HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Pop off, or pipe down?

What would you do? Scenario: You, and SI are in attendance of a "cooking class" exhibition which includes enjoying the multi-course dinner that was prepared in demonstration. Chef/Presenter states what you know to be a obvious, and elementary blunder about a cooking technique that would dramatically affect the outcome of the dish. Do you say something, or bite your tongue? Did not know the level of culinary ability of the other attendees, but no one else blinked in eyelash at the blooper. TIA.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. depends on the class...if it was a free class, I'd just let it roll

    If it was fairly pricey, I might say something to the chef during a break. Embarrassing someone in public never turns out well.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842

      To further complicate things he, and his wife are friends of my son, and DIL who gifted me with the class/dinner. They paid $150 for my husband, and I to attend.

      1. re: letsindulge

        in which case silence is golden. There's no way that will end well.

        1. re: letsindulge

          Sounds really complicated. I would have kept comments to myself yet sent an email after the class to the instructor questioning the technique if it was still a concern.

      2. I'd want to speak up right away, choosing my words in such a way as to be collegial rather than confrontational. E.g., I was horrified when in Martha Stewart's Cooking School's show on stockmaking, MS said to skim and discard the fat.
        Had this been a live demonstration I attended, though I'd have been tempted to cry out, "Nooooo.....that stuff's gold, for frying potatoes and other sauteeing." Instead, I'd ask, "Could you save that fat and use it in some way?" Not that tossing the fat would have a negative impact on the stock, but it's an example of a surprising flub. I'm sure that Martha's frugal mother, who was feeding a working class family of 8, would not have discarded that fat.

        1 Reply
        1. re: greygarious

          That's honestly the first time I've read or heard of anyone else keeping the skimmed fat. I always have kept it because it is so good for so many things. I thought I was weird- Yay! I'm not. Well- about that anyway.

        2. Depends on the error. If safety is involved I would probably pop up.

          1. Let it go, I am sure there was something that you learned from the class.In Italian the phrase, "non vale la pena", (not worth it), applies here.

            1. Am I the only person who really wishes to know what the elementary blunder was?

              At least provide us with enough details so we know what the cooking technique that was used so we can better understand how important it would have been to pipe up or keep quiet.

              6 Replies
                  1. re: John E.

                    Blunder was duck confit, 3 - 4 hrs. @ 400°.

                    1. re: letsindulge

                      I've never made duck confit. Would the result of that time and temperature be a hard, crispy confit?

                      1. re: letsindulge

                        Maybe the instructor is a physics professor in his/her day job and was thinking degrees Kelvin. 400°K = 260°F.

                      2. I am there to learn. So if the instructor does screw it up, I will know that I am not the only one.

                        On the other hand, it may be that way on purpose. Mario on TV taught me to finish pasta in the sauce. Which explained why I could never get the same effect at home as I did in Italy.

                        My original thought would be that it had not cooked enough, and the dish would be ruined.

                        1. I would speak with the instructor during a break. "when I first learned to cook this dish, I was taught..., where did you learn (your) technique?" or something like that.

                          1. Duck confit is an expensive dish to screw up.

                            If there was a lot of dialogue during the class, I would have raised my hand and asked a question. Something along the lines of "I had always heard that duck confit was cooked at x degrees for y hours. Cooking it for less time at a higher temp sounds like a great time saver. Does it make a difference in the finished dish?"

                            If it was strictly a lecture format, I would have asked the same question in private.

                            Who knows...maybe the instructor knows something I don't and instead of discounting the comment, I could learn from it.

                            1. Could it be the person just misspoke about either time or temperature? If that was possbile, I would just ask for clarification.