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As a Host to Diners you have never met, it can be a little intimidating. But there is nothing to worry about. Your comfort lies in how comfortable you can make your Diners feel. We have captured a few points which will help you be the perfect Host and provide a brilliant culinary experience. These may sound obvious and simple, but are often forgotten in the heat of the moment.
No matter how tasty your meal maybe, a cold dish can completely alter the taste of the wonderful dish prepared by you.
If the meal has been prepared 1-3 hours before the Diners arrive, we recommend heating the required dishes on the stove; REMEMBER, heating food in a microwave will keep it hot/warm only for a few minutes.
The onus of breaking the ice within the group falls on you as the Host.
Keep the confirmation voucher handy with you when the Diners arrive; it will have the names of all your Diners.
A smiling Host makes the Diners comfortable immediately. Be polite and friendly, and ask them how they are. Introduce the other Diners, if any.
You can also ask for the confirmation code on the voucher if you deem fit; don't worry, they will understand you asking them for the same; we have tried using confirmation codes (superhero characters, cartoon characters, movie characters, fantasy characters) which will be fun for all Diners to say out loud.
Do not indulge in long conversations amongst your own co-Hosts in the kitchen (the Diners have come to have an experience which also includes you being a part of the conversations and experiences).
In any meal, the Host usually sets the ball rolling. The experience of a meal is a combination of the food, the ambiance and the conversation. So what if you are the silent types. Just make the Diners feel comfortable at home. Ask the Diners about themselves. If your family is joining the Diners in the meal, introduce all of them to the Diners.
Find out common interests or connects in your conversations to keep them flowing.
Do not lock yourself up in the kitchen, cooking, while your Diners are sitting out in the dining area.
Make sure that the food is ready before your Diners arrive. You don’t want to be running in and out of the kitchen after the Diners arrive; the Diners would much rather appreciate you sitting with them rather than being in the kitchen trying to get them "off-the-stove" food . Remember, you have only a limited amount of time to showcase your food and make interesting conversation!!
If possible, EAT with your Diners; you are their Host and not their cook.
Additionally, you may also be tempted to know how the Diners like the food; you may ask them towards the end of the meal; let them know that their opinion matters a lot.
Don't wait for the Diners to ask for second servings.
Never assume Diners to like each of your dishes equally
You will always have situations where one dish is liked more than the other, hence always calculate quantity to be prepared based on individual dishes.
This will only increase the wait time for the Diners in between courses/dishes
Too much of a wait time between courses/dishes can frustrate the Diners as well as reduce the appetite of the Diners.
Also, have all the cutlery ready before serving; you don't want to be running around getting spoons for the Diners after they have started their meal.
We have a no alcohol policy keeping in mind cultural sensitivities. We would request that you do not serve any alcohol at the meal and do not encourage others to get their own alcohol. Why not let the food and the conversations "flowing" rather than the alcohol!!
Informing the security about the visiting Diners can be a great idea especially when staying in a complex. You don’t want to make the Diners spend time explaining the concept of ‘Authenticook’ to the security personnel!
The idea of Authenticook is about the overall experience. A great ambience can contribute significantly . At times, we don’t realize if our homes have a peculiar smell / odour. There is nothing wrong in this, but spraying some room freshener is an easy way to make your home smell awesome!
The purpose of Authenticook is to bring people together and relish good food.
We want the Diners and the Hosts to connect over food and culture.
Politics and religion can wait!
You may want to inform the Diners whether they can proceed into your home with their shoes on or guide them to the shoe rack.
Letting them know upfront where the restrooms are will be a good idea. This way you don’t need to worry about the Diners straying to other sections of the house.
Once all the Diners have arrived, ask them if they are ready to start and give them an overview of the meals to be served. If one of the Diners is late, wait for a bit, but don’t keep the other Diners waiting for long.
A good way to get the conversation going is to give them a background about the dish being served. Diners will love to know the history of the food being served. Something unique, some anecdotes can make the difference between a good experience and an awesome experience.
When leaving, walk the Diners to the door.
It might be a good idea to ask them if they have a car or if they are taking public transport, and guide them as to where they can get it.
Ratings and reviews are important to the success of Authenticook.
As a Host, you are requested to rate the registered Diners for their behavior during the meal.
This will help other Hosts to be better informed of the Diners entering their homes.
We consider ourselves fairly well versed in the art of dining. We know what to expect, who we are dining with, how to behave when eating in a restaurant, etc. But this changes when we are invited to someone’s home for a meal. To make sure that you have a great dining experience, we at Authenticook have taken the liberty of listing down few ‘just in case’ pointers.
A general rule of thumb is to behave in someone else's home as you would want them to behave in your home.
And always, always be on time.
We have a ‘no alcohol’ policy keeping in mind cultural sensitivities. As a mark of respect to everyone, avoid entering the home of the home-chef in an inebriated state. We would request that you'll do not accept any alcohol even if the Host is to offer it to you. Why not let the food and the conversations "flow" rather than the alcohol!!
We list down all the amenities which are available at the Host's venue in the meal listings For e.g. elevators, pets, air conditioners, etc. Take a look at it prior to making a booking so you won’t be surprised when you reach there!
Our objective is always to give you the best dining experience. So do let us know if you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies. This will help the Host and us to create an environment that is free of any complications!
There isn't a ‘strict dress code’. The idea is you to have a great food experience. But having said that, dress comfortably! There will be some experiences where you may be required to sit down (floor/dewan), it’s better that you are comfortable.
At Indian homes, removing shoes at the entrance is a sign of respect. Unless the Host states otherwise, we suggest that you remove your shoes.
This is not compulsory, but it’s a vital part of you having a great experience over food! Yes it’s easier said than done, but remember that the reason you or the other Diners have come is to have a great experience via food! So why not go the whole hog? So share your stories, your experiences, speak to the Host, ask them about their culture, cuisine, history etc. We guarantee that this will enhance your experience.
At Authenticook, our aim is to bring people together over food. We want them to have interesting conversations with the Host and other Diners and generally have a good time. So talking about ‘sensitive’ subjects like religion and politics can be ideally avoided!
Resist the temptation to wander into areas that are probably off limits. The Hosts might have other family members in the house and would expect the Diners to respect their privacy. Rule of thumb is to be guided by the Host to the dining area. Please check with the Host for the restrooms.
If you want something heated, it doesn't have to be a secret; a good Host will understand.
The Host is hosting you because he/she loves cooking and hosting. Kindly do not insult him/her by offering to tip for their talents. Your smile alone will make their day!
Food review is important to Authenticook. The future experiences will be built around your review. As a Diner, you are requested to rate the overall experience, the food and the event. Your fair review will help the Host and us at Authenticook to help create better experiences.