Friday, 16 August 2013

Dating A Chef.

I've often had people exclaim to me or my boyfriend that dating a chef would be awesome.

Well walking through a beautiful country field is also spectacular but it doesn't mean you won't step in a heaping pile of fermenting cow dung.

I think the first thing that everyone perceives to be the 'norm' is that you'll have amazing food cooked for you every night...

Shush. I'd live off green apples and mi goreng if I didn't care about having regular bowel movements every morning.

Think of the reality that at dinner time for you Ninetofivers I'm probably up to my neck in fat, meat juice, salad prep or head first, ass up in a chest freezer, lifeguard-hauling the back up pork belly because the good people of Melbourne decided to order it for once.

Oh yeah. We smell...

I'll be coming home well after you've eaten, maybe even gone to bed and if I have an appetite at all, it's for a bottle of red or six magnificent specimens of the Heineken variety that I salute with the same form of adoration you see for soldiers, like they're tall, sleek, green glass representations of the ANZACs.

I might even pull out the big guns and have toast. Or if I've got the energy and my hands aren't too blistered and cut up, I'll fire up some mi goreng in the magical, oversized box-clock that occasionally cooks shit.

'Microwave' for anybody that didn't get that.

But stemming back to my inner feminist - expect me to cook and you're probably going to have her come out to play, or more accurately, erupt out of the depths of some far away abyss... and bite your fucking head off before cowering over a tin of ALDI tuna with lime and cracked pepper (because I'm a fancy fucker at home in the right mood... Or when the nuker is put in the too hard basket) and the Conen O'Brian show.

I do cook for people, but no differently than you would. Simple is delicious. Pork belly, rough spuds, some form of green leafy thing because it balances the bland colours of cholesterol and carb on the plate.

Chef Tip Number Two: Cheap and cooked right overrides sous vide fois gras any day.

Smother that little piggy in salt and don't cook your broccoli until it resembles a wet sock. The next time you're stressing about cooking for a chef just stop. We like our potato mash chunky, our lasagne a bit burnt and I put parmesan on my fucking seafood pasta. Italian connoisseurs can fuck right off on that one. I'm going to go all Danielle Steel on you here, but we feel loved when we're cooked for, nobody does it. In 6 months, two people have braved the stove top for me - my housemate and my Mum and she maintains she does it all better than me anyway (and for the most part, for a home meal, she does.)

Because with me you get served 2 parts protein, 1 part starch with a side of I Don't Give A Fuck I've Done This Shit For 80 Hours This Week.

Oh and Date Night?

More like "Sorry love can't do this weekend I have a 305 vegan wedding but does Tuesday seven weeks from now between 1:15 and 4 suit you?"

There's nothing sexy about checking out the latest bar or restaurant on a dead Tuesday night surrounded by dickwads who were too cheap for a babysitter and senior citizens who missed the 4:30 early birds bingo wings special of meat and three veg at the local RSL.

Women dating male chefs? You hear all the stories about how they're raw, passionate sex addicts, (quite inevitably true if you're a petite waitress, the back linen bags are clear and it's been a while) but I can quite clearly inform you that you will be turning to your little battery operated rabbit more often than not because the mental stress of his day is going to topple his ability to get hard to the cute little lacy number you purchased that day... If he notices at all.

We have been trained to be emotionless.

Lucky with my boy's scenario and in my general experience for the case of women chefs, we still have that undeniable global need to be loved, to be satisfied. I dunno it must be printed in our genetic makeup. Deny a female chef sex when she wants it and you may as well give a leopard a wet willy - your chances of survival without severe mauling are certainly less.

Now, it isn't alllll bad.

My boy gets treated reasonably well considering. He puts up with a lot and for the life of me I have no idea why. But he doesn't have a princess girlfriend that will whinge to him when he wants to see his mates, who demands his undivided attention because 90% of the time, I just want to be left alone. The TV is always going to be on the cricket - no playing couch commando because the Ashes are on but The Mrs. wants to see the newly renovated patio on The Block.

No. The Ashes are on so THE ASHES ARE ON.

I have a good minute when I walk in the door, that I hold my boy. I hold him and I ask him how his day was even though I probably won't comprehend his response and not a single feeling in the world would make me feel more adored than I do at that moment.

So no, I don't understand people who come home, dump the keys and bag on the bench and shout a husky hello before saying "I'm having a bath, can you turn the oven on?"

What is wrong with you people?

We're miserable, passive aggressive bastards but if you're loved by a chef, you will never be loved harder by anybody else.

... Mainly because we're just grateful to have somebody.

If you can put up with us, we will put up with everything about you.

And yes, between me and the loved one, we have our moments, we're both quick witted with a short fuse and we can go from being cuddled on the couch to throwing metaphorical rocks at each other in a beeline for the face in nothing short of a blink.

So I guess mine is a little too understanding... I have an ego, so fighting with me is like teaching a 4 year old poker, have a Royal Flush all you want, I'm going to parade around my 3, 6, Jack, Ace and 7 like I've cured cancer.

The hardest part?

