1. It is a classic misconception that once you’ve bagged yourself a chef the fine dining meals will be a nightly treat. “You must have some lovely meals at home?” is what you’ll hear regularly from your friends and family. You will get used to reminding them that he/she is at work EVERY evening.
2. This leads me to the second point, weekends for a chef are Mondays. That’s the day the chef has as a day off (if any). Unless it’s a bank holiday, then they’ll be working. This doesn’t apply to all chefs, but just bear it in mind before you swipe left or right on that App.
3. Chefs smell like food. More accurately, they smell of cooking; onions, garlic, sweat, and fish. They are fully aware of their scent. Just let them have that shower/ bath when they get in from work.
4. They rarely go straight to bed when they get in late. The chef will have their “post work” beer. Once home they will watch Sharknado 3 on the SyFy channel until 2am, then crawl into bed for 5 hours before starting the new day. It’s not personal. They just need to become human again. A twelve hour shift needs a shutdown procedure.
5. The chef can be moody. They will do their best to not bring it home with them. But sometimes, when “Young Tommy” has accidentally turned off the freezer, destroying hundreds of pounds worth of dessert prep, it can take its toll. The other side of this, is the “Buzz”. The chef has just knocked out a three sitting, 600 cover Mother’s day service, with just two complaints all day. They will feel hyped. The adrenaline will keep them up for hours...even though they are knackered.
6. The chef appreciates you. Chefs know how lucky they are to find someone who puts up with all of this. The late nights, the missed birthday parties. The lonely barbecues. Bear with them. The good days are well worth it. They will know where to eat out. They’ll call in that favour and get the good table at that new restaurant and when they cook for you, it will be special (see 8).
7. They are so easy to cook for. It’s another massive misconception that you need to impress a chef with your own culinary skills. NO! (See point 6). The sheer fact that someone is cooking for them is enough to make them happy. Marco Pierre White says in White Heat “When I go out to eat, I’m the ideal customer. I eat the meal and go home and don’t complain. I’d never make a fuss. But the difference between me and other customers is that my expectations are realistic” This should be true for every chef worth his/her salt. This is not to say don’t put the effort in. Just know that they don’t expect a three star rosette bacon and egg sandwich...unless you are actually a 3 star chef!
8. When they do cook for you, do not be intimidated. They make it look so easy. You’ll see a look on their face which you may have never seen before. The focus, the intent. They’ll want to impress you and hopefully will. Don’t worry about the pile of washing up building up in the corner. That’ll be gone in a heartbeat. Another chef skill, washing up master! Also, do not be upset when they bring their own knives. Yours are shit. That’s all.
9. Chefs traditionally don’t have loads of friends. Their network is formed by people they work with and one or two strong friends from “back in the day”. This means, although you’ll be wrestling with their employer for quality time. You’ll rarely have to then negotiate time with “the boys/girls”.
10. Chefs are scientifically proven to be better lovers and generally better human beings than anyone else that you may be considering. This is true, because you are reading it on the internet.
This is dedicated to my wife. She’s put up with my crap for 23 years now. I don’t really know how she does it really.