Speak Up

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Wedding Ring

A fellow  (soon-to-be) chefwife and reader just emailed me and asked if I could write about the topic of wedding rings. Laura from Tahiti is planning a wedding and needs a little help. Her soon-to-be chef husband is saying he can't wear his wedding band to work. What are your experiences with this?

It's been nearly 5 years since I had the very same conversation with Erik. He also said he wouldn't be able to wear his band at work. I'm a little embarrassed to say that I pretty much told Erik he had to wear it. Looking back, I wish I had a little more tact when approaching the matter. But after all, it's a public symbol of our marriage, love, and commitment to each other. He has worn it ever since the day I put it on his finger and never had a problem cooking with it. Although it did fall off his hand when he was swimming in Long Island Sound a few summers ago. After borrowing a little kid's pair of goggles, he found it! The water wasn't clear either!  What a miracle.

Should a chef have to wear his wedding band at work? Would the argument change if the chef were a wife with an cumbersome diamond on her finger?

Food is Love,


DCW Jes said...

Wow. This is a little bit of a topic that was between my chef and I. Especially since we were just married. So, since I am in culinary school, I can't wear a "regular" wedding band either. I couldn't wear my engagement ring in the lab, but my band is simple enough that unless you are looking closely, it meets ServSafe standards. Now, my husband on the other hand, he has a harley davidson ring that he wanted for his wedding band, I let him pick it out. As long as its a plain band (no divets or stones) he can wear the ring in the kitchen in accordance to ServSafe standards. If my chef was going to baulk at wearing a band, I would've had him tattoo it on his hand...I still might do that though! lol. Good luck to your friend.

ch said...

Hi Hilary,
My hubby wears his ring everyday, for 15 years. It was never even a question for us.
If her husband has a problem with wearing it, maybe he can get one tattooed on. How's that for commitment:)
Wow, I imagine it was not easy finding that ring. The LI sound is not exactly tropical water. So glad he found it.
Hope you have a great weekend!

"La Femme du Chef" said...

I had the conversation with my Husband who was a Pastry Chef but now a Chef Instructor.

A wedding band and engagement rings are symbols. Whether they're worn
24/7 or on occasion or depending on circumstances it doesn't take away what you both have for each other as a couple as a whole.

My husband doesn't wear his ring to work on days he knows he'll be
work with doughs,or getting real messy etc. I don't wear my ring if I'm cleaning or cooking at home. Neither of us even wear them when going swimming or to bed.

We have "cheap" rings to wear when we do events with our dogs. Or to the beach or activities were we may get our hands dirty. It may sound silly but at least people know we are married (important to show at times)and that if we lose them for playing ruff housing with the dogs or in the ocean we won't be frigging out.

As long as you both know what the rings represent,respect that and carry it out through your actions then you both should be understanding of these circumstances that occur when you can't wear your jewelry.The ring isn't everything your actions and words are.

Venessa said...

My Chef doesn't wear his ring except when we are going out together. He says it bothers him and he is now a the level where cooking is on 10% of the job. He has tried to convince me that it is actually a lady magnet. Hmmm? It doesn't bother me because everyone knows he is married. I visit often and our pictures are plastered all over his office. Funny thing is if I take mine off to put some lotion on and forget to put it right back on he gives me crap about it.

Anonymous said...

My husband never takes his ring off, even at work. He says that it does not get in the way of cooking. He also wears it when he golfs.

He also says its illegal to require someone to take off their wedding ring. I'm not sure if this is true- but I do know that a wedding band is one of the only pieces of jewelry allowed at CIA.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, Hilary, and all the help, ladies! It's much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Married to chef for 10 years. He has always worn ring (on left hand and is left handed) and has worked all stations, pastry, bread, etc. and he has never once mentioned it being in the way or bothersome. It doesn't have fancy stones, but is beautiful simple platinum ring.
I guess I don't buy the "it's in the way" argument...chefs have such egos and are so "hard core", but they can't handle the change of a little ring around their finger?
And let's face it, single women (of a certain age) first notice the man then automatically look at the finger. I would not like it at all if my husband didn't wear his ring 24/7, as I do...it would feel like his work yet again was coming first!
I say tell them to suck it up and get used to the feel of the ring!

Mrs Chef said...

my chef husband doesn't wear his ring to work, nor social events. he never wears his ring, ever. on occassion, if i remember, i'll place it on him for a wedding. but it's never really even given a thought. i know it's supposed to be a symbol of our marriage, but as long as the trust and committment is there, everyone else around will know that we're each taken.

Sarah Treivno said...

I just had a convo with my chef about that. Basically, he lost his ring once while cooking, but the ring was a complete size to big. He has always had his on. The main reason, he is not as hands on, as overseeing anymore.
I know when I cook, I have to take mine off, but that's because of the design. Food get stuck in the crevices. A solid band, and position that didn't have your hands in raw poultry everyday would probably be smarting NOT wearing the ring.

It wouldn't matter to me either way, but this comes after 5 years of marriage, and numerous ups and downs. A newer marriage may possibly have more insecurities. At this point, we know we are stuck with each other. :-)

chefsandor said...

