I booked 3 Airbnbs in Brazil, all my hosts were very helpful - 2 hosts will give to me cooking classes, another host helped to me to find a very unique spot to stay at. Last night to my Airbnb arrived tourists from France, brought for me some spices, a book about Paris, a CD with music. Oh, so nice! I am getting a lot of presents from my Airbnb guests. But what to bring from PA, USA to Brazil? Last time I took a Yanky jar candle to Kenya for my Airbnb host. What to take with me for presents? Dear hosts, what do you get for presents?
We don’t ever get presents
We do get random things left behind…maybe those are presents!
I think candy is always a winner. You’re from PA? Hershey chocolate? Or do have a local brand - something that says “US”. Maybe some of the Amish made jelly or jam? Steelers or Eagles hats? I have had guests from Colombia bring me some crafts - they were cool. My guests from Brazil…at the most they have brought candy.
I think the idea of the gift is more in the idea than the actual item of what it is.
When needing gifts for a visit to China I did get some votive holders and votives from yankee candle in Americanish scents like spiced pumpkin.
Please don’t bring Hershey to Europe, hosts here would not be impressed
I believe we brought local candy and chocolate to our host in Brazil and she was beyond ecstatic.
I can assure you that your Brazilian hosts will enjoy a gift, but I would not recommend candles, books or music CD. Brazilians adore most things from the US; if you want to cap it at $10-20 I would suggest some body lotion or hand cream from Victoria Secret, a nice cosmetics bag, wine or liquor from the duty free shop at the airport, a pepper grinder (with peppers inside), even L’Oreal or other good brand shampoo and conditioner. The prices in Brazil are ridiculously high and most people are cutting out on the little niceties of life. If there are children, make sure to bring something for the kids (even a set of markers or cool pencils will do).
Dear hosts, thank you for advises! I am getting presents because I cook for my guests and do not charge any money from them I just love cooking. My guests are invited for our family dinners all the time. I am a Russian lady and like to feed people. In Russia any person who gets to your house is invited to share breakfast/lunch/dinner with owners. Our house is in a middle of nowhere, no restaurants are around. I just feel obligated to provide some food. But I do not advertise it on my airbnb. But anyway, guests are writing nice things about my cooking. And new guests are asking if I can feed them when they making reservations.
I agre that Hershey chocolate would be a good gift.
Marina – In My Humble Opinion as a Personal Chef and AirBnB Host you need to charge extra for that food. Your future guests are already starting to take advantage of you, and that is not right. Not in Mother Russia, and not here. A plate of ˈæpɪtaɪzə, da. Meals, nyet.
I think the problem could be, though, if she begins to ‘sell’ her cooking, she runs into all kinds of tangles with the health board (or other applicable governing body) and insurance & tax authorities. She would also then have to include the income, deduct the expenses,etc etc etc taking all the joy out of it. Also, then, the guests have a right to have an expectation of value. It becomes a matter of business not a matter of the heart.
Not that I disagree with your post, but just adding that it’s more complicated. I would be more concerned, if I were Marina, that guests are coming to expect it. If I were her I would begin to ask guests to NOT put that in the reviews because the cooking is a gift, not included in their room rate.
Actually there is no problem with the Health Department or any other department/authority in making and selling food “in your own home” or a clients home. The Health Departments of the US are OK with “in home cooks”. There are in fact fewer hassles. That’s what I do as a Personal Chef – go to my clients’ homes and prepare gourmet meals for them. I can’t make the meals elsewhere and take them to the client, unless they are made in a legal commercial kitchen.
At our Poolside Cabana with Gourmet Flair, a gourmet breakfast comes as part of your nightly rental. I have over a dozen ‘pre-designed’ Breakfast For Two menu items. Longer term guests – more than 3-4 days get some additional options.
If Marina does as I do – advertise additional meals as an extra cost option, then yes, she records the income and the expenses. The cost to the guest is, of course, more than the expense of the food! That’s no more problem than recording expenses for soap and toilet paper – just another couple lines on your BnB spreadsheet. Making money never takes the joy out of anything for me.
“Also, then, the guests have a right to have an expectation of value. It
becomes a matter of business not a matter of the heart.”
