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Would a chef let you into their kitchen?

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stonedtoronto Dec 19, 2009 03:06 AM

My gf asked me if we could see the kitchen of this restaurant. I don't want to say what resto; but it's nothing too fancy; just a simple bistro. We have gone to several kitchens before, but that's because I actually had a personal relationship with the chef or sous chef. This place, I just happen to like the food, and frequent enough that the chef knows my name, and has offered to make off menu items before.

I told my gf - "well, we could ask." I feel very weird asking someone that I don't know on a personal level to show me the kitchen. Is this an odd request to make?

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    fourunder RE: stonedtoronto Dec 19, 2009 07:06 AM

    If the chef is proud of his kitchen and it does not interfere with service, there's a good chance he will accommodate your wishes... but only if the restaurant is clean.......if he tells you it's against his insurance policy to do so.....the kitchen is dirty and he lying to you.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fourunder
      mrbigshotno.1 RE: fourunder Dec 19, 2009 03:02 PM

      EXACTAMUNDO!!!

    2. Dagney RE: stonedtoronto Dec 19, 2009 09:49 AM

      I don't think it's such an odd request. I used to work in restaurants and I LOVED watching a well orchestrated line.

      When all is said and done, it will depend on the chef. A chef who is confident and proud will probably say yes, as long as you are not asking to stand in the middle of the line on a Friday night.

      1. d
        duck833 RE: stonedtoronto Dec 20, 2009 03:47 PM

        I am back in the kitchen with Chef at our country club all the time. Nothing to hide, place gets a little crazy but they have lots of folks doing lots of things.

        Been back in the kitchen at upscale place in LV, kitchen was absolutely amazing, very impressive.

        1. m
          miki RE: stonedtoronto Dec 20, 2009 06:57 PM

          Be considerate, though. Ask ahead of time, and don't expect to see the kitchen during lunch or dinner hours. And follow the kitchen rules. : )

          1. ipsedixit RE: stonedtoronto Dec 20, 2009 07:34 PM

            Can't hurt to ask, nicely.

            But don't be offended if you are turned down.

            1. Shane Greenwood RE: stonedtoronto Dec 21, 2009 05:54 AM

              I think it's pretty common for patrons to get a peek at the kitchen. Some chefs and restaurants are more accommodating than others. Here in the Bay Area, Chez Panisse is famous for letting people go into the kitchen area to see what's going on. At most places it has a lot to do with the size of the kitchen and how busy they are. When I worked as a cook we had people come in all the time and our biggest concern was always for their safety...hot pans, wet floor, etc. Not the best place to be walking around in high heels after a few glasses of wine. But we always got a kick out of showing off our work in progress to the people we were serving. Just ask nicely and make sure they understand that you are curious because you love the food so much.

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