Jonesville MI Bed and Breakfast Cooking Party

Couples visit us at the Munro House B&B in Jonesville, Michigan, to getaway from the big city, the stressful job, and many other reasons. Most come here for romance, but some come here for an interesting experience. We have been hosting murder mystery dinners for about 8 years–we have done hundreds of them. We got deep into spa services several years ago and have done thousands of them. We are always looking for something new and interesting and fun for people to do. We like to have fun, too, so we developed an interactive activity where we can do more than just serve. We call it “Chef Night”.

We discovered that most people have a repertoire of 10-15 dishes that they make over and over again at home. They are familiar and consistently good, so why try anything new that may not be quite as successful? That’s why we take your adventurous spirit and get people to try things that may be outside of their comfort zone. That is why we developed a little piece of pop culture that we call the original “Chef Night.”

On Chef Night, 8-14 people get together and prepare a feast. Everybody gets a recipe and a partner. Each pair needs to cooperate in preparing 2 recipes for foods they have probably never attempted to prepare in their own kitchen.

We usually have a theme. We have gone across America with Tex-Mex, Southern, Interstate, and Americana recipes. We have gone through Europe with Beefeater, Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Greek. We have gone global with a mixture of recipes from 6 continents. And, we have chosen our favorite recipes for variety.

Many times, we combine dress-up with our dinner theme. We wore berets on French night, togas on Greek night, and home-made lederhosen on German night. One of our most memorable themes was the time in January when we hosted a Hawaiian chef night. On Hawaiian night, some of the girls wore grass skirts and had flowers in their hair. Everybody wore shorts and sandals, had flower shirts, and were presented with a bright colored lea upon arrival. The middle of winter is the best time to hold a tropical theme party.

Our Hawaiian chef night cooking party recipes consisted of coconut balls and Hawaiian meatballs for appetizers. Egg drop soup was followed by a tropical romaine salad with pineapple vinaigrette. The entrees were curry shrimp with coconut milk and snap peas plus chicken kabobs. Hawaiian baked beans and Hawaiian cole slaw were the side dished served with mango bread. We made a pineapple cake for dessert.

None of our guests had ever attempted to make any of these dishes. Well, I’m sure somebody has made a pineapple upside down cake, but our cake recipe was different and it was served right side up. Close doesn’t count.

We prepared all of these dishes in a very small galley style kitchen. Actually, most of the prep work was done in the dining room, and we lobbied for stove time based on urgency. It appears to be organized chaos, not a stuffy classroom. Because of this, everyone has opportunites to interact with more than just their cooking partner. All the while, we play upbeat popular music from the 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s while drinking blue Hawaiians. The appetizers were served as soon as they were prepared and we ate them while we continued to cook. When all of the food was prepped and most of it was finished cooking, we set the table and sat down to enjoy a feast by candle light. The entire process took about 6 hours–and it flew by.

Every recipe turned out to be delicious, despite the fact that no one had prior experience preparing their portion of the meal.

This goes to prove that anyone can prepare a wonderful meal when they step outside of their comfort zone, if they have the right motivation. Our peeps had a little bit of pressure to perform in front of family, friends, and strangers.

My wife, Lori, is a very good cook. Even though she, too, had never prepared any of these recipes, she works the kitchen with confidence and the ability to understand the final product so she is able to follow, adjust, or improvise on recipes to make them successful. She is the “go to” person when there are any questions about a particular technique or ingredient.

Chef Night is by far the most fun thing that we do in the house. We practice with our friends–a lot. We have a great house for entertaining. Our limited size kitchen makes the process a lot more interesting. Chef Night was featured in Michigan Travel Ideas magazine and has recently appeared in Midwest Living magazine. We have regular Chef Night cooking events scheduled throughout the year and will open a new date upon request for groups.

Mike Venturini – Innkeeper
“Life is good in Jonesville”

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