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Food and Cakes

Friend Who Loves to Cook...good or bad idea?

I have a friend who is an excellent cook - he loves it so much in fact that he offered to cook for my wedding for free!  I only would need to pay to cover the cost of the food.  The down side is that he hasn't cooked for any large events before, so I am a little worried he might get himself into a little more than he can handle since I plan to have up to around 200-250 guests.  Is it a bad idea to let him cater my wedding?  I'm so tempted since deal he made me is almost too good to pass up!

Re: Friend Who Loves to Cook...good or bad idea?

  • Beachy730Beachy730 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Friend Who Loves to Cook...good or bad idea?:
    I have a friend who is an excellent cook - he loves it so much in fact that he offered to cook for my wedding for free!  I only would need to pay to cover the cost of the food.  The down side is that he hasn't cooked for any large events before, so I am a little worried he might get himself into a little more than he can handle since I plan to have up to around 200-250 guests.  Is it a bad idea to let him cater my wedding?  I'm so tempted since deal he made me is almost too good to pass up!
    Posted by carparke
    Bad idea.  I (sometimes) enjoy cooking, but there is a huge difference between cooking for H and I and cooking for a huge event.  He might not even have the means of keeping everything hot or at the right temperature, how to evenly cook mass quantities, etc.  I just see this going bad, and I would politely tell him thanks but you would like him to enjoy the night as a guest instead.  

    If you really want to use him, what about the possibility of having him cook your food for the RD?  I'm assuming that is a much smaller crowd.
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  • SD3194SD3194 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I've been cooking professionally for 10 years and also have a culinary degree and I would have a hard time pulling this off. Cooking for 250 people in a home kitchen equals disaster. Not just the fact that it would be hard to cook that much food but I seriously doubt he'll have the capabilities of keeping everything at the correct temperature. The last thing you want is a foodborne illness (which are more common than you think) and all your guests have diarhea the next day.
  • edited December 2011
    I would definitely use a professional caterer.  They are better trained, and they carry insurance to cover any mishaps, such as food poisoning.  Otherwise, if your guests get sick, they could sue you or your friend.  That's a bad situation all around.

    There are a few other things to consider.
    1. What if there isn't enough food, or it just isn't good?
    2. In the event of #1, will the guests know who cooked the food?  I'd hate for someone to be whining about it within his earshot.
    3. If I was a guest at the wedding, and I heard the food had been prepared by someone with no experience cooking for that many people, I would not eat.  Most of my friends feel the same way, so if we all attended your wedding, there would be lots of food left.

    Edited for spelling
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  • edited December 2011
    BAD idea. That's a disaster waiting to happen. He's too inexperienced. I'm only a home chef, but I've cooked for 40... I can't even imagine cooking for 250.
  • Simply FatedSimply Fated member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Oh this can not be a good idea. Not only does he have to cook a lot of food, but he has to get the timing right and everything. And what if someone has an allergy or something and he has to alter dishes? Oh this is so not a good idea...
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  • SSaltzman87SSaltzman87 member
    2500 Comments Third Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    I could just see this turning into a hot mess.

    That's really generous of your friend to offer it, but this is something you should leave to the professionals. You can always save money on other things, food shouldn't be one of them because EVERYONE is experiencing it- not just you.

    Also, it could turn out to be more expensive than just having a professional caterer because you'd also have to invest in the equipment needed to cook it, keep the food at appropriate temperatures, serving it (i.e. chafing dishes, possibly commercial sized baking/cooking equipment, LOTS of serving utensils, plates, napkins- you get the idea).
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  • edited December 2011
    Bad idea.  FI and I somehow got stuck with making brunch for 14 people over Christmas.  Even with two of us and a relatively small amount of people eating, we almost didn't make it.  I'll add that we both love to cook and try out new recipes all the time and jump at the chance to host dinner parties.
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  • sarabellamsarabellam member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011

    Bad idea. SERIOUSLY bad idea. The logistics alone are daunting. Keeping hot food hot, cold food cold...your friend would be WAY over his head.

  • edited December 2011
    If he has never done this before, you do not want to be the test run. Just tell him thank you for the offer, but you want him to really enjoy your wedding.
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  • edited December 2011
    It's wonderful that he wants to help, but that is a huge crowd for one inexperienced chef to be preparing meals for!
  • redheadtmkredheadtmk member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Even an experienced top chef would need a small army to help out with prep work, and the less important jobs such as cooking noodles/rice etc. The only way i could see this working was if he had a commercial kitchen and lots of help to manage everything. I would offer the RD idea to him and hire professionals for the reception.
  • edited December 2011
    A very bad, bad idea on so many levels.  Don't even entertain the thought and just go with the professionals.  They know what they're doing, and you can yell at them if they don't.
  • edited December 2011
    I have a friend who also loves to cook and offered to help. After talking with her about it more, it became pretty clear that she was way in over her head. So, now she is helping me decide on the menu and will help make some of the appetizers but I will be hiring a cook and waitstaff for the rest of it. Maybe your friend can be involved in the food without actually being the one to cook it all.
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