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Jun 26, 2008 08:06 AM

When the Chef goes above and beyond for you.

Mr CF and I attended the dinner we 'won' at a local charity auction last night.

The food was paired to wines selected from the donor's cellar, and I kid you not, dinner was amazing. We had the sort of dinner I expect in a major restaurant in a city like NYC, Las Vegas, San Francisco or Chicago. Yowza!

The Chef also knows about my food allergy and we had talked prior to the dinner about what to do about it. I told him that if there was a wine that would just be sublime with, oh, Lobster for instance, that I would like him to serve that and I would either skip the course or if he could, just substitute something else for me. And that's what he did - but he did it in such a manner that it wasn't completely obvious to everyone that mine was different.

Dinner was incredible.

We did tip the servers and the chef as well, but should we do anything else?
I do think I will write a note and send it in a thank you card.

Any better ideas?


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  1. Since it was a charity auction, I would suggest an additional donation to the cause in the chef's name.

    1. That is sometimes what I get at one of my favorite hang outs and yes tipping the server and chef are appropriate, but often I go back to the kitchen (I am allowed) to personally thank the chef... a thank you note would be just the same.

      1. I don't know where you live, but if it's a smaller town with its own newspaper, maybe a letter to the editor praising the chef, putting it in the context of, this guy really went out of his way to support this charity, and he did this amazing job, and we should all support this charity in the future, etc., etc. This would give a very public kudos to the chef and a plug for the charity at the same time. Everyone appreciates public recognition for a job well done.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lisavf

          That's a very good idea - I couldn't probably get it in the Indianapolis paper but the charity does have a news letter they send out... I could send a note/letter to them as well as the chef.

          We did thank him personally and several of the cooks in the back as well, but an additional note of thanks is completely deserved - and some public recognition too.

        2. I can't quite work it out from your description (its hot in here), but I am assuming this was a Chef from a local restaurant? If that is the case, then the greatest tribute you can pay is your paying custom. Book a reservation for next week!

          4 Replies
          1. re: LJS

            agreed. consider making this establishment your regular place for an anniversary or b-day dinner, or bring in a large party of your family/friends for a meal--everybody wins. also talk up the chef, his restaurant and food on chowhound and other media outlets, & to your friends. independent restaurants, especially ones doing a great job, need all the buzz and support from good customers like yourself, that they can get. the card would be very appreciated, of course, but it would be most gratifying to see you and your husband regularly, or have new diners come into the restaurant saying how they made a reservation as a result of your personal high praise.

            1. re: soupkitten

              Hi soupkitten & LJS,

              It's an independent restaurant in Indianapolis, which God knows we really need more of here. I'm always talking it up on Chowhound, mostly to myself though, as there are very few posts regarding Indy.

              We are regular customers - as in 4 -5 times a month, and I'll be back tomorrow to pick up some salmon Neal is ordering for me. Thank you Neal! We have brought in family and friends. One of the couples last night was new to L'Explorateur and hopefully they'll be back. Our son and his girlfriend love it too.

              We'll definitely be back!


              1. re: Cookiefiend

                oh that's awesome. the only thing better than a friend for life is a friend for life who feeds you. it sounds like you really have it going on, CF! :)

              2. re: soupkitten

                I'll third that. That really is the best way to show your appreciation.

            2. Cookiefiend: Talk about coincidence! I am coming to Indianapolis, where I have never been, next May for a conference...I am going to be part of a group of 100-150 coming from all over the US and Canada and the UK .Some of us use our free night to explore a new (to us!) restaurant. Can you provide detaills or a link to the restaurant? I would be happy to credit you ("Yes, it was Mr and and Mrs Cookiefiend who recommended you...")

              1 Reply
              1. re: LJS



                That's also the newest menu!
                By next May they will have moved downtown, so there'll be a different address.

                I hope you enjoy Indianapolis! Let us know how it goes!