Speak Up

Friday, June 1, 2007

Welcome to the Chefs Wives Club

Where on earth do I begin? Well, why not the beginning? My husband is a chef for a very prominent restaurateur/celebrity chef here in...where else? NewYorkCity. About 3 years ago we moved here from the suburbian wasteland of Los Angeles so that he could pursue his dream of working long hours and getting paid 3 beans a day. Ok, ok, the truth is, he came here to be a 'new york city chef' because really now, where else would anyone want to work? As any chef wife/girlfriend/siginificant other knows-chefs work long exhausting hours that takes a toll on us! So instead of fighting a losing battle with a gazillion dollar a year profiting industry, I decided to join them. Oh no, I dont work at any restaurant (do I seem that crazy?) but I do take an active, appropriate interest in what drives this massive thing. So here I am now with a blog set up for people to converse about all the drama that goes on inside the kitchens, restaurants, bars, and oftentimes-alleyways. Of course I will change names to protect people, but if its not a HUGE deal, I'll blab every little tiny detail.

Let me please reiterate that the chefs wives club is for all people STUCK to a chef in one form or another. If I excluded it to wives, I might only hear back from 7-15 people. After all, who in their right mind would willingly promise to spend their WHOLE LIVES with a chef? Oh yeah, me. Oops. Hey, you can't blame me, he was my high school sweet heart. How charming, huh? Well don't get used to it, thats probably the only 'sweet' thing you'll see on this website.


And please, feel free to share the stories, gossip, drama, and heartache. If we all stick together, we might actually get through it.


Anonymous said...

I just found your website and am very happy to learn that I am not alone in the world of chef significant other. I have been living with my sous chef boyfriend for nearly a year and I'm thinking of getting out before it's too late. I can already relate to everything you're saying, i.e.
1. Watching Iron Chef America & Hells's Kitchen
2. My bf/chef playing video games to unwind
3. Never being able to go to a restaurant to simply enjoy a conversation & food (we have to talk to the chef & owner and remark on everything being tasted)
4. The work doesn't stay at work. I am almost forced to participate in his culinary world when he takes no interest in my career path.
5. Ridiculous hours and constant double shifts
6. His jealousy, thinking i'm out with other men while he's working( which couldn't be further from the truth)
7. The list goes on.

I love the man. I don't love the above. Are the two even considered to be separate or have they merged? And will it just get worse? I love my career, but don't always want everything to be about his! I have plenty of outside interests and feel he has none? Could that even be true? How can someone love their work enough to sacrifice all else? And please let me know what makes it worthwhile in the long run. Are you completely just hanging on or content? I don't mean any ill will...just completely at wits end and in DESPERATE need of advice.

I don't want to lose him but just cannot compromise my happiness. Any advice?

Thanks a bunch! =-)

Hilary Battes said...

Check out my August 2nd post. I can't contact you!

Anonymous said...

I am a head-chef's girlfriend from South-Africa and things are exacly the same here.

What I realy wonder is, why do we love them so much, even though we know the "workahollicness", tempers and selfishness is part and parcel of this cooking species we attach ourselves to.

Thank you so much for your blogger, it has very much the efects of a support group. I've always thought that I am the one in the wrong, demanding a bit of time etc.

I am very young still, but have been in the relationship for quite some time. What realy scares me is by the time he is successfull enough to take time off, will it not be too late for me??

Anonymous said...

SO glad I stumbled across your blog. I could've written all of this myself. Cheers!

- chefwife in FL

Anonymous said...

Yeah it's hard to be a chefs wife all right! All these men who seem like they have their head on straight, don't. I know of a very famous NYC chef... and he is truly one of the most generous souls I know - who's wife/girlfriend (she was considered the chef's wife since they'd been together a long time and lived together) worked as a hostess at one of his many fine restaurants. Turns out the chef was doing another of his hostesses who worked at the exact same establishment as beforementioned wife. Chef ended up getting the 2nd girl pregnant and married her. Dumping the "wife". It seems like the chef is very happy with the 2nd wife and new baby which is nice but what's happened to the former wife?! She was left out in the cold.

