There are some questions I would never dare to ask, but might perhaps do so over a glass of wine. What questions would you ask the chefs ?
Nancy is a trusted home cook.
What a wonderful opportunity! Unless this is a professional interview situation, they are not working. Let them be guests, and let the conversation evolve, over the meal.
And I speak from experience...I once had a chat over lunch with Paul Bocuse at L'Auberge du Pont des Collognes and cooked for a local (Toronto) star chef. Survived and enjoyed ;) both!
Thank you for your reply Nancy, can I ask what did you cook?
I was in charge if dessert and made an olive oil sponge cake from the first chez panisse cook book. It was topped with poached fresh peaches, & white wine (either in the batter or the peaches). Our guest of honor recognized the dish from just reading the book and liked it, as did the other guests.
AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
Wow, that's really interesting, Nancy. I'm impressed! (I want to try that recipe, too. I have the book but have not made that cake . . . yet. I bet it would be nice with pears.) ;o)
Here's the original Olive oil Sauternes cake, and a variation with pears:
With Sauternes, no less?! Yes, please! Thank you, Nancy, for posting the links. ;o)
Yes, Antonia, Sauternes! I forgot that when I posted the first answer, but it really makes a dessert more complex than the usual cake and definitely celebration-worthy...
Chops is a trusted home cook.
Ketchup. Yea or Neh.
Might have it on the table to break the tension (mine) with a good laugh
LOL. Add a bottle of French yellow mustard as well. BTW - I love both.
Kids, hobbies, next vacation.
Next vacation is a good idea, certainly a destination to keep in mind for gourmet travel planner
June is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I've had that experience. Didn't (and don't recommend) having an "agenda." They are "just people," and pretty much anything you'd talk about with other friends is on the table.
Thank you, I agree. I wouldn't be able to focus on food and agenda!
I would ask them, "What do you enjoy doing when you're not cooking or otherwise working at the restaurant?" and/or "If you were not a chef, what would your dream job be?"
I actually think it's a good idea to plan in advance a few things you're going to say, when going into a meeting with other professionals.
In the classes I teach on negotiation strategy and tactics to MBA students in Silicon Valley, I always recommend not just thinking about the points that are going to come up, but also developing scripts on how they will address the tough issues. (This comes from 15 years as a trial lawyer and 15+ years negotiating transactions.) I realize that's not what is happening here, but I can easily imagine myself becoming quite tongue-tied in the presence of these chefs; having thought ahead of time about what I would say helps you become more confident, poised and comfortable - which in turn makes those around me more comfortable.
Incidentally, the two questions noted above are ones I often ask when meeting people at conferences, holiday parties for my professional organizations, etc.
Thank you Antonia, as a seasoned MBA I understand exactly your point, and I found your questions very interesting. Once you are there you forget.
I was thinking of asking about their "online source of inspiration". That is a very interesting questions for us Blogger.
I like asking these questions because I figure that chefs, like everyone else, probably enjoy talking about things other than work when they are not at the office/restaurant. Plus, it's so fun to learn about the things that others enjoy doing. I suspect that most chefs, given their hours, prefer to kick back, but still, people love most to talk about things that they enjoy.
I'm curious as to whether, and to what extent, chefs actually do go online for inspiration. I might start the line of inquiry that way, to lay the foundation (spoken like one who for years took depositions and examined witnesses).
Your Guardian Chef, you must report back to us after the event. We want details! ;o)
The event has been posted on my website:
Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your adventure. The food looked beautiful and your tables were set perfectly. I'm glad you scrapped the cars. :) They were cute in a humorous way, but the dessert you served was so vibrant looking. Nice job all around.
Extraordinary and evidently quite a success. Congratulations! Just amazing (and so impressive). ;o)
Looks like all the planning, recipe testing and thought paid off in a glorious, satisfying afternoon...there is a sense of abundance and joy in the sequence and the courses...just lovely!
Thank you so much for your support! I am actually planning to do it again, it was so much fun.
In January Arnaud is starting his TV show Hell's Kitchen on TMC France, and I am sure it will be great fun. They were both great guests.
You know what was the best outcome of the experience: Going shopping for food.
As soon as I mentioned I had Michelin Star Chefs for lunch I would have the best customer service and products!
Now I know the right people at the right places!!!
Christophe feedback is out on My Guest Book:
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