To the family member/new friend/co-worker/
random passerby who I just mentioned to, that I am married to a chef,
Before you answer/react/respond in the way that I KNOW you will – please let me stop you.
It’s NOT what you think it is.
I know you are about to say one of the following:
- Wow…must be nice to have someone cook for you all the time!
- Wow… you must eat so well at home!
- OOH, really? Where?
- OOH, I’ve been there! Can he give me the recipe for _______?
- That must mean you eat for FREE!
- Ah, you probably never go to chain restaurants, right? Only the finest places?
- Man, you’re lucky! Sounds so glamorous!
- He must bring food/desserts home for you all the time!
- How do you stay so thin?
- You must eat all organic? How do you afford all that?
- He must be hard to cook for!
- Oh my gosh has he/have you ever met (Insert ANY one of the chefs/cooking celebrities from The Food Network / Travel Channel/ Bravo
- Is he any good? Good enough for (insert cooking show of your choice here)
- Think he can hook me up the next time I’m there?
Trust me… I can go on…
I thought I’d write this letter and share that I understand why you would think all these things…I do. Truth is, the reality and what you think you know are two different things. This letter would be REALLY long if I explained them all to you, so let’s go over THREE of the reasons why your eyes twinkle when I said that I’m married to a chef to help educate you the next time this happens… (and it will.. we’re everywhere)
Good. Now with the most common statement mentioned…
1. Wow… must be nice to have someone cook for you all the time!
Let me start off by saying, I can see why you would think that… I really do. At the beginning of our relationship, I probably thought that same thing as well. I probably thought I was going to have this lifestyle where I no longer had cooking/shopping on my “To Do” list and could bask in the lap of luxury, with fine dining meals cooked at home all the time.
THEN I WOKE UP.
Nope. Here’s the rub….
WHY would he be home cooking for ME, when it’s his JOB to cook for YOU?
They work long hours, at Lunch and Dinner time to be there when YOU don’t want to cook. Make sense? You probably never thought of that, now did’ja? It’s okay.. TRUST me, WE significant others of restaurant people get this ALL the time. It’s why I wanted to write and clear this up.
Now it’s not all bad. Here’s how I see it as a PERK. WHEN the stars align, and I find us both home at the same time – I enjoy knowing that I’m not the ONLY one that will cook something (granted… my cooking skills are what I’ve remembered from Home Economics class in Junior High) . Unlike the men of our past generations who left the cooking to the women (please, don’t get me started on that), I enjoy knowing he knows where the pots and pans are and that he’s not banging his fork and knife on the table saying “Wheres my food? Wheres my dinner?”
*Oh yea, one more thing – When he DOES pick up said pot and/or pan.. he most likely thinks he’s in his kitchen at work and has two dishwashers standing by to clean up after him. Nope. Just little ‘ol me and I’m not getting paid $10/hour either. I wish I got paid to clean the entire contents of our kitchen, plus his precious knives that are all now located in the sink.
Another version of the most commonly used statement is…
2. Wow… you must eat SO well at home.
Again, it makes sense but no. Hopefully by now you are beginning to understand that because they’re cooking for YOU, that must mean that we are home alone most nights, figuring out what we’re making for dinner on our own. Since they usually work at LEAST a 10 hour day, the job of grocery shopping usually falls on US. Yes, it’s TRUE, there are some of us Other Halves who are as into fresh ingredients, organic and homemade as our restaurant men/women every night, but dare I say most of us are just like YOU. Regular trips to the grocery stores, quick and easy meals, clipping coupons, cereal for dinner, etc…
Unless you are one of a handful of very successful chefs, we’re most likely not rolling in the dough that you think we are and have to be budget conscious when it comes to food.
The upside – On the occasion when we have a dinner party, a cookout with family and friends…He usually says he’ll “make it nice”, which usually involves a at LEAST $90.00 piece of meat and charcuterie and cheeses I’ve never heard of – spending all day making sure that our guests really enjoy themselves. On said occasions, he will go out of his way to make sure there is enough liquor and wine to keep our guests happy and feeling good.
Oh sorry – Charcuterie (shar-cru-ter-eee) are preserved meats like salamis, prosciutto, etc. Wanted to make sure you knew what that was.
3. Wow… you’re so lucky! That must be SO exciting/ glamorous!!!
Let me tell you why I get that you think that…
We ALL have to eat. It’s a basic human need. With the advent of restaurants, places where we don’t have to cook for ourselves, we now have a CHOICE of what to eat and where to go. Having that choice means survival of the fittest (i.e. the most delicious/creative and popular) In recent years (shoot centuries!) , the allure of “THEE” place to go to eat has become high on our priority list, even if it’s just for a special occasion. Add to that the recent influx of magazines and TV shows with the topic of food and it’s specialized focus becoming the main subject, it makes sense why chefs and the whole culinary world has become like royalty these days.
*PS: And for good reason, they work damn hard but most likely that’s also something you have no idea about.
It’s become a BUZZ word. The word ‘Chef’ has now evoked the sense of luxury. Case in point – I was in the grocery store yesterday, doing the shopping because, ahem, my husbands always working, and I saw this:
But these days, anything with the word ‘chef’ and it has us… hooked, line and sinker.
That’s why I know why you think the way you do. You admire them for having the experience and knowledge to spark our taste buds. To do what you most likely cannot. We look to them as experts in their fields. We admire, read about,watch, follow and look up to them to inspire us..
IT MAKES SENSE.
It’s also a lot of pressure for them to live up to.
* And we grimace in sadness/confusion why our favorite restaurant closes… a LOT of moving pieces that has to always be tuned correctly. Not always an easy task.
Truth is it IS exciting but not for the reasons you know.
It is exciting because my husband lives his passion. He is the conductor of a large orchestra who has to have the skill and the know how to lead his players to a successful and timed performance – EVERY NIGHT. I find that SO exciting, SEXY.. even from a distance.
It’s exciting to see them succeed because that passion is contagious. They are always exhausting all their resources to bring you the best and that’s something we significant others are proud of – WE are usually their number one fans.
I hope this letter helps you choose your answer the next time someone tells you their married to someone in the restaurant industry. You’re right, It is exciting – but most likely… you have no idea what the REAL reason is.
On behalf of myself and all the Significant others of those in the Restaurant Industry, LARGE and SMALL, all over the world. In every city, town and country.
Consider yourself schooled.
Thank you for your time and energy.
Wife of an EC, Certified Life Coach and Creator, Married to a Chef
*** Thank you to all the Other Halves that helped with the imput. It’s my mission and OBSESSION to unite and support us. Passion is Contagious, I tell ya.