Most surprising dining request from a guest (at your home)

I know there are many professionals on this site, so they've likely heard everything from here to Sunday. But I was laughing with friends about the bizarre comments we'd gotten from dinner/dining guests.

- Please save the pasta water because I need it to fill the toilets.

- Are you going to use that charcoal again?

- May I have a frying pan to cook this steak? (asked at the dinner table)

  • Posted by: Pegeen
  • July 12, 2012


mensaque August 16, 2012
New Year's Eve...Made Feijoada,ultimate brazilian feast...Cooked for two days...Kitchen was hell on Earth...Had 20 people one(OK,the more,the merrier,but...)...One uninvited boy...Son to an uninvited girlfriend to an invited jack-ass who never mentioned the kid ATE NO BEANS!!!
melissav July 25, 2012
When I first moved to Ft. Lauderdale, I had my inlaws and my grandmother over for dinner. My grandmother (whose hearing is not that great anymore) leans over to my mother-in-law and trys to whisper (but actually screams) "I don't like this weird food she always makes." Everyone heard her and busted out laughing. The best part is that 20 minutes later she went up and helped herself to seconds. We will never let her live that done.
Saltlakecityfoodie July 17, 2012
I like my fish overcooked. Can you put the halibut (that I had just served) in the microwave for me and really, really cook it?
Saltlakecityfoodie July 17, 2012
I like my fish overcooked. Can you put the halibut (that I had just served) in the microwave for me and really, really cook it?
aargersi July 16, 2012
OK that is VERY funny! Also I think it was considerate of her to use the Beano - when you weigh that against the consequences of NOT using the beano. Ha ha!!!!
susan G. July 17, 2012
If Beano is used directly on hot food, the enzyme is destroyed. Maybe that's her motivation -- though it only takes a short time for the food to cool off enough. (I don't know if this is true of Beano available currently -- I thought it was all pills now. When Beano made its world debut, a buffet was served, an all-bean meal, and this point was made. Other foods, in addition to beans, benefit too. My husband had to use it on lettuce for a while. At least that was served cool!)
Dianemwj July 15, 2012
This isn't a special request, but I thought it was weird anyway: My in-laws were visiting from Iowa (I live in Las Vegas) and at every meal I served my MIL would proclaim "This food is really hot!" And she didn't mean spicy-hot, she was complaining about the temperature of the food. I didn't know what she expected me to do, let the food sit around and get cold? Then she proceeded to dump Beano all over everything. Don't get me wrong, I really love my MIL but I couldn't get over her aversion to hot food. And when we visit them in Iowa, she asks me to do all the cooking. I don't mind, I love to cook and show off a bit, but even in Iowa I served the food nice and piping hot.
lloreen July 15, 2012
Ah, shoresdiver, but did she drink the whole bottle herself? I have had guests arrive with wine or beer that they declared off limits to anyone else. In fact, once a guest was offended that I "stole" one of his beers out of my own fridge. Ah, grad school....
shoresdiver July 15, 2012
Upon arriving, a guest presented me with a bottle of wine -- what a nice gesture! The gesture was diluted when I asked her what she wanted to drink, and was told: "that bottle of wine; it is one of the few that I like!" Oh well, at least she was honest...
Summer O. July 15, 2012
I had a guest leave our daughter's birthday party mid cake cutting to go buy her daughter's preferred flavor of ice cream, which, apparently, we were bad hosts for not serving.
thirschfeld July 15, 2012
I once had someone ask me the provenance of the pork I was serving. I told them if what I was serving wasn't good enough McDondald's is five minutes down the road. I was with my father-in-law another time and I had someone tell me they couldn't eat what I was serving because they were on a diet. My father-in-law looked at them and said, " A sack of shit is a sack of shit no matter what it weighs so you may as well eat." Needless to say he was very protective of my cooking.
BoulderGalinTokyo July 14, 2012
OK drbabs, I get it now that I followed the thread back to pierino's comment! So, if people think 'stuffing tofu in place of meat' is good vegetarian-ism, no wonder tofu has such a bad PR problem.
drbabs July 14, 2012
$5, really? Are you sure you aren't feeding the members of my synagogue? They complain about paying for food, too. I hope you're being well paid.
nutcakes July 14, 2012
For a few years I did $5 3 course lunches for my father's Sr. bowling group. It can be done if you shop smart and shop the sales and seasonal goods.
BoulderGalinTokyo July 14, 2012
Drbabs, I didn't understand, someone asked you to serve all that tofu krap? I'm more of a 'When in Rome' type of person, learn to eat tofu like it was meant to be eaten which can be delicious, but it ain't gonna be a meat substitiute.
drbabs July 14, 2012
No, fortunately. I was replying to pierino's question about a French recipe calling for tofu. I guess the joke got lost in the thread.
pierino July 14, 2012
It get's worse. The meal is tomorrow most of the cooking will be done this evening. The person who is helping me as sous is taking the side of the veg-bollah. She's asked me to save some of the marinade for the chicken thighs to use with the tofu. The marinade contains dry vermouth and onions. I can't imagine how awful that will taste, but I won't be cooking it anyway. The meals cost a wopping $5.00 per person for three to four courses. You can't eat at Taco Bell for that. But the vegetarians feel slighted and overcharged if there is not a special course reserved for them. There are already two meatless coarses on the menu.
boulangere July 14, 2012
No good deed goes unpunished, Pierino.
Sam1148 July 13, 2012
One time we (well, the SO) was a jerk or just overly vocal at a BBQ..and rightfully so.

