roast chicken. When talking about food with friends outside of work it’s usually about food politics or gardening instead of trading recipes or shop talk.


Peter Zambri- Zambri’s   250.360.1171

The bulk of us chefs are pretty down to earth and I don’t think my family or friends are reluctant to cook for me. I try to relieve any tension in that situation by either helping out or by opening the first bottle of wine or beer. I also believe that most chefs are pretty easy to cook for considering that it happens so infrequently. So any ladies out there wish to invite me over for dinner? Wink wink.


Lisa Hartery- Nautical Nellies   250.380.2260

Once family and friends realise that we are only too happy to have someone else do the cooking, they relax. Every home cook has a specialty from mac and cheese to lobster bisque, recipes handed down from generations past. These comfort foods are often more memorable than anything we’ve eaten in five-star restaurants.


Robin Jackson- Sooke Harbour House   250.642.3421

Sometimes people can be a bit shy when cooking for other people. I have to say that whenever other people cook for me I enjoy the experience of eating their fun twists on food so much more than if I had made it, and I always tell them that. No matter how simply or intricately a meal is prepared it is always a work of art. Cheers to all the beach fire dinners with friends and midnight batches of cookies! Food is such a fun, shared experience!


Jamie Cummins- Relish   250.590.8464

Most of my friends and family know that all I want is simple food. I think most of the fear is centered around the question if whether something is done or not. Is it med rare? Is the chicken cooked? Did I overcook the salmon? Family and friends cook from the heart. Sophistication and creativity cannot replace that.


John E. Brooks  chef @ Smoken Bones Cookshack

I have always have a laugh at my folks for this situation. When visiting, I’m always thrown into the ‘surprise’ family gathering, for which I seem to be the only one able to cook. I don’t get the ‘fear’ thing; if they knew what I eat at home, I’m sure they would challenge me to see who made the better nachos.



James DeLong, Cabana Bar and Grill, 250-763-1955

“Actually, yes! I always tell my friends & family, that good food, is good food; regardless of its sophistication and creativity. I crave my mother’s cooking & though it’s not the same as I do things in my restaurant, it is just as enjoyable simply because it’s meaningful to me.”

Gaby Azzam, Gaby’s Grill, 250-454-9907

Absolutely not, my friends and family are never in fear to cook for me, I never criticize their cooking. I appreciate when someone is willing to cook for me.

Cameron Smith & Dana Ewart, Joy Road Catering, 250-493-8657

Of course our family and friends are reluctant to cook for us.  We try our best to inform everyone about how we really feel….which is grateful to eat something that we did not have to make ourselves! The best meals are often so much more than just the food.  Simple foods, the ambiance or setting, or the people you are with can make a meal memorable and great. I can see how we could be intimidating to cook for when we are so conscious about our sustainable, local, organic, fresh philosophy towards cooking.

Bruno Terroso, Vanilla Pod, 250-494-8222


Sandrine Martin-Raffault, Sandrine French Pastry and Chocolate,  250-860-1202

Most of my family was “born” into pastry, so we share the passion of creating new desserts and sharing criticism in a passionate French atmosphere, for the sole purpose of improving them as “only the best will do”. With my friends, they are all foodies and love to cook. I always offer to bring dessert so they don’t worry about it.

Natasha Schooten, Watermark Beach Resort, 250-495-5500

Yes and No, I think that as a chef whenever I go somewhere for dinner there is a high expectation to make sure that the food is spectacular. But in all honesty it is the company that I am going to spend time with and that as a chef whenever I don’t have to cook that is always a great meal with good food and good company .

Monika Lauterbacher, The Vintage Room at the Coast Capri Hotel, 250-860-6060

… they usually would rather find a restaurant to take me to. Since my menus are made up of seasonal, local ingredients those that dare, know to raid their gardens and shop at a local farmer’s market to put big flavors on the stove. I guess I’ve taught even friends and family the 100 mile diet.


– Compiled by Ceara Lornie and Claire Sear


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