I reckon it has to be the fact that my job does not end when I leave the kitchen. I go home still buzzing on my adrenaline rush and freak out about how I forgot to order mushrooms, did I turn the oven off? Fuckity fuck fuck. Who was I supposed to call about roster changes..? Then later dreaming about docket machines going off and waking up to the shrill of the service bell whilst sleepily turning to this ever adoring man who for some God unkown reason, loves me and saying: "hunny no, that's not how you peel a zucchini."

Or worse when you stop yourself mid freak out, realising that you've transformed into a completely unreasonable psychopath from stressing about a mushroom, before curling into a ball for a teary-eyed version of Rambo in First Blood drawling some incomprehensible babble about what is essentially a fungus that can easily be purchased from Safeway.

What can I say - we're fucking weird.

But with all things good and bad, you have to have the annoying which sits somewhere in the middle.

Eventually: you will have to eat offal.

I don't think I need to make any more comments about this. And I use the word offal lightly, because you can be a 'foodie' all you want (don't even get me started on that fucking word) you will eventually have your significant loved one holding a pronged piece of silverware to your face saying "TRY THIS!"

And you'll do it.

Why will you do it?

Because you love them.

I'm not asking you to like it, or to ever eat it agian. But you will open up and chew and taste and swallow that shit in the most unglamorous way possible.

All of this aside - Even after all this rambling (if you've managed to stay in tune long enough to get this far... Many apologies) I do have a point.

Dating A Chef is not about all the negatives: it's just that the general public have a very misconstrued sense of what the positives are.

On countless occasions my boy will sneak to my house and climb into bed long before I've come home, sometimes before I've even finished soaping down the disintegrating and rather useless seal of my service fridge. Every now and then he'll wake up to someone who is telling her room to stay still due to too many staff drinks and whose natural response to "Good morning gorgeous girl" is "COOOOFFFFFFFFFEEEEEEE".


You might go to sleep alone. But you'll wake up wrapped up by someone that adores you. Who loves you unconditionally.

And if that's not enough for you?

Then for fuck's sake, don't Date A Chef.


  1. I am loving this blog. I was chuckling the whole way through this, so true. A lot of ex's could not handle it, still looking for the girl that can. Good to hear that you found someone that can.

    1. A lot of late bookings have caused a lot of arguments for me in previous relationships. The ine I've miraculously managed to snag now, is an angel. Good luck though!! We work too hard to settle for less.

  2. gotta love how most nine-to-fivers can never understand that you can't simply 'chuck a sickie' or 'go in a little later tomorrow'... or how you can't 'just say no' when your kitchen is a man down and you need to jump into work on your 'scheduled date night'.

    which is probably why I ended up getting married to another chef.

    you're a lucky one. hold on to your boy. he sounds like a keeper ;)

    1. It's the whole notion of an 'inbox'. No. My 'inbox' and 'outbox' are one thing and it all happens in the one space of time.

      I can push my work back for sure... For about 3 minutes when I've completely hit the shit haha.

      "I'll do it on Monday" will never be uttered... Except maybe for a stocktake ;)

  3. After a long loooong night, this makes me feel better. Thank you.

  4. This is the most perfect thing ever. I really with everyone could read your blog and understand my life a little bit better. My single favorite thing is the first remark, we smell. Coming home after a 14 hshift smelling like halibut because I spilled the fish juice when I was icing it and my boyfriend still hugs, kisses me and tells me he loves me "stinky" makes me love him more furiously than I ever could have imagined.

    1. If a boy can pull a bit of rice from your hair and still kiss you afterwards... That's a keeper to me =P

  5. I love it. The part about the offal is true. It reminds me of the time when my boyfriend came home to a pig head brining in our refrigerator because I decided I was going to spend the two days I actually got off in a row making headcheese.

  6. Awesome. Just what I need - another blog to keep up with. Great read. Nailed it.

  7. Been there, done it soooo true lol

  8. Dating a chef is probably the second worst thing someone can do except for maybe a waitress... y'know, cos they're a fuckin waitress....

    my mrs was perfect when I was a chef, never complained when I was at work till all housr, she used to cook for me or buy takeout for my midnight or later homecoming and always, ALWAYS had beers waiting for me. The only time she ever said anything was when I was working 14+ hours, 7 days a week. Probably justified really...

    Dating an ex-chef is probably a much better plan. Sure we are a jaded bunch, still full of hate and vitriol however every day it dies a little... and by little I mean a LITTLE. It's been 2 years since I quit and only now can I manage to source produce and not want to die when the thought of cooking pops into my head.
    I still yell uncontrollably at masterchef (especially that retarded no tallent hack gary meghan) and I STILL cant manage to eat at Josie Bones or any other free gift restaurant from a reality show. However I have managed to begin cooking at home... it took a year to get there and now I am cooking (propper cooking) for her nearly every day (say 6 per week?)

    I for some reason I have started to enjoy it!

    where the hell was I going with all this? who knows? does it even matter.... It's vaguely related and that'll have to do :P

    1. Haha I've staged for Gary before. He's pretty bipolar but I liked him in person. Masterchef can suck a fat wang though. I've wanted to have a good rant about it for a while but the rage builds up so rapidly that my hands will shake at the keyboard.

