Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requests from diners are nothing new. Perhaps they have to do with omitting a certain ingredient, asking for a substitution, or simply inquiring after an off-menu dish.
But what happens when the requests take a trip into the strange, like unusual menu modifications, questionable preparation techniques, and downright bizarre uses for chocolate? This week, Valley chefs and restaurateurs share 10 of the most unusual requests they've received from diners who take special orders to a whole new level.
Chef Matt Taylor, Market Street Kitchen
At Market Street Kitchen, we had a gentlemen who asked that his fish and chips special be smothered with pepper jack cheese. Gross.
Chef Michael Stebner, True Food Kitchen
I watched a guest order and eat raw frog legs.
Chef Matt Zdeb Sushi Roku, Scottsdale
We had a guest ask for enough chocolate syrup to fill a bath tub. He also asked to make sure that it was edible and thick enough to be able to coat his skin so he would be able to write and/or draw pictures on himself if he wanted to.
Chef "T" Theresa Wille, 32 Shea
One customer wanted their dinner to be broken apart by placing the veggies, sauce, meat, and starch on separate plates. Another requested that their chicken breast be cooked medium rare.
Josh Hebert Chef and Owner, Posh
The most obscure was a vitamin K allergy. We had to research it to find out which ingredients had vitamin K and which didn't. Proved to be a pretty cool challenge, though.
Michael O'Dowd, Chef and Owner, Renegade by MOD
To cook naked in a high-profile, prestigious NYC hotel room for a guest. Ah, back-in-the-day memories.
Gary Lasko Proprietor, The Stockyards
The one that stands out is the guest who asked to bring a New York strip steak from the refrigerator to the table, cold and raw. The guest salted and peppered the steak and ate the whole thing.
Chef Chris Nicosia, Sassi
"Can I have half of my dinner now and the other half when I come in next week?" She was serious.
Chef Gregory Wiener, Top of the Rock
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We had a guest who wanted a 10-ounce filet deep fried -- and he didn't want us to take it out until he said so. He wanted it so well done that it was like shoe leather.
Jon Lane Owner, O.H.S.O.
A guy once gave me money to stand with my back turned to his table to block the sun. Hey, I was 19 and he gave me $50.