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Catering without the permits

7455 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  flipflopgirl
Found this article yesterday. It reinforces the advice the pros on cheftalk give to home caterers.
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As Travel and Leisure shows it all depends on what window your looking through. The ones who look down on the lady in California will praise the others doing it in another venue.

food-obsessed diners around the world are seeking out these secret clubs, where strangers braise, sauté, and flambée for strangers, often illegally, for the sheer love of cooking. Some hobby chefs do it to test the restaurant waters before committing;
If they arrest the person cooking Illegally then they should arrest the person eating it also. I mean if the prostitute gets arrested the John also gets arrested. I could see me calling my wife from jail telling her to come bail me out. HI honey, I was involved in a sting and got caught red handed buying Illegal Ceviche. Her first thought would be leaving me in jail. I am now viewed a no good underhanded lowlife who would stoop so low to embarrass his whole family by buying an illegal seafood cocktail. I'll feel shamed when I eat my Tamales later but, I now know if I call my dinner a secret dinner club I'll be fine and reinstated back into the "people in the know club" of yuppies in America.
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I think I should redefine what I mean when I say I agree with this happening. What I know happens around every state is people will always cook food items and sell to others. What I agree with is a situation like " Were having a graduation party and you know a person that makes the best Lasagna around". I don't agree with someone opening up shop and competing with local B&M business that offer catering and follow the rules. There is a reason why we have the laws we have. If a person wants to cut corners and open an unlicensed food service in their home kitchen it's because of costs. If people are looking for a catered affair coming out an unlicensed kitchen they are asking for trouble. The main problem is not having the proper holding equipment to handle a large function. The OP showed a person in California making one item that looks to be her signature dish. While I don't agree with this particular dish "Ceviche" being the best choice to offer for sale in a unlicensed kitchen. Ceviche isn't cooked in the normal way of cooking. The seafood cocktail could be a bad choice for many reasons. I think we will always have people in our towns that offer homemade pies and cakes, Tamales and other food items that may not be any cheaper but just more authentic  and better than they can buy in stories. I agree totally with foodpump about his garage catering story. There is no way a legally establishment should have to compete with this kind of illegal operation. I also think this rogue type cooking happens a lot with BBQ/smoked meats. Someone could pull the smoker around town and smoke the meats at the home or function. The problem I have seen over the years with these people is not holding the food properly in refrigeration or hot holding......
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