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Jan 26, 2007 08:00 AM

Is It Rude To Ask The Chef To Visit The Table?

I am dining at a restaurant this weekend because I saw the chef do a wonderful/kind act to someone in need on a television show. I wanted to dine at his restaurant to let him know that I thought what he did was outstanding. Is it rude to ask the chef to visit the table to let him know how I feel about what he did?
How would one go about doing this?

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  1. I think the chef would be very pleased. This isn't a situation you'll find in an etiquette book but my guess would be you should tell either the maitre d' or your waiter how wonderful it was what the chef did, that learning about his act of kindness was what inspired you to dine there, and that you would be honored if the chef would, if he found the time, stop by your table so you can tell him in person what a kind thing he had done.

    1. It depends on what the chef does when he's back in the kitchen. In some places, the chef does both the expediting and the final plate check. Pulling the chef out of the kitchen during a busy service will really mess up the work flow in the kitchen. If it's really late in the evening, it might be okay, but during prime hours, I'd just write a nice note and have it sent back to the kitchen on my way out. The best way to recognize a chef is to come back and bring your friends.

      1. I only ask to see a chef if the meal is so outstanding that I would feel remiss to leave without telling him. In that case I usually ask if the chef has a moment I'd love to compliment him on his cuisine.

        1. chefs are always gratified to be asked to meet a guest, but they may or may not be able to leave the kitchen when it's a good time for you. ( i have worked for some arrogant s.o.b.'s who just couldn't be bothered too.) you could call ahead and explain yourself to the maitre d' also.

          if the dinner is very good, even if you don't get to meet the chef, definitely send a note.

          1. Probably the nicest thing you can do for a chef is to send him back a glass of some of the excellent wine you had with your meal and your compliments. Then it's up to her to decide if she wants to come out and thank you. Imagine if every customer who thought they had superior taste in food expected the chef to come out and personally acknowledge them. They'd never get anything done!