The Life of a Chef’s Wife

Are you married?  Thats the first question.  If you are, then you will understand the trials and tribulations of everyday married life.  Being married isn’t easy.  The ones of you that disagree, then I can only assume that you are extremely compromising and selfless individuals with the ability to be fair, kind, and compromising all day, everyday!

I would like to give you an insight as to what it is like to be married to a chef. Whether you are already a chef wife, about to become a chef wife, or just interested in how this marriage works.  What I am about to list, has taken me years to get to grips with and accept as being part of our marriage. So I’d like to offer some top tips…..

1. Prepare to be alone. A lot!  Chefs work long, antisocial hours, so you better get Netflix, Amazon, and a good internet and tv package.  Many of your evenings, will be waiting up for hubby to get in from work.  Dont even count on his days off, these are just bonus days.  Even then you may have to deal with colleagues on the phone, talking about stock, or ordering things.  As a chef wife, I have learnt that the hospitality industry is extremely tough.  With long, demanding hours, and constant staff turnovers, it’s hard to keep up.  Anyone in this industry HAS to be passionate!

2.  While we are still on the subject on being alone.  I’d just like to mention, that includes almost every national holiday and bank holiday.  Everyone will assume that you get the best Mothers Day Dinners- when the reality is- we have to wait for everyone else to have there’s first before we celebrate ours.  People have accused me of Ed being a figure of my imagination.  They often miss events that are not deemed massively important to ensure they can have time off for the really important things.

‘Oh My God!  Bet its lovely having a chef at home.’

Ha, ye right!  If my husband cooked every night, we’d be eating at 11pm!  And who wants to come home and cook after cooking all day.

3.  We constantly get from friends and relatives, ‘Can Ed gets an annual leave day for that?’.  I have learnt that rotas cannot be produced months in advanced, rotas are based on demand.  Of course any business knows the trends, and busy periods, so it makes sense for him to book annual leave when it is quiet.  Chefs have to prioritize events.  I do think people dont quite understand this.  So December…. not gonna happen!

P.s Dont get Married in August! Especially on the bank holiday weekend! What bad planning that was!

4. So your husbands been working all day, anywhere between 10-14 hours.  Walks through the door at 11pm! And now you wanna talk about your emotional issues, and inner thoughts.  This is not going to happen!  Shall i put it down to tiredness, or the fact that many dedicated chefs, aren’t quite wired up to deal with this kind of thing.  No time to talk about emotional stuff after work! Oh, and it takes them hours  to wind down.  So expect your significant other to be awake into the early hours.

5.  Dustbin men and plumbers uniforms smell better than chef whites.  You know exactly what they’ve been cooking all day.  Its a smell that I cant even describe!  Kinda like oil, meat, weird herbs! Urge!  And “Chef Whites??’’  This would never have been a woman’s idea, to make them white.  We had it good for a while, with black ones, but the beasts returned.  No one even consulted me to ask my opinion on that change!  Constant washing these bloody jackets on 90 degrees, with no one else’s clothes to stop cross contamination.  Dont want my baby clothes smelling like raw meat!

6.  So you’ll only cook every now and again for your chef husband.  You’ll learn quickly, that there’s always something wrong with it.  And annoyingly he will interfere with the preparation…before you know it, he’s taken over the kitchen, your whole idea is out of the window, and your being treated like an apprentice Commis Chef!  And that’s a privilege, because he’ll have you pot washing if he’s really disturbed by your attempt to show off your cooking skills.

‘Aleesha, did you put salt in the pasta?’

Its best to stay calm.  They start shouting for you to pass them things.  It got real intense once, I smashed a plate at his feet- on purpose!  The moral of the story is- you cant cook, so you shouldn’t cook! Its saves time, and plates!

7. Do not attempt to make contact with them while they are working.  Don’t call them! A text is enough.  Dont be that wife/girlfriend who gets upset by not receiving an instant message back! It just wont happen!  He’ll call when he gets a second.  I have two children with a chef and this doesn’t bother me.  If there’s tickets, there’s no texts!  I’m sure I may have been branded a Psycho wife by his colleagues on many occassions.

8.  You become a food Guinea Pig.  I remember eating Korean food for a whole week.  Dont get my wrong, I’m not ungrateful but there’s a time and a place.  And lets be honest, Tuna Pasta is an absolutely perfect dinner at times!

9.  Sometimes it’s best to communicate in ‘Ticket’ mode.  Short, sharp, sentences work better.  I get spoken to like this quite often, but when he’s tired, it’s a sure way to know that he’s hearing you!

10. You’ll love your Chef because of his dedication to his work and his need for perfection in everything that he does.  You will believe in his passion, and support him when he is exhausted and overworked.  He works so hard, and there are no financial benefits to being a chef.  Its not like being a celebrity chef!  He works long, hard hours, early mornings, weekends, birthdays, anniversarys and misses out on a lot.

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Dedicated to my hard working husband, that deals with three crazy ladies everyday of his life, and still provides us with everything we want and need!

Love you Bum x

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