Considering I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for 13 years and he has been in the culinary arts since shortly after we met, I have heard this statement a time or two. Now this is the point where I usually lose them. They drift off into a daydream of visions of having a 24/7 personal chef. Of gourmet meals and a permanent hall pass from cooking duties. Unfortunately what I say next usually bursts their bubble and brings them back down to earth.
Being married to a chef is hard. REALLY HARD! My husband is an amazing chef if I do say so myself. And it’s not just me that thinks so. He is an award-winning chef, has received excellent reviews from patrons and food critics alike and was even featured on a cooking competition on a major cable network.
But it took years and years of really, really hard work. 20 hour days/7 days a week opening a new restaurant, can we say burns and cuts?!, working for minimum wage , being told he was no good by a world renowned chef, working off the clock, working every weekend, major holiday, you name it. It takes a long time to “pay your dues” in the culinary world and even if you do, there is no guarantee that you’ll come out successful on the other end.
And so while he puts on his time, guess who is at home going to every family function (and it’s usually his family) by myself? Guess who is trying to raise three kids with someone that you only see a few hours a week if you’re lucky? And, of course, guess who is home cooking herself dinner? (And let me tell you, I don’t cook!). LOL!
So before you slip off into la la land with dreams of a three-course dinner every night, know that it is so far from reality that I find it amusing.
But there’s gotta be some perks right?? Heck yeah! When they come, they are awesome.
My Top 5 Perks
Perk 1 Now that he is where he is in his career, he usually gets Sunday’s and Monday’s off, which is awesome! It gives us enough of a balanced family life. He still has to work an occasional extra day or two but for the most part, he gets two days off in a row together.
Perk 2 Considering I have 3 kids and it means I either have to hire a babysitter or take them with me, it doesn’t happen very often but when I do get to go into his restaurant, it is awesome!! He really is an amazing chef and his food is so delicious. And because I’m married to the chef, I usually get an extra course or two. Score!
Perk 3 When he is home, he cooks! And his idea of whipping something up or making lunch from whatever is in the fridge always turns out delicious. He cooks our family dinner on Sunday nights and while usually simple, is my definition of delicious comfort food.
Perk 4 He gets a small allowance from his employer to try out other restaurants. He can check out what his competition is doing, try new flavor profiles, or find inspiration. It’s a win-win and a really smart benefit for a chef. And best of all, I’m usually his dinner date!
Perk 5 Now this is a big one! I have all of our kids all night every night. He usually gets home sometime around midnight, or later. This means a lot of the household management, behavior, preparation responsibilities fall to me. But in consideration of this, my amazing husband has assumed the morning routine with the kids! No matter how late he gets home, he gets up with them every morning, helps them get ready, gets them breakfast and lunches packed and takes them to school. Usually, I still have to get up early and get to work but occasionally this means I can sleep in a little bit. Considering I am not a morning person, this is awesome!!
So “being married to a chef” is nothing like most people dream about. I don’t know the exact statistic but the divorce rate among chefs is ridiculously high. It’s a crazy life that I probably wouldn’t recommend. But if you’ve gone and fallen in love with a chef, it can be truly amazing too. Just probably not for the reasons you would think.