Speak Up

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Who is the Sous?

She's young. She's talented. She's hot. She's passionate about food. And your husband just hired her as his sous chef.

Yes, imagine that. A chefwife recently confided to me her fears of a similar situation in her own life. So how do you cope? Do you through doubt out and believe in your chef as a trustworthy man? And if so, will that even work after a few 80 hours have gone by with his new sous?

Perhaps you take a different route and you check his texts in the middle of the night. You hack into his Facebook, possibly create a fake account. You question his every move, smell his clothes and check for lipstick on his collar. You ask him to check in frequently and maybe, just maybe if he doesn't check in as often as you'd like, you call in a favor to a cook at his restaurant to fill you in on the chef's ins and outs....of the restaurant of course.

Infidelity in the restaurant industry is an issue that often arises here between the Desperate Chefs' Wives. How do we tackle this? I'll be honest, I don't think about it. Ever. But I've also been with Erik since 7th grade and I've never had to think about it. I'd bet that women who have been cheated on before, especially by the chef they are with, will experience more fears than those who haven't. But that's just a guess. Can anyone confirm?

Food is Love,


Miss Kim said...

Hello. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but I find the content quite interesting. I am not a Chef’s Wife. I am a woman, working with the likes of your husbands in the industry. I think I can provide a little insight from the other end.
It really depends on the individual and the relationship. If there are trust issues to begin with, then there are bigger problems that need to be dealt with. And then there are relationships that are built on the foundations of mutual trust and respect, able to withstand, endure, and overcome the biggest of challenges. If a man truly loves a woman and cannot bear at the thought of risking what he has, he wouldn’t dare.
But then again, cheating and getting away with it is just too easy in this industry. I have worked with people who are notorious for having shameless affairs right in the workplace. I once had a coworker who told me he banged another coworker in the dressing room. Another girl who I only heard about (never met) used to perform oral sex on a number of her male colleagues (not just fellow kitchen staff but also a GM, and a waiter). I guess she was the restaurant whore. These sinful acts took place in the chef’s office, dressing room, bathroom…so I’ve heard. Chefs work long hours, late nights, and it is just too easy to say that it was another typical busy night, and get away with it as if nothing happened.
Have you ever worked in the restaurant industry? After a long busy night, it is not uncommon for the staff to just hang around, drink the company booze (sometimes even a little too much)..and things can start to happen.
Hilary, if your chefwife friend trusts that her husband loves her and she has faith in the relationship, she should not even worry about it..unless he really gives her a reason to. Obsessing about such things can drive a woman nuts. I recently blogged a post about my “Sous Chef’s Crazy Jealous Wife”. http://behgopa.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-sous-chefs-crazy-jealous-wife.html Your cheffriend does not want to become like this woman.

Anonymous said...

I know one thing... I definitely wouldn't want someone writing a blog about a low point in my marriage (or anything about my marriage) like Miss Kim did in her “Sous Chef’s Crazy Jealous Wife” post. Does Mr.Sous know you are blogging about his marriage?

Obviously when going into a marriage you trust your husband and believe no matter what industry or situation he would choose to be respectful to the marriage. But in any relationship ups and downs happens. During the downs of a relationship the industry ways can become concerning to a chef wife and jealousy can become an issue.


Miss Kim @ behgopa said...

My blog is geared towards sharing stories of all of my culinary adventures. That includes dining experiences, cooking, sharing recipes, work life in the kitchen, etc. And I feel that the kitchen is full of interesting characters and there is always drama going on (components of any great story). And I do ask and get permission of those who I choose to blog about. I try my best to be respectful of their privacy. And that is why I don’t mention names or other personal detailed info.

I have met many male chefs who tend to be the worst boyfriends or husbands. And it is not the profession that makes them a bad mate (of course it is the character of the person), but the industry does often make it hard for a man when it comes to making choices. Does he miss his wedding anniