How to date a chef?
December 2, 2014 10:26 AM   Subscribe

My "go-to" dates involve food. What do you do, if you want to go on a date with a restaurant owning chef?

I'm a 45 year old gay guy. I'm about to dive back into the dating pool. I'm thinking about asking a chef on a date. What activity to suggest? Dining seems like a no-go. We are in a smalish town without infinite dining options.
posted by Classic Diner to Human Relations (19 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Activity date - go for a hike on your nearby National Forest, go see a show that you've been interested in for a while, drive into town for the Symphony now that the strike is over, etc.
posted by arnicae at 10:31 AM on December 2, 2014

And once you've progressed to further dates - I'd take him on an outing to the Dekalb Farmer's Market, buy some interesting ingredients and make something that neither of you have made before. This doesn't mean trying to show off with your skillz in the kitchen, just being playful and experimenting.
posted by arnicae at 10:33 AM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Hee! This is a fun challenge. I immediately thought of something Anthony Bourdain once said, back when he was actively cooking... that he was sad that his relatives were nervous about cooking for him, because after spending all of his time around frou-frou restaurant food, he LOVED simple, made-with-love, homecooked meals. So maybe not for the FIRST date, but on SUBSEQUENT dates, "make grilled cheeses together" might be just the ticket! (Failing that: if the chemistry is right, just wandering around together is great... exploring local natural attractions, browsing the bookstore, etc. On "Welcome to Night Vale", Cecil and Carlos did vague "experiments on trees" on THEIR first date.)
posted by julthumbscrew at 10:34 AM on December 2, 2014 [5 favorites]

If you already sort of know him, I think a local museum, hiking, or bowling would be fun -- depending on your preferences for what you like to do. Basically something that gets you out doing an activity but also allows you to talk and get to know one another better (unlike a show or a movie, where interaction is limited). If it's a near stranger, a coffee date or going out to grab a drink are classics for a reason.
posted by rainbowbrite at 10:39 AM on December 2, 2014

A nice coffee date.

Get to know the guy, then ask him, "so where does one take a chef on his day off?"
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:40 AM on December 2, 2014 [4 favorites]

Why is this a challenge? Chefs are humans, too. It's not like every meal they eat is a gourmet event. Unless your taste buds are broken, food you like is still good food. But, if this really bothers you, ask him out for dinner, and suggest he pick the place.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:49 AM on December 2, 2014 [10 favorites]

Anything that isn't fine dining will go over well. Know an awesome, hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese place? There you go!
posted by small_ruminant at 10:56 AM on December 2, 2014 [4 favorites]

My husband is a chef, and when we were dating, dining out wasn't our only activity. He was usually glad to take a break from food, and servers and front of the house/back of the house, etc..
posted by Ideefixe at 11:10 AM on December 2, 2014

wine tasting?
posted by acm at 11:12 AM on December 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

Chef here! I swoon for someone who will make me something homemade. Doesn't matter what it is. Grilled cheese? Hell ass yes. So don't ever worry. Most of us eat total garbage most of the time when we're not on the clock. Nothing fancy, just straight up home cooking and he'll be putty in your hands. (And if he's an ass about it then, well, he's just an ass.)

How about a nice long walk and a picnic?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:21 AM on December 2, 2014 [12 favorites], depending on the weather where you are.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:22 AM on December 2, 2014

I dated a chef/restaurant owner. You do what you would normally do on dates with anyone else. And I don't know why you'd think dining dates are no-noes. Going to restaurants was a big part of our activities. He liked seeing what was going on out there.
posted by violetk at 12:15 PM on December 2, 2014

I have 3 chefs in my family. All love eating out. If you are ready for comments (not always good) about dishes, and having to share your food so they can try more eating out is probably their fav. thing to do. How else will they know what other Chefs are doing. I'd let him suggest a place though

Surprisingly enough cooking for them. All the chefs I've known, and still know love home cooking, and homemade anything. My SIL (a cordon bleu chef) once followed an elderly lady home from a bake sale to find out how she made her scones. Hell my father had eaten in top of the line European restaurants, cooked for top Australian & international politicians in his time but swore my Mums roast beef & Yorkshire pudding was the best food he'd ever eaten.

If your go to dates involve food, then stick with what you are comfortable with. You'll feel more relaxed & enjoy things more, and knowing you like food & eating will help him relax. Chefs like to eat.
posted by wwax at 12:28 PM on December 2, 2014 [4 favorites]

If you're nervous about a full on meal, how about ice cream, if you've got a favorite local place? Like the classic coffee date (which is a classic for a reason, Ruthless Bunny is as always spot on), but a little different, too.
posted by joycehealy at 12:55 PM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: OK, got it. This is what I like about mefites, a little bit of better perspective. Chefs eat like most other people.
posted by Classic Diner at 1:07 PM on December 2, 2014 [6 favorites]

Slightly different situation: my dear friend is a chef, and for a long time I was nervous making anything for her. Finally one day she told me "are you kidding? I just love it when someone ELSE cooks for a change!" so, yeah, Nthing fffm above.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 5:51 PM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Depends on whether they're a food snob or not.
If they are, don't go out to eat unless you already *know* they like the place.
If they aren't, and especially if they're adventurous, anywhere is fair game.
If you're in a small town and you've probably both already been everywhere - ask their favorites, or skip eating out as the primary part of the date. Do the "maybe stop and grab a bite" afterwards, if desired, instead.

My guy is a chef of a fine dining restaurant, and he's worked everything from fast food on up. He';; eat anywhere once. Which is all fine and dandy... except I've gotten to the point I hate eating out with him, because I'm a sit-and-relax-and-chat-and-enjoy-being-together and he's a eat-and-done-and-gone type person. Doesn't work well.
posted by stormyteal at 7:06 PM on December 2, 2014

My cred: 8 year restaurant worker, great home cook, Slow Foodie, many chef friends.

My suggestion: how about foraging? A lot of chefs I know have gotten into wild plant foods recently. Lots of city and state parks have wild edibles/foraging walks. Could be a fun new thing.

If not that, I'd say activity date - hikes, etc. Keep your first date daytime, flexible, and relaxed.
posted by Miko at 8:51 PM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

People in the food industry usually really enjoy dining out. However, you may be worried about him judging you on your taste level. Think about what meal his restaurant doesn't address. Coffee and pastry may be a good bet for someone who does lunch and dinner only, like most restaurants.
posted by Foam Pants at 8:48 PM on December 3, 2014

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