To my knowledge, the health dept. allows wedding bands but not other jewelry because of the sanitation issue. A band is good enough to show the love.

Anonymous said...

Ick! Your wedding rings are a symbol of your commitment. If my chef husband wasn't wearing his I'd be devastated! I assume your husbands were chefs before you were married and thus planned and purchased serve safe rings (plain bands) as they know the rules. ;) I know there are things that just come with the territory ladies, but don't be a schmuck. No ring = single!! They need to wear em or tattoo em on!!
Little Mrs. St. Paul, MN

Anonymous said...

My husband wears his ring always. The one time it was a problem - he was burned at work several years ago and the blisters on his hand were so severe I thought we would have to cut it off. We got it off and let the swelling subside and h returned to wearing it without trouble.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty happy my husband had no problem wearing his to work. We did however have to take into consideration the fact that it would have to be made out of a very durable material-nothing too fancy with diamonds or any embellishments. We ended up getting him a titanium ring which was perfect for his industry.

Lonely Chef Wife said...

My husband always wears his ring to work. It never seems to get in his way all of his (16 hour work day). Our Chef husbands are surrounded by trampy hostesses and waitresses all day. And, since these woman spend more time with him than us, it is VITAL to prove their commitment with their ring on. I would be really upset if my husband didn't wear his ring.

sapphire engagement ring said...

For me, wedding bands are the traditional jewellery worn on your wedding day. It's the best jewellery that represents your love to one another.

CrystalSoonCoonrod said...

well I am engaged to a chef and we have discussed this throughly. We agree on finding something that would fit ServSafe standard. And yes is now and I barely see him but we communicate and it make us closer, plus we don't waste anytime when we are together. I guess he has been very clear about "working almost everyday" I love him and I will stay awake until he comes past midnite..

Anonymous said...

This seems to be a bit of an issue. It looks like it's emotional vs safety and practical. I've just taken the FOODSAFE course in preparation for entering university as a chef, and oh the bacteria! The bacteria that collects under those rings, even if they're just plain bands, could make someone very sick, even with frequent and thorough handwashing. I love my ring ladies, but I'll be putting it on a chain around my neck to keep it close to my heart under my shirt because I don't want to be responsible for someone getting food poisoning or worse.
Thank you.
LS, Canada

Anonymous said...

I will be getting married to a chef next fall and am trying to figure out what type (material and design) are best for him to be working in a kitchen. Any suggestions? Maybe something that won't get in his way, but is light and strong, but still looks nice and not cheap. Thanks!!
EG, Wisconsin

Hilary Battes said...

My husband has been working in the kitchen with a ring on since 2005 and has never experienced a problem with it. It's a simple band-nothing fancy. I think even with a band with more design, you should clean it twice a month with jewelry cleaner. It's really a non-issue, the ring.

Anonymous said...

Great site Hilary! I may just become a frequenter, given my ties to a chef.

I'm in the same cross-roads with respects to an engagement ring. She has actually stated more than once about the serv safe requirements but it just seems weird to buy her a band for an engagement ring (my experience drives that feeling).

Am I wrong in doubting the band option? I want to go with her wishes but on top of all of the 4 C's, location to buy, etc. this is an added consideration I'm having trouble getting similar circumstances to learn from.

Thankfully this blog post along with everyones input helped a lot!

Farah Stanley said...

My husband never took off his ring even at work. He's very proud to be a married chef. But even if he asked me that he needs to take it off at work, I would understand. I don't want any of his customers get a bite of our wedding ring.
engagement rings

Helen said...

when we were picking out our rings last year, my husband was concerned about wearing a ring at work etc. He picked out the ring he wanted and our jeweller got it made thick and strong to withstand what he goes through at work. there are a couple fo scartches on it, but its been just over a year now, and he has no issues wearing it at work, and the scratches can only be seen if you look close.
Most of our other friends (the chef halves) all wear their rings as well at work, as they have gone through the same process of getting them made comfortable and strong.
We do have one friend (female) that ops to wear hers on a necklace as it has 3 diamonds in it

JLo said...

i'm so glad i found this. I'm newly married to a Michelin starred chef here in Asia and he doesn't want to wear his ring as it interrupts his work. he also works 6 days a week, so there really isn't any time he'd wear his ring. because on his days off he goes to play tennis and he doesnt want to damage the ring doing sports. so that's about a few hours a week he's wearing a ring - which kind of defeats the purpose of having a wedding band?

Completely understand where he's coming from professionally and guess what he's most comfortable with.

it's just kind of hurtful he doesn't put the acknowledgement that he's married by wearing the band.

Unknown said...

Hello I'm not a chef wife. I am a chef though and I've worked in many different kitchens in my time and they said that we should wear silicone rings in the kitchen because if you were to hurt your finger with your wedding band on it they would have to cut it off to fix whatever damage you did to your hand. That's why they said to wear silicone rings. The other chefs I've trained with in my time of traveling for fine dining cooking or fusion cooking is what I do I've seen everyone wearing silicone rings.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely ‼️