I don’t know where YOU are coming from, but for me, and obviously Marina, cooking IS “a matter of the heart”. Making a few extra bucks doing something you love is icing on the cake. This is why I’m a Personal Chef, not a restaurant cook. Working in restaurants is like being on the assembly line in Detroit. Being a Personal Chef is like making good money cooking for your new friends.
Those are some great points, KehH - but in my county there are a lot of restrictions. I’m not able to cut or cook any food unless I have a commercial kitchen that is separate from my residence kitchen. Yes, really, that is the law in my county (Prince George’s, in Maryland).
I went through the list extensively with the county guy who was very helpful. I can heat up frozen premade food - such as frozen quiche, cooked sausage, croissants, and I can make hard-cooked eggs (which luckily I know how to do well!) but, seriously,_ I am not allowed to peel them!!_
This means I can’t even serve cut melon, legally. Oh, yes, sometimes I’m a crook and peel the dang eggs. But I’ve been able to keep my guests quite happy with these guidelines. One breakfast may include grape tomatoes, walnuts, brie, little goudas, croissants, a selection of jellies, and juice. Another is a all-natural pork sausage, potato cakes, toast - or, frozen rolls baked in the oven. Or the little frozen quiche, green beans, etc. Lots of various hot sauces and salts. People seem very happy but I think maybe because I make a very nice table setting, and I don’t think many people are accustomed to eating a very nice breakfast.
Are you in Alabama? We’ve stayed at an airbnb in Mobile and the woman was an amazing cook and served us a “Southern Living” breakfast every morning. I always wondered how she did it but of course I never challenged her on it! Maybe the laws are different.
Yep laws on food prep vary from state to state and county to county. I’m in Fort Myers, on the Gulf Coast of Florida, north of Naples and south of Sarasota.
Your county in MD must be nuts! I know Personal Chefs elsewhere in MD who operate much as any other PC’s I know around the country – prep & cook at the client’s home or venue, but any cooked food that’s brought in has to be prepped in a commecial kitchen.
Still, it sounds like you’re making interesting breakfasts, and much nicer than stale bagels and cold cereal.
I do try! And a cut glass tray in the center with nicely arranged fruits make it look much more elegant and special than it really is.
I keep the cost to about $2.25 a person, and my guests rave about it, so, happiness all around.
I enjoy cooking and if I put a price for it, I would loose my meditating condition. I would get stressed. My guests like to see my spice collection from around the world - I have 18 open shelves with more then 200 jars of spices. And I refresh my spices all the time. I have unique and unusual spices, I make my own chipotli peppers and mixes.
For my trip to be starting tomorrow, I got Yankee candles and right now going to our Lancaster, PA city market to get some Amish quilts - hot pads.
KenH, I would like to stay at you place! I make gourmet breakfasts too would be nice to exchange with our cooking experience. I am not a professional cook and like to learn. Yesterday for my French guests I made 4 course gourmet breakfast. My new thing to cook for breakfast is a half of avocado + an egg into it and bake it in an oven. I serve it with different things.
Bon Voyage, Marina!!!
My husband would love that recipe. Do you bake it at 350? Covered, or no?
Marina – when you get a chance email me at
thekiltedcook at mindspring dot com
and I will send you the link to my weekly food blog. Always happy to talk cooking with interested folks!
dcmooney, I just take an avocado, half it. With a spoon make a little bit deeper where seed used to be. Put an egg there, put in an oven for 350 and wait. No cover needed. I serve it with crumbs of beckon, cilantro chopped.
I couldn’t even imagine cooking for guests. My hats off to y’all. I do love cooking for my wife though and she loves to tell me what she wants me to cook. Does any know here a site for hiring chefs. I may can see if I can offer guests a chef if they are wanting one.
As a member of the US Personal Chef Association, I can highly recommend www.hireachef.com which is our public resource. Click on Chefs, then Search For A Chef and follow the simple directions.
What a lovely post!!!
When I travel I always bring some traditional treats from Latvia and a little souvenirs - t-shirt, hat, scarf, coffee mug & so on.
I have been surprised by my guests too and I really appreciate it. Little things matters the most!!!
Sounds like you are a great host!!! I wish you many happy guests!!!
Happy Regards from Riga
We’re in Cornwall in the UK. If we’ve had an especially nice guest, I’ll sometimes give them a bottle of local beer and teach them how to say “a pint of beer please” in the Cornish language.