Can I ask the restaurant for the recipe?

While on vacation I had an amazing vegan farro risotto at Aura near Whistler, BC. I've tried to match the recipe at home, but it's not even close. Can I ask the restaurant? Thanks!

Alexandra Napier


Denise August 13, 2018
It never hurts to ask. I've given out plenty of recipes over the year as long as it wasn't considered a "secret" recipe. The one problem of giving out a recipe on the spot is that most of the time we are cooking such large quantities that the recipe often has to be re-written for the home cook. I know Chefs have a reputation for being a little crazy but at the end of the day we only want to share our love of food and if it means sharing a recipe then more than likely you'll get it! Good luck!!
Sue C. August 12, 2018
Thanks so much Beth!
Beth August 12, 2018
My husband and I had an incredible Coconut Creme Brulee at George's Chophouse in Gilette, Wyoming many years ago when we were on vacation and passing through. I raved about the dessert to our server and asked if by any chance the chef would consider sharing the recipe. I gave the server my name and mailing address and about a week later, I received a copy of the recipe! I don't think it ever hurts to ask; it certainly tells the chef that you really, really liked the dish.
Sue C. August 12, 2018
Would you share the recipe for coconut creme brûlée ?
Beth August 12, 2018
Sue Currier, I'd be happy to!
Coconut Creme Brulee

10 egg yolks
4 cups heavy cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 can Coco Lopez (about 1/2 cup)
2 handfuls shredded coconut, plus more for garnish, if desired
non-stick cooking spray (e.g. Pam)
10 ramekins

1. In a small heavy saucepan, combine cream, condensed milk and Coco Lopez and scald mixture. Add shredded coconut to scalded milk mixture.
2. In a bowl, beat egg yolks until pale in color.
3. Slowly add scalded milk mixture to beaten egg yolks, whisking rapidly until completely incorporated.
4. Return mixture to saucepan and whisk over a low flame until slightly thickened.
5. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Spray each ramekin with non-stick spray; fill ramekins with custard mixture.
6. Place ramekins in a 2-inch deep roasting pan, or baking dish; add sufficient warm water to come 2/3 the way up the sides of the ramekins.
7. Bake 50-60 minutes for small ramekins or 70 minutes for large ones, or until custard is very soft in the center but firm around the edges.
8. Chill completely before serving.
9. Garnish each serving with toasted coconut, a few drizzles of melted chocolate, and a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.
This recipe was generously shared by Ray C. Marini, Executive Chef of The Chophouse Restaurant, Gillette, WY
Beth August 12, 2018
Just a couple of notes: I guess this isn't really a "creme brulee" since it doesn't have sugar broiled on top of the finished custards, but that's what it was called on the menu. Secondly, this is obviously a very indulgent dessert!
Marina August 12, 2018
Ask, no doubts about it! A server in Zanzibar was so puzzled by my asking that he took me straight to the kitchen to ask the chef: best coconut-peanut soup ever! In the Canary Islands, by being invited into the kitchen, I discovered the secret to the amazing fish stew I had had for dinner: the broth was lovingly made every afternoon with the scraps of a dozen different fishes caught that very morning. In DC, the chef came to the table to chat with us and emailed the recipe I was after. I brought him some Swiss chocolate to say thank you afterwards.
I may not be able to replicate their recipes, but the experiences are definitely worth the ask :0)
Carla August 12, 2018
I’ve not asked for that many, but the ones I have asked for have been generously given. I’ve had chefs come out, sit at my table and provide little tips...I’ve even been invited to the kitchen for a little demo. Those moments are rare treasures and I thank the chef every time I make his or her dish at home. By all means ask!
Nan August 6, 2018
Actually there's a couple of recipes on Food52 site
boulangere August 5, 2018
When I owned a bakery-restaurant, I was quite honestly flattered when someone asked her/his server if it might be possible to have a recipe. To know that something had made a person that happy was a quiet thrill. A validation, if you will, that we were ALL doing things right. Typically a request came in the middle of service, so I asked the server to ask for the guest's email address, and sent it the recipe off with a personal note. Without fail, people wrote back to say thanks. So by all means, ask. Farro risotto sounds wonderful, by the way.
Exbruxelles August 5, 2018
I'd write a positive review on Yelp or Trip Advisor praising the dish.... and casually ask for the recipe. No harm, no foul.
Nancy August 4, 2018
This is fun question...
You have precedent in an old column in Gourmet magazine called You Asked For It, which actually started about 10 years after the magazine was founded to answer reader's questions.
(Hotline here now performs similar function).
But Gourmet's column evolved to be a popular clearing house for the magazine to ask restaurants for recipes of dishes readers had encountered, liked and wanted to make at home.
You can do the same.
Even in Canada.
I have a favorite Chocolate Ancho Mousse recipe I got from The Church Restaurant in Stratford, Ont.
Good luck ;)
creamtea August 6, 2018
Exactly what I was thinking! I so miss Gourmet magazine and the marvelous regular features such as You Asked for It, Sugar and Spice, The Last Touch, the travel articles, and the beautiful photography.

Of You Asked for It, often the restaurant chefs would share with Gourmet magazine after turning down the individual diner who had asked.
Kim P. August 15, 2018
Bon Apetit also has (or had, I haven't read one in a while) a column where readers would write in to the magazine describing a meal they had at a restaurant and asking for the recipe and the magazine itself would reach out to the chef. I loved reading those.
Miss_Karen August 4, 2018
Absolutely! I ask all the time. Sometimes I get it sometimes not. You can always Google Farro Risotto from _____ restaurant. Copycat recipes are usually pretty good. Otherwise you can write to the chef from ____ restaurant & say that it's the best you've had & would love to share it with/ your spouse (etc) as a surprise. Chefs are an egotistical bunch... They love this sort of stuff.

Voted the Best Reply!

louisez August 6, 2018
Thinking a You Asked For It column might be a great idea for food52. I'd bet there'd be a lot of fans.
Smaug August 4, 2018
You can always ask- they might say no but they're unlikely to get violent or ban you or anything.
MMH August 4, 2018
This is so true. I have a friend who was assigned to work in New Orleans for a period of time and acquired an amazing number of recipes doing just this.
Smaug August 6, 2018
Unless, of course, you're dealing with a soup Nazi.
Recommended by Food52