finding good restaurants while traveling

Two Ways To Get Restaurant Recipes

When you enjoy a good meal at a restaurant, it's only natural you'll want to replicate it at home. Restaurants want you to visit their establishments, though, so getting a recipe for a dish can be an exercise in futility. However, there are a couple of ways you can handle this quest that may result in you getting the culinary treasure you desire.

Ask the Chef or Restaurant Owner

Many people get into the restaurant business because they love cooking and making good food for others, and they consider being asked for their recipes to be the highest honor. These people are only too happy to pass on their recipes to customers who ask for them in a nice and respectful manner.

When being attended to by the wait staff member, be sure to compliment the food whenever possible. Chances are good the wait staff member will pass on your comments to the chef, which may put the person in the frame of mind to share the recipe with you. After you finish your meal but before you pay, ask to speak to the chef. When he or she arrives, tell the person how much you enjoyed the meal and ask if he or she can share the recipe for it.

If the person isn't legally barred from doing so, he or she will probably give it to you. If the person can't give you the recipe because it's copyrighted or they're under a non-disclosure agreement, ask for the name of the restaurant's owner and contact him or her to see if you can get it that way. Alternatively, ask if the restaurant has a cookbook you can buy that may have the recipe in it.

Ask the Internet

Regardless of how nice you are to the chef or restaurant owner, sometimes they still won't share the recipe. However, another way you can try to obtain it is by working through the internet. First, you can often find tons of copycat recipes that imitate well-known restaurant dishes on sites like Pinterest or by doing a simple Google search. It may not be the exact meal you had at the restaurant, but these copycats typically get very close.

If you want the genuine thing, though, look for special events hosted by foodie sites that provide a way to get the recipe. For example, Bon Appetit has a column where people can write in requests for specific recipes and the editors work on getting it for you. Restaurants may be more willing to give their recipes to a well-known magazine or blog because the exposure could lead to more customers.

To get recipes for your meals you love or to book a table to have the cook make it for you, contact your local favorite restaurant.