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Offering Cooking Instructions -- Local Cuisine?
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debk



Joined: 25 Sep 2004
Posts: 1056
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:47 pm    Post subject: Offering Cooking Instructions -- Local Cuisine? Reply with quote

1. I don't cook.

2. Some guests have asked me to find someone to take them to the market(s), explain what they are buying/why, make a typical Portuguese meal with them, coaching along the way, and, finally, enjoy the dinner all together.

Our neighbor, Diogo, is very interested in doing this. He apparently speaks English fairly well (other guests have told me this, but I'll have to assess myself at some point), and everything he's ever served me has been wonderful. He loves to cook, is extroverted and a bit of a ham. He is also the nephew of a famous Portuguese icon, so that adds to his charm for all our guests.

My question. What to charge? The whole thing seems like a ton of work to me! Shocked (See #1, above.)

Diogo's plan:
1. Prior to check-in, email guests a list of options from which to choose 1-3 appetizers and 1 main dish.

2. On Cooking Day, take guests to Lisbon's big fresh fish/fruit market, early in the morning, to select ingredients.

3. Next, take guests to local gourment grocery store to discuss/buy appropriate wines and cheeses, plus breads and dessert.

4. In the evening, return to lead them through the cooking process, with them helping to chop/etc.

5. Have dinner.

There will be 3-5 guests participating in the cooking... and 10 people to be served. Guests will pay for ingredients, wines, etc.

Diogo's time to prepare beforehand (shopping lists for the chosen items; assessing what we have in our rental kitchens; supplying what's needed) will probably be 1-2 hours. On the day itself, 2-3 hours of shopping and 2-3 hours in the evening?

What to charge? Or are we crazy to do this? (Diogo wants to do this for all our guests, he's totally psyched.) It seems like a fun idea... but ... ? I am completely out of my element with this one.

Thanks for any and all suggestions/advice!
debk
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A-two



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 2110
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Debk,
How exciting! Since you have an enthusiast ready to cook, I would go for it, introduce them and step back. They want authentic Portuguese food and he sounds perfect, even to the extent that he doesn't speak perfect english. The food will do the talking. I would ask Diogo how much he wants for his time, then add a commission to cover your own. He may need to buy ingredients in advance once they have selected their menu. I appreciate they want to go to the market to pick out fresh food, but they don't want to be standing in line to pay for a bag of flour and some ingredients may need to be ordered in advance or not available on the day, so he may need to have a few things to hand that he bought earlier. In that case, you might want to take an advance payment to cover his expenses. Charge lots! Sounds fun!


Last edited by A-two on Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ciapolin



Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 440
Location: Cossano Belbo, Piemonte

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb,

Our local tourist office offers something similar where the price includes a chef, kitchen, recipes and lunch/dinner of the courses prepared beforehand.

For a half day they charge 70 euro and 100 euro for a full day.

Hope this helps.
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A-two



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ciapolin wrote:
For a half day they charge 70 euro and 100 euro for a full day.


Is that per head?
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Big Sis..



Joined: 19 Feb 2007
Posts: 8087
Location: Torrevieja and Norfolk

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well debk, Very Happy

It does sound like fun Idea [but potentially a lot of work & time]
Do you have to be involved too much can your local chap take them to the market and oversee everything else..if so ask him what hed need to be paid[if he says nothing insist]...maybe add a little for contingencies....say to the guests our neighbour Diogo will help you out...and maybe leave them to it......

Trouble is if you get too involved and it doesnt work out youll get the hassle and these things always take longer that people assume so when you put a price on they might think your on the make.And all youve made is alot of work for yourself....

Someone was arriving late in our houses and as we were leaving that day I said would you like me to get you some essentials [the shops would be open the next morning]...
that would be nice they said and then the list appeared and the specific names of things and me & Hubby were flying about just before our trip to the airport buying all sorts of strange things and when we got the keys back no note of thanks ....

[did get the money as I took it from the security deposit]
never again......
I always make sure they have a bottle of water and Toilet Rolls...there are cafes and bars 5 mins walk and a 24hr garage nearby but sometimes we just complicate things for ourselves....
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debk



Joined: 25 Sep 2004
Posts: 1056
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, thank you for all the feedback. I'm excited again, though was having a moment of "am I mad?" when I posted.

Some additional comments:

I'm not taking a commission. Everything goes to Diogo because, for me, it's no different than finding out about the local jazz doings for other guests... only more fun, since Diogo is a nut. Also helpful, Diogo lives right next door to the rentals which is a great convenience. The guests know they aren't getting a pro, rather someone who is passionate about Portuguese foods and cooking.

Other than the preliminary emails and introduction on my part, Diogo does everything else. The houses already have the basics (flour, rice, sugar, oils, vinegars, basic spices, etc) and Diogo will bring any other necessary spices/seasonings. He'll do everything on Cooking Day including take them shoppping.

We were thinking of €300ish when we thought the total number of people participating/eating was 6. Then when we found out they might also want to cook for 10 (half of the family is staying in our other rental house across the lane), we thought to increase to €350. ??? (Diogo will have to bring bigger pots/pans for this size group and it just seems much more work, thus the idea of increasing the price.) There will still only be 3-5 cooking "students" with Diogo due to the size of the kitchen.

I would be too embarrassed to suggest €100 for so much of Diogo's time... but really don't know if the €300 is correct. Sometimes I know it's too much, other times I'm confident it's too little. My vacillation is frustrating, thus my plea for help last night.

Joanna's idea about a price per head is interesting. €35 per person seems reasonable... but, of course, they are also paying for all the ingredients, wine, etc... making it more per head... hmmm...