      I'll need a scribe haha

  9. I laughed so hard when you said "honey, that's not how you peel a zucchini" in your sleep. Because I did something like that while I was still in cooking school. During a month of butchery, I explained how to cut meat into pieces in my sleep! LOL

    Totally diggin' your blog! It's like my daily news paper that I read after a long, busy night at work!

  10. THIS IS FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Wow! Fantastic! So spot on, Im married to a chef, as soo as anyone finds out, first thing they say is, wow you must eat really nice food and never have to cook, WRONG! I just laugh and smile, truth be told, hes not allowed in my kitchen, his favourite food is big macs, hot dogs, those noodles you speek of and pasta with a shit load of cheese. Oh and speaking in your sleep, he has told me to grill the cheese and most nights his hand starts chopping into my head!

  12. You guys are working in the wrong places then... far better paid, better houred chef jobs these days doing great food that you're proud of... with great produce which can be cooked at home on days off at wholesale price...

    You're doing it wrong!

    1. Are you from Melbourne?

      It's one big ass-fucking incest pool of competition.

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  14. It is just perfect I must admit im lucky enough to have my princess next to me.... sleeping whilst the ashes are on!!!!!
    And this was so enjoyable I just missed a wicket... Cheers.. :(
    How ever was worth it just to know there are many people like me that suffer the same thing day in day out... truly the best thing I've read in ages! !!
    Just throwing this one out there but if I see another person season food before they have even tasted it you surely see me on the news for 1st degree murder! !..

    1. I see it even when I'm out to eat and I feel like reaching over to the table next to me to wrap their overly starched napkin around their neck to tell them if the chef did it right, it doesn't need shit.

      Then they'll complain it's too salty.


    2. They remind me of Bart Simpson... little more little more too much.... take it back
      Knob heads.... I do wonder why when u paying top dollar for food in quality restaurants they even have sea salt flakes on the table you're charging me 50 bucks for a 250g steak or fish fillet and I need to add salt..... makes me frustrated. ..

  15. This is awesome and SO true. My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years and for the first 2 he was a chef and me, I'm a ninetofiver. That first two years was hectic, squeezing in time between midnight and 5am was the norm. I'd drive to pick him up from work and fall asleep in th car waiting just so we could spend 5 mins actually seeing each other that night. Cheese on toast was standard and when I cooked it would almost bring him to tears (in a good way). He's now out of the kitchen and life is what other people conisder normal, he cooks amazing food now and does it with a smile but will occassionally have a nightmare which will wake him at night and when I ask what happened, he'll respond with "I dreamed I was working in a kitchen again" LOL

    1. 99% of chef relationships are squished between midnight and five haha

      But it goes both ways. I'll prod him awake at 1am for 'special time' and he'll try to get me up at 5:30 for a chat. We work though.

  16. So nice to know i'm not the only one who hears the ticket machine in my sleep! luckily for me my boyfriend is a chef too so there's no whining about the late nights, the lack of weekends off and the fact that all i want to do on my day off is sleep- he's right there next to me!

  17. A friend of mine who is a chef posted this for me to see because I am married to a chef.

    You hit the nail right on the head in every way. I've been with her from Sous Chef to Now Head Chef and it is not for the feint of heart. Especially considering I moved Countries to be with her.

    But you are right I have never been loved more or harder by anyone in my life. It is a struggle but it is worth it. I loved the part where you mentioned going to sleep alone but waking up wrapped in love.

    And as for the cooking yeah right. When she does cook Its amazing but other than that I cook. Everyone assumes she does all the cooking especially in our new house we are building they assume the massive kitchen is all for her she just laughs and points at me. Despite all her training her fav foods are my families Soul and Spanish Food. She would rather a pulled pork sandwich than anything. And if she is left to cook for herself its 2 minute noodles with that bolognaise sauce in a can *GAG*

    Keep up the good work I love what i have seen so far.

    1. It's so lovely knowing your company is appreciated. People who can come home and not even say hello to their partner... I've seen it over and over and they appear to me to become cold. Makes NO sense.

      And that whole bolognaise thing... Tell her thanks for that, going to try it out :)

  18. I love your blog!!! As a chef wife, it's great to get it from the other side. My husband has been laughing at your posts and nodding his head repeatedly in agreement.
    Thank you!!

    1. Oh Chef Wife!

      You are a strong lady.

      A very cut up and callused thumbs up to you!

  19. you are a freaking legend.

  20. i like your blog and its true.. its a chef life, i'm a chef and my ex is a chef too, so it was great fun, anywhere we had a conversation its all about food, when we fight its all about food whose better mine or hers lol, thank u

  21. NO more valentines, new years, Christmas, Anniversaries. That is what my chef husband told me right from the beginning of our relationship. It was my choice to continue on with him and i am happy to say that we are still going strong! Personally I like space, and I really do enjoy cooking, so this suits me well. I have learned many tricks from him;) and yes its true, the most passionate lover ever! Thank you for the blog, I haven't found an entertaining read like this in awhile! Cheers!