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Aug 8, 2014 09:37 PM

Best wording to offer chef services as a gift to bride & groom

My BFF's daughter is getting married next month and as an addition to a wedding gift I would like to offer the newlywed couple my chef services for am intimate dinner party for up to a party of 6. I've done catering for the family pro bono before, but want to make it clear that my services (planning, shopping, cooking) are free, but not the actual food costs. How best to word this offer? TIA.

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  1. That's weird. Just pay for the food or don't offer the gift. Also is this gift for you, seems self absorbing...

    5 Replies
    1. re: albatruffles

      Wow...really?! So if someone offered this to you you would take it as a slight? Don't understand how this would be gifting myself.

      1. re: letsindulge

        "Don't understand how this would be gifting myself."

        Since no one else took the time to reply...this gift could also be construed as "free advertising".

        I did like some of the ideas posted later in the thread, e.g. absorbing the food costs and cooking ~only~ for the couple. The idea of taking the couple shopping and then offering them a cooking-lesson is genius!

        1. re: pedalfaster

          I think the idea of offering a cooking-lesson could still be taken as 'offensive' to the couple because they might think.. "what is so wrong with my cooking? why does this person think we need lessons? who does this person think s/he is anyway.. telling us how to cook!"
          (Not to mention if they have dietary sensitivities or keep Kosher.)

          1. re: pedalfaster

            pedalfaster: a cooking lesson for a couple in their late twenties that didn't ask for such a lesson?

            taking a couple in their late twenties to the market as though they hadn't yet figured out how to shop for food? and on top of it asking them to pay for it?
            some of my daughter's friends in their EARLY twenties have already traveled the world and earned their masters degrees and have responsible jobs. these are not little kids anymore who are helpless in a supermarket.
            also, NONE of them want to spend their hard-earned money on higher end food--they'll happily eat it if someone else were to deliver a box of gourmet chocolate croissants or the like, but they'd rather spend THEIR money paying off their student loans or traveling or, or, or.

            by my late 20's i was a personal chef myself.
            one of my daughter's friendsm (24 years old) is already a professional baker at a bakery.

            by one's late 20's, the time for this sort of hand-holding by a member of your parents' generation is normally well over.

            what about this concept do you see as genius?

            1. re: westsidegal

              Lots of people sign up for all kinds of cooking lessons, well past their 20s. A cooking lesson doesn't necessarily mean starting from how to boil water. Base on the number of cooking classes available, I assume lots of people who cook quite well would still be interested in learning secrets and tips from a professional.

              I'd see the market trip the same way. I mean, yes, sure, I can go to the store and buy groceries, but I imagine professionals might have ways of spotting the best produce or an approach to thinking about shopping that's interesting and different from what I do as just an ordinary person.

              If either member of the happy couple was a chef, I'm assuming the original poster would have mentioned that.

      2. I hate to say it because it probably isn't what you want to hear, but I agree with albatruffles's post. If the newlyweds have to pay, then it just doesn't sound like a gift. Moreover, I guess if you can talk it out and explain it to your BFF first then maybe s/he could explain it to the daughter so that she understands she still has to pay.. but eh, I think with all of the wedding planning and then the day itself and maybe a honeymoon afterward, then the last thing she will probably want to think about is coordinating another dinner that ..basically she will also have to pay for. Not to mention, I am not sure I would want one of my parent's friends working in my kitchen and/or serving me in my own house... and I probably wouldn't want to drag my friends over to someone's house that was merely a friend of my parents (not really my own friend). I would rather have something off my registry and maybe just treat your BFF to dinner because s/he will surely also deserve it after the wedding stress.--Just my opinion though.

        1. Exactly the reason you asked if there is a good way to say this, I would say that this can come off rather confusing. I would not bring this up unless they are complaining about finding a good caterer.

          1. Do the bride and groom know how to cook? If not, consider, instead, offering to take one or both of them shopping for ingredients for a meal of their choice, then walking them through the preparation. It could be just for the newlyweds, or others could be invited, arriving for drinks and hors d'oeuvres but not to participate in the shopping or cooking - too many cooks, as the saying goes. For the shopping part, you'd be showing them how to select good pieces of meat and produce, choose an appropriate wine, etc.

            As newlyweds, the thought of throwing a nice dinner party may be intimidating. You would be teaching them how to prepare a meal for entertaining their friends, so they can do so with confidence at a later date, without your assistance.

            4 Replies
            1. re: greygarious

              Now that would be a great gift! And it's a gift that would keep on giving.

              If they know how to cook some things, ask if there's one dish they'd really like to learn how to cook at home.

              1. re: greygarious

                i don't know how old these "kids" are who are getting married.
                my daughter is 23.
                the whole idea of throwing a "dinner party" is not something that she nor her friends would have any interest in doing.
                the formality of a dinner party is seen as an imposition.
                she and her boyfriend will participate in them at my house as an accommodation to MY desires.
                when HER friends come over, it is a lot more casual.
                making a mess in the kitchen which will require a real clean up is NOT appealing to her crowd nor is having a fixed start time.
                maybe it's because she's in the health care field as are most of her friends. they all work 12 hour shifts and are never really positive about what time they will get off work. also, it takes two to three hours to drive from one end of our county to another. it's almost an act of hostility to issue an invitation that involves a completely fixed start time. (a movie is ok because if "things happen" you can just blow off the movie.
                a get together to go to the gym is ok because if some folks arrive sooner or later than others, it's no big deal. grabbing a big table at a very causal restaurant that can accommodate folks coming and going as they get off work is ok. but a dinner party that starts at a specific time would not be valued)

                also, i'm not sure about the assumption that the newlyweds don't know how to shop for food. really? (maybe so, when my daughter first went to college some kids arrived never having done their own laundry!) my daughter already knows how to shop for food but doesn't have the interest in creating a dinner party with that knowledge. if one of my friends insisted on taking her to the market(s), it would be very awkward.

                not everyone thinks of dinner-party shopping, cooking, cleaning (before and after), as a wonderful creative outlet nor as a critical or desired life skill.

                1. re: westsidegal

                  Neither you nor I nor the other responders have any idea what the newlyweds' circumstances are, which is why I began my suggestion asking if they already cook. If not, the OP would also need to find out if they have any interest in learning. Fortunately, s/he knows the family so can suss out the specifics.

                  If they have/aspire to high-level professional careers, throwing a grown-up dinner party is a skill that would at some point be beneficial. IF they are interested in learning, the OP's offer could be a godsend.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    Very true.

                    I know a good number of 20-somethings. Their entertaining style runs the gamut - as is true for any age range. Some are very casual. Others could but their elders classic dinner parties to shame.

                    The OP has known her friends child for years. I doubt she would be considering this offer is she didn't think it was a gift they would enjoy.

              2. I agree that it's better to either give it as a full gift - you pay for the food and the services - or give something else entirely. No matter how you word it, it's going to come off as very strange.