Speak Up

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dreamy New ChefCrush Blog

Daniel at Sel Gris

Two Portland ladies have come up with a clever, entertaining blog supported by the motto that:

"...cooking makes a person cute and sometimes even sexy! We love good food,
and we totally crush on the people who cook it for us. These dreamy chefs make us feel all tingly inside, like we’re back in junior high flipping through the glossy pages of our teen magazines."

Click through the pages of ChefCrush and you'll find photos of local Portland chefs standing right in their element of kitchen glory. You'll also read about the dish they serve that earns them the dreamy stamp of approval. I spoke with Tonya, one half of the writing team at ChefCrush. She works with another chef lover who prefers to keep her anonymity. The second lady behind ChefCrush is a cook herself so she was too busy to answer questions (sound familiar?), but you can get to know her through her blog, The Hungry Cupboard.
Gabe at Biwa

Tonya developed a crush on Brandon from Caffe Mingo and her boyfriend, how loving of him, suggested she start a website based on her chef crush. After further encouragement from her cook friend, named crush girl 2, Tonya bought the domain name and starting taking chef snapshots. She met Crush Girl 2 through PortlandFood.org and after meeting for some happy hour drinks and they hit it off with their love of food, and chefs.

I was curious how she attained all the photos of chefs. I think I'd be nervous to ask for them but Tonya assured me that because Portland has a lot of open kitchens and "chef's counter" seating it's easy to gaze into the eyes of chefs. But even in closed kitchens servers have been kind enough to take pictures for her or bring her into the kitchen. Her account of the chefs' reactions is priceless and I'll let you read it word for word:

"I usually don’t know whether the chefs get excited. It’s actually sort of cute how nonchalant most of them act about it. You’d be surprised how many chefs don’t even ask why I want their pictures. I guess they assume I’m a reviewer of some sort and don’t really care. Or at least they want to seem too cool to care. Lol. If they do ask, I tell them I have a food blog and leave it at that unless pressed to provide the URL. I’m not sure why. I guess I don’t want to act like I think I’m some kind of big deal. I love the blogosphere, but I get annoyed by people who think that the mere act of spewing their opinion online makes them some kind of expert. Also, I never ask for a photo until after the last entrĂ©e or dessert has been served, because I don’t want it to affect the service or the food I receive."

Kjell at Luka

That's so fair of her. I don't know that I'd be as reserved. If there's a chance a hook up, I'm all over it. ChefCrush seems like an eager website, and some chefs' wives have expressed annoyance with chef groupies but rest assured Tonya isn't a groupie. She's dated chefs in the past and knows all the tortures and treats that we go through. She describes what she loves about chefs:

"I think there is something very sexy about what a chef does. He (or she) has his hands on something that goes into my mouth and gives me satisfaction and sustenance. It’s inherently sensual. And I’m in awe of a person who can take a few ingredients and devise something I would never think of."

I've never thought of it that way, but I totally agree. Think your chef or a chef you know deserve to be stared at adoringly? The Crush Girls gladly accept photos of chefs from other places so email them to crushgirl1@chefcrush.com.




Anonymous said...

Crush Girl 2 here. Thanks for the blog mention! Love your blog, and I'm really glad there's a support system for people who are patient enough to deal with dating folks in my industry.

Anonymous said...

Chef crush you must write about: Sam Mason. Wow.

Anonymous said...

Hi, ladies! This is posted in the wrong place, so please accept my apologies. Here's a rant with which some of you may identify: we moved into a new neighborhood (lovely chef hsband thick in midst of post-opening/prereview frenzy). We have three preschoolers and I was meeting the neighbors. They have never met met my husband, but saw an "extra car" one time. They saw him on tv or in a recent magazine spread, but am I imagining or do they really think that it is impossible to work so much and that he is cheating on me?? Yes, one of them actually asked. Sorry, ladies. Lonely tonight.