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Old 08-15-2009, 10:08 AM
 
2,189 posts, read 7,676,829 times
Reputation: 1294

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tia 914 View Post
I'd say it's rude & offensive to (your words) "educate and correct" someone's cooking... and rather arrogant to assume that "your way" is somehow better...

the way I've always approached the subject is if a person doesn't like something I've prepared, they don't need to eat it- but don't complain about it either
Yes...I feel like I should edit the post title to "the most offensive post on CD". lol Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Denver
2,969 posts, read 6,918,025 times
Reputation: 4866
No, unless it is SPECIFICALLY asked, it is never ok to "educate or correct" someone's cooking.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,958 posts, read 45,166,931 times
Reputation: 24736
Here's a suggestion. If you feel compelled to "educate or correct", then start cooking glasses and get people to pay you to do so! That will satisfy the need you might have to do so, for people who really want you to do so, and turn a profit at the same time. Win win win for everybody - you, your students, and the people who would prefer that you be a guest and not an instructor.
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:24 AM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
17,758 posts, read 40,005,634 times
Reputation: 18033
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJagMan View Post
My uncle was an executive chef and I learned at a very early age how to cook. There are many times when I'm invited over as a guests or sometimes guests cook over my house and there are several things I to say that would teach and improve the dish. Despite being respectful, "That's really good, I think XXX would make it even better", I've that to be a utter failure. I think it's the "this is how I've always done it/it's my families tradition to keep this was" and the fact being take it as criticism. I welcome constructive criticism when I cook and have learned some great things I didn't know.
I think that it's fine to let your hosts know that you are expert at cooking, but if they don't ask for your input on improving their recipes, then don't offer. I think that it's rude to be a guest and then help them with their cooking methods. It implies that you find their cooking skills lacking. When many people have parties, it's more to get a group of people together and have a good time, and much less to show off their cooking skills. Most people don't take their cooking skills that seriously.

Also, keep in mind, some people have different tastes in what they like to eat. What is too salty or sweet to you, might be perfect for them based on how they were raised or their ethnic culture.
Quote:
On the other hand, recently I went to party and delegated to man the grill. Food was being grilled expertly. Some guy comes randomly over and says with a beer in, "what you cooking?" I answered burger and bawts, he responds "cool, don't burn them". I took offense as none of the prior food was burned nor was any of the food in any danger of being burnt...I responded "as you can see I haven't burned anything nor plan on it; would telling you my secrets help you not burn food in the future?" He puzzled and said "I don't burn food" and stormed off. Here we were, both offended. lol
"Don't burnt them" is akin to telling a stage performer to "break a leg". It's just a friendly phrase trying to wish you well and clearly that guy was not interested in your expert cooking skills but he was getting hungry.

I love to cook also. And at work, I talk a lot to the chefs. When I attend other people's parties, I don't verbally offer my expert catering advice, but I will quietly help them out in little ways that don't affect the integrity of their hosting style.
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Old 08-15-2009, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, IN
914 posts, read 4,432,378 times
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I think it is okay to offer advice, but it also helps to have tact in doing so. Personally, I would have no problem with it. I love hearing how other people do things- I have learned so much from other people! But I am also relatively confident in my cooking. And if someone offers me advice, I also have no problem not taking it if it doesn't jive with my personal preference. But for some people, cooking for company is a scary ordeal. To come out and say "I could do this better" when not asked can be very deflating, even if you don't meant it to be. But I don't see why you couldn't make suggestions if you can do it well.

For instance, to say "It would be better if . . . " is insulting. Don't offer instructions, offer suggestions. Say something like "I've made _____ before! Have you ever thought of adding _____?" Or something similar. Turn it into a two chefs having a conversation about food. Not one person teaching someone. It should be a conversation of equals, not a teacher/student thing- even if you think you are a better cook than they are. Also, don't offer advice during the cooking unless you are asked. Only offer future advice after you've tasted something. It would annoy me to have someone telling me I needed be doing something differently while I was busy perparing something and when they've never actually tasted the result. Give people a chance to show you what they do before you critique it.

It is quite relevant that different people have different tastes. Just because your way tastes better to you doesn't mean it would to them. (That is one of the reasons why you shouldn't use the word "better" when offering advice.) Maybe you are thinking "Why didn't they add tarragon?!?" and they are thinking "I &%$@ing hate Tarragon!". Additionally, no matter how good a cook someone is, they aren't going to be fabulous at cooking everything. That is why I say don't offer your sage (pun definitely intended!) advice until you've seen the result. Maybe doing it differently isn't necessarily a bad thing.

If you are going to get frustrated or annoyed when someone isn't receptive to your input, don't bother. If that is the case, I would say you are more interested in asserting yourself as the Master Chef and less interested in helping people out with their cooking. (I don't know if you are like this, I don't know you!) It is important to rember that people's cooking is really about them, not you. If you want to be helpful, cool. If you want to show off . . . make your own darn dinner!
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:34 PM
 
1,949 posts, read 5,245,857 times
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Quote:
Please elaborate.
if he's cooking crap, you should help the guy out; maybe teach him something. i can't sit there and gag down bad food. if you sit there and gag down his lousy food and tell him that it's good, then he'll continue to make it that way. if youre not gonna help the guy out, and youre a much better cook than he is, then you should try and set it up so that youre doing the cooking.
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:47 AM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
17,758 posts, read 40,005,634 times
Reputation: 18033
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linson View Post
if he's cooking crap, you should help the guy out; maybe teach him something. i can't sit there and gag down bad food. if you sit there and gag down his lousy food and tell him that it's good, then he'll continue to make it that way. if youre not gonna help the guy out, and youre a much better cook than he is, then you should try and set it up so that youre doing the cooking.
I think that if I were at a BBQ party and the host was ruining what was on the grill, I might offer to take over the grill duties for a while and focus the host on doing something else.

It really depends on the personalities involved. But basically, whoever is hosting the party, well it's their show and it would be rude to try to give them a cooking lesson in the middle of their bash. If their cooking is really bad and you are good friends with them, then invite them over to dinner at your place, have them watch you cook it while the two of you have some wine or beers. Make it a very casual and subtle cooking lesson.

And there are people that will never have a clue as to how to cook well. I used to work with a woman that couldn't cook at all. Her idea of dinner was a can of Dinty Moore stew that was heated to death. And a great chef is not only a chemist*, but an artist as well. And some people are lacking in cooking commonsense and/or cooking confidence and artistic talent. Not every musician can produce a good improvisation or solo.

* I've often told people that as long as
I have great raw ingredients, whipping up a superlative meal is never a problem for me if a cookbook isn't handy. I do find cooking like chemistry, and our learned skills like different winning formulas and flowcharts of activities memorized in our heads.
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