Mlupo4615 said...

A co-worker of mine told me about your blog when she found out I am dating a chef. (She also gave me the usual statements…. Oh he must make the best food for you! Hahaha…)

My chef and I have lived together for about 2 years now (though recently moved to NYC), he works in a kitchen of a newly opened restaurant here in the city….. and all of your posts seem to be exactly about what our lives are like.

The leaving things around the house... though for me it is millions of glasses that I find when I wake up in the morning.... can't you just use one glass for your nightly beers? I don't know, it baffles me. And the video games, though for us its computer games and its World of Warcraft... to think I bought him the game for Christmas last year. Long hours/ never home/ out at the bar/ never cooking/cleaning... just nice to know I am not alone.

And I am happy to find your blog right now… the worst time of the year to be a chefs significant other… New Years  I sympathize with you and all chefwives.

Have a lovely holiday season. I hope your chef’s restaurant allows him some time off to enjoy it with you.
<3 MP from Brooklyn

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just found your site today and was so relieved to know others are going through the same...
It has been so hard for me to not have someone to go to my work parties the last 2 years... he amazingly got off for the next 3 weddings we are invited too! Had to work Mondays to do it, one of his days off, but hey. I want to know, does anyone's sex life suffer with the schedule mismatch?
I feel like we are going to have to schedule in our nookie...

Restaurant Bride said...

Oh my gosh, I am so glad I found you all! I must admit that I may not qualify bc my husband is not a chef. But what's worse is, he is a restaurant manager, and he is at the mercy of his chef, no matter who that may be - which means, so am I. After the chef is long gone for the night, my husband is taking inventory, counting money (very little of which finds it way into our lives), etc.

I should also admit that we live in the burbs b/c I was until recently a single mother and had to live near my parents for child care - not that we can afford the city now that I'm married...but I only have 1 friend on long island. ALL of my social support system is in the city, and I'm so tired of trecking in to see them...but i digress. So anyway, for the sake of my son, I gave up a creative, unconventional career and settled for a desk job. This works both for and against us. I understand his passion, but I'm a little bitter that he can't make the sacrifices I have. That's wrong of me, and I know it.

Anway, now my work is suffering b/c i'm falling asleep at my desk b/c I cannot really sleep until he gets home. It's mostly b/c i miss him so much, I'm just dying to see him at night. But unlike the guys in the kitchen, he has been schmoozing customers (and sometimes the staff) all night, and when he comes home, he has NOTHING left to bring to the table. (figuratively, not literally - i've gained 10 lbs since I met him and his free meals!) I've had to make a concscious effort to eliminate sleeping pills from my list of potential coping mechanisms, and I was hoping some of you had some tricks.

It's 2-somehting A.M. and I cannot sleep b/c he accidentally woke me up after I went to be alone (again!) so he could stay up and unwind - yes, the video games system I so naively bought him- I hear you!

WHat gets me most of all is, in the last few years, almost ALL of my friends have married off, or they are in something extremely serious. So they've all begun to socialize as couples. They always invite me, and I sometimes go but...it's just hard. Also, I'm so tired of doing everything alone - or just my son and I. It's worse than when I was single. I really need someone (an adult) to share experiences with- and I want it to be him. Isn't that why you get married? To have a partner of some kind?

Question for you all: Is it unhealthy to fanticize about the restaurant burning down in the middle of the night -with no one in it of course! - (well, except maybe this one waitress...)

Sorry I'm such a Debbie Downer. I'm really at my wits end.

Clearly, I'm in need of some perspective- and it ain't gonna come from my Restaurant Man.

My condolences and support to you all,
Restaurant Bride (RB).

Restaurant Bride said...

oh, and YES, the sex life does suffer - that's probably the REAL reason I can't sleep - frustration.