I am so lucky to have Norah O’Donnell as my first featured speaker here on Married to a Chef. Not only is she married to Geoff Tracy, successful restaurateur of Washington D.C.’s popular Chef Geoff family of restaurants, but she is the Chief Washington, D.C. Correspondent for MSNBC, a mother of three (twins Grace and Henry (3) and Riley (2). That’s not all! She’s also an author, having recently published a cookbook with her husband for parents titled ‘Baby Love‘.
She’s cornered the market in being married to someone in the restaurant industry while thoroughly succeeding in her own dream career and raising her family! Welcome Norah!
Q: What were your first impressions when you first realized that by being with your restaurant man/woman, that you have become a part of the restaurant world?
A: I knew I was truly part of the restaurant world when I was helping Chef Geoff paint the walls in his first restaurant. We had no money for painters or contractors so we had to do it all ourselves. Geoff was amazing and through sheer force of will and good friends opened his first restaurant at age 27.
Q: When did you know that you had what it took, within the parameters of his/her career, to find success in your relationship?
A: We found success in our relationship through love, laughter, and understanding. It helped that we had been together since our freshman year in college. I was also so busy building my own career as a journalist and traveling the world. Sometimes it was Geoff asking me, “When are you coming home?” Now I’m the one texting him at night to find out his ETA!
Q: What is the BEST part of being married to someone in the restaurant industry?
A: The best part of being married to someone in the restaurant industry is the community of people who love great food, libation, and merriment! I love creative people. It blows my mind when Chef Peter sends out a lentil soup that is the best thing in the world I’ve ever tasted – and it’s also so healthy! Amazing talent. I wish I could do that.
Q: How do you handle the holidays knowing he/she is going to be busy at work?
A: Holidays are tough for people who work in the restaurant industry and many other industries too. The news rarely takes a holiday so I get it! We’ve really tried in the past two years to make sure we take vacation time to recharge and reconnect.
Q: How has achieving acclaim and success, within the restaurant industry, changed your relationship?
A: I think our relationship keeps getting stronger. Any good marriage is about helping your loved one achieve his or her best self. Do I sound like Oprah or what? I want to be my husband’s best friend and biggest cheerleader. Of course, success helps. But I’m most proud of him because I know how hard the fight was to reach greatness. Nothing in life is easy – nor should it be!
Thank you Norah!