I just got a call from a relative, asking for a bit of help with a dinner she is planning. They have invited the owner of their favorite restaurant, his wife the chef, and his nephew the sous-chef over for dinner. It’s a serious restaurant — these folks can cook, so a bowl of chips and a steak isn’t going to cut it. Or maybe that is exactly what these folks want? They are around food six days a week, probably twelve or more hours each day, so perhaps the perfect meal is a bag of Doritos and some take-out Chinese.
This reminded me of a similar circumstance in my youth, when I wasn’t quite the (sometimes) good cook I am today. I had befriended the owner and chef of a local restaurant that I really enjoyed. We became friendly and I invited them over for dinner on one of their rare days off. I realized as soon as I had extended the invitation that I was incapable of cooking anything like what they prepared every day, but I tried anyway. Needless to say, I failed, but the evening was a success, because we had a nice time. And that is the point, isn’t it? We invite people to our homes to enjoy their company, not to provide sustenance. The meal is just a nice bonus. And if the food is boring? so what!
Of course they reciprocated, and proceeded to serve a spectacular meal that I still remember. I guess being a chef does have its advantages.