€300 for 6 diners; €350 for 10 diners (3-5 students max): Too much? Too little? Close enough? Is it reasonable to ask for more money to supervise cooking of 10 meals instead of 6?

This might be soooo much fun for the guests... Smile ... I just want to make sure it's priced right for everyone.

Look forward to more wisdom from you cooking types,
Gratefully,
debk
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Paul Carmel



Joined: 07 Dec 2004
Posts: 3854
Location: Palma Mallorca & Greece

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb, have a look at the following site, you might be able pinch a few ideas.

http://www.holidayonthemenu.com/
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Big Sis..



Joined: 19 Feb 2007
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Location: Torrevieja and Norfolk

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Debk,

Sounds like it would work well for you then maybe it would be something you could add to your details to give it the edge......Let us know how it goes...Good Luck... Wink

When we were in Portugal years ago we were on a local market and bought a cake the lady said 'with egg?'...we said si with egg...and when we got home and cut it there was a Hardboiled egg..IN its SHELL...in the middle...Im not sure what thats about?????
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Last edited by Big Sis.. on Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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debk



Joined: 25 Sep 2004
Posts: 1056
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
and when we got haome and cut it there was a Hardboiled egg..IN its SHELL...in the middle...Im not sure what thats about?????


yup!! Though this is definitely not on the menu. Laughing

And, yes, Diogo thinks I should offer this to all our guests as a standard "add-on". But first I'll see how this first one goes...

Thanks, Paul, I'm off to check the link now.
debk
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Big Sis..



Joined: 19 Feb 2007
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Location: Torrevieja and Norfolk

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check his latest offering [on another post]as well its strange.....
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debk



Joined: 25 Sep 2004
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Location: Lisbon, Portugal

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul, lovely site. Almost makes me want to learn to cook. Rolling Eyes

In Goa (India/a former Portuguese colony) they charge €267 per person, for two days of a fairly similar setup... shopping, cooking, eating... no accommodations... just two cooking sessions in a big professional kitchen and with ingredients included. No emphasis on choosing wines and cheeses though, perhaps because that's not a big deal in Goa? But I would think that €133 per person per day is a lot of money in Goa.

Very interesting.
debk
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Nessie



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
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Location: South-West of France/ Midi Pyrénées

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much does Diogo want for his time and effort, he must have an idea of his charges.

How about charging one price for the meal for those not taking part in the demo and a surcharge for those taking part.

When we fix a price for our menu we base it on the average cost of the local restaurants and try offer better quality of food, we also include an apertif and coffee etc.

How much would a meal cost you in a good restaurant in town ? 50 euros plus wine ? . I would base the meal cost on what the restaurants are charging on average and maybe charge an extra 50 euros per person who take part in the demo. Therefore assuming you had six guests and 4 taking part the meal would cost 500 euros 83 euros per head if you break it down, I have no idea of cost but would assume that ingredients would cost no more that say 200 euros meaning Diogo would get 300 euro for his time and trouble

I don’t think I would include the wine in the price if its possible for Diogo to take the guests to a local cave and let them choose and buy the wine they would like. Maybe include a local aperitif and port with the cheese. Also you may have problems with the local laws reference serving wines etc as in France we need a licence and can only serve them to guest that are staying with us
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debk



Joined: 25 Sep 2004
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Location: Lisbon, Portugal

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good ideas, Nessie, thanks for all the things to think about.

Diogo is really looking to me to set the price because I approached him. This isn't his job, it's just something that sounds like fun and he's willing to give it a try. On the other hand, he isn't going to do it for free and I want the guests to value his time appropriately. When I did a bit of research, I ended up with prices all over the board, from €150 to many hundreds of €€€s but always at cooking schools or hotels or in someone's own home. Thus the input from LMHers, who understand the guest perspective and the cultural/immersion value-add, is so very helpful.

RE legalities: The guests are buying all the foodstuffs, including the wines. Diogo is only providing guidance. Since they are buying wines to drink at home with a meal that they are helping prepare I don't this should be a legal problem? Please, someone correct me if I might be wrong!

RE pricing: Within 10 minutes walk from our houses, you can have an excellent meal for anywhere from €6 to €100+ per person.

From what I'm reading, perhaps it might be best to establish a price for the instruction piece (shopping/cooking) and then a price per # of meals prepared?

Does everyone agree that it should cost more to supervise cooking for 10 than for the original 6? I guess you aren't really doing anything different, just more of the same... uh-oh, now I am talking myself out of charging more for feeding the 10. Smile

Has anyone else considered doing, or done, this for their guests? Would love to know what came of your ideas.
debk
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Nessie



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
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Location: South-West of France/ Midi Pyrénées

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

debk wrote:


Does everyone agree that it should cost more to supervise cooking for 10 than for the original 6? I guess you aren't really doing anything different, just more of the same... uh-oh, now I am talking myself out of charging more for feeding the 10. Smile

debk


Sorry but I would not agree with you on this and cant see that you can charge more for the supervising of the cooking for the extra meals , the only difference is going to be the quantity he is going to have to cook, its all going to go into the same pot.

I miss understood the fact that the guests were going to buy the food stuff, I feel that they might have been more profit it in for Diogo if he had purchased the food stuff and charged the guests for the complete meal without the wine and then an extra charge for those that had the instruction.

We have paid a local lady to do some cooking for us a couple of years ago and here in france she charged 20 euros per hour
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Fraise



Joined: 30 Oct 2004
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Location: Charente Maritime and Middle England

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess supervising cooking for 10 will be more difficult- a small group is better,they get more attention- with 10 they will more or less just have to get on with it and his skilled input will be less as it is an art to supervise that many -hey ho-he''l be like a blue ar**d chicken trying to deal with such a big group,with that many a demo works best!
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