The host was making BBQ chicken on the grill, and a big bowl of sauce the raw chicken was soaking in...then after the chicken was done he put the cooked chicken back into the bowl that was raw chicken was soaking in with the sauce.

The SO let out a stream of alliterative exclamations that are still talked about to this day:
"I'm not eating any of your filthy, vile, foul, salmonella, soaked, putrid, poisoned, poultry". Along with with some other colorful embellishments.

pierino July 14, 2012
Now that's a scary one Sam.
BoulderGalinTokyo July 14, 2012
So the SO wasn't such a jerk after all. An (educated) loud mouth maybe...
Abby A. July 16, 2012
I hope the message got through and your friends learned a that their practice is dangerous.
Abby A. July 16, 2012
I hope the message got through and your friends learned a that their practice is dangerous.
petitbleu July 13, 2012
Strange requests when entertaining? Not so much. But as a long time farmer's market vendor, first for a cheese maker I was apprenticing with, now with my own business, I've heard everything. And I mean everything. For the cheese maker, one person complained every week about the CRACKERS we were using. I tried to tell them it wasn't about the crackers--it was about the cheese, but that was never a good enough explanation. Then there were the people who would come up to the booth and state that they hated goat cheese and then proceed to talk my ear off for 15 minutes about their dietary issues and health problems. I could go on, but I'll spare you.
Devangi R. July 13, 2012
Boulangere you seriously gave me a laugh...that was their last invitation and the helen keller part..I can't stop laughing...
lloreen July 13, 2012
Well, there was the person who asked me to leave a cocktail party at my apartment to buy her special gluten free crackers. This was despite the fact that there were four or five non-gluten dishes she could eat.
But my favorite from my grad-school entertaining days is when people RSVP that "maybe" they can come to dinner, as if they are waiting until the last minute to see if a better offer comes up. Oh, and then they bring a few extra friends.
boulangere July 14, 2012
Oh yes, lloreen, I love that, "Look who I ran into," introduction to who has been dragged along.
Chef L. July 13, 2012
Thank you all for a mid-morning belly laugh!
Tarragon July 13, 2012
I am really enjoying this thread and can so relate to many of the responses - I especially enjoyed Boulangere's smoked salmon on pasta story! One New Years Eve I made an elegant beef tenderloin, which I sliced and served on baguette slices with a mayo-based sauce and a mustard sauce. One guest asked for barbecue sauce. I resolved never to cook for this couple again, but they are good friends of my husband so when we entertain these people I just dumb it down - burgers and hot dogs on the grill.
drbabs July 13, 2012
I like your style, Tarragon. When entertaining friends, people are more important than food.
aargersi July 13, 2012
Bacon isn't pork. It's magic.

I honestly can't think of any oddball or inconsiderate requests. I'll make PB&J for my friend's kids if they aren't digging a rabbit fricasee ... I myself have ask people to feed me my beer when I had crawfish paws at a boil ...

Voted the Best Reply!

jmburns July 13, 2012
I always ask about food allergies or particular dislikes. They generally reply "oh we eat anything". So I say "then my liver and Brussel sprout casserole is ok". This usually gets them to open up.
Sam1148 July 13, 2012
One thing that bugs me is the SO's request of "no Pork" not for religious reason he just says he doesn't like Pork.......except Bacon, Ribs, Ham, Ham Hocks, Pork Belly..

I think as a child he was frighten by over cooked pork chops---but he says it was because he was bitten on the ass by a momma pig at his grandparents farm while holding a piglet to castrate it and it left a scar. I'd think eating pork would be "pay back".
drbabs July 13, 2012
My husband grew up keeping kosher so he doesn't eat pork. (but he will eat bacon so go figure).
pierino July 13, 2012
I'm completely porkaholic myself but the one thing that has surprised me is that it's my Jewish friends who are the biggest fans of pork on the planet. One told me, "Well, if you are going to sin..."
pierino July 12, 2012
Each month I chef a community meal for anywhere from 15 to 30 people. I always have a theme, it locks my brain in place. There is a tiny but strident vegetarian faction here. Even though I always have meatless courses the militants sometimes insist that there should be one course specifically and exclusively for them. Recently I had one of these people on my team who DEMANDED that portobello mushrooms be on the menu even though it didn't fit. I hate those things. They are a really weak platform to build anything from. Today I met with a team member for my Bastille Day menu and she thought that we needed to include tofu for the veg hezbollah. Can you think of a French recipe calling for tofu?
Sam1148 July 12, 2012
I got taken to task here for an admittedly poorly worded post that could have been taken for anti-veg.
I just don't think vegan and vegetables should mimic meats, or dairy or such with a factory made product. And should stand on their own; with stuff you can make in your kitchen with fresh products and not factory produced simulation products. I'm lucky I don't have picky vegan friends and those I do have I make something with fresh products. In fact tonight we had a vegan meal--well, except for the mayo based dipping sauce for artichokes.
boulangere July 12, 2012
No. I cannot. Because none exists. For good reason. Speaking of firearms . . .
drbabs July 13, 2012
Tofu remoulade, tofu meunière, tofu au poivre, tofu cassoulet, tofu frites, tofu bouillabaisse, tofu ratatouille.... Do I sound like Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump? Actually, you could make ratatouille, but it wouldn't have tofu in it. Tofu. Really?
allans July 12, 2012
15 minutes before they were due to arrive (first timers) they called to ask if they could come the following night as their brother was having a grand opening at his bar and they had to support him. It goes without saying that everything was ready to go. actually never spoke to them again.
David R. July 12, 2012
While cooking filet mignons marinated in gin and served in martini glasses with an olive a guest asked..., are these filets boneless?
kbckitchen July 12, 2012
Hmmm how about French onion dip??? To add to the mashed potatoes? But I really like the food critics. This is really good but wouldn't it be better added this or that!
JanetFL July 12, 2012
"My husband does not eat any of this food"......Yep, no return invitation from me!
MTMitchell July 12, 2012
Wait -- he couldn't speak for himself...? My husband would be on his own refusing food as a guest. Although I can't see him doing it, so...
paseo July 12, 2012
I am with you Boulangere about loving to feed people - entertaining is always good for a laugh, people being what they are. Smiled all the way through your comment
boulangere July 12, 2012
Where do I start? There were the neighbors who kept returning next door to mix drinks for themselves, as I only offered beer or wine. One of the same neighbors, on the same evening, sat and watched (and drank) while we all ate a lovely (at least I thought so) lemony smoked salmon over freshly made pasta ("I just don't eat pasta like this," whatever the hell that means). That was their last invitation. One friend, faced with a grilled fish salad just sat and cut hers into tinier and tinier pieces while the rest of us ate it. Another friend ate the filing and left the pie crust. A couple with a daughter the same age as our son (about 18 months), who couldn't get her to go to sleep looooong after our son was out cold, let her run around the table like the young Helen Keller. Couldn't get them out the door fast enough. The dining room looked like the aftermath of a food fight; the dog started the clean-up, and probably hoped they'd be coming back soon. Recently, at a dinner that I was serving outside off the grill in a series of small plates, a guest stood up and announced she just didn't have time for the "real food" to arrive. Nonetheless, I love to entertain. It's always a thrill in one way or another.
pierino July 12, 2012
Oh you Montanans. At least they didn't go back home to fetch a fire arm along with their cocktails. Or maybe they did.
drbabs July 13, 2012
You both crack me up. Like a young Helen Keller....fetch firearms...can't stop laughing.
Pegeen July 13, 2012
You have me laughing...
drbabs July 12, 2012
Pegeen, reading this makes me ever so grateful for my family and friends. I can honestly say that I've never had such bizarre requests from anyone!
Pegeen July 12, 2012
Hey drbabs (have enjoyed so many of your recipes!). My family and close friends are well-mannered, too. But I love having anyone over to dinner - and there are often funny and bizarre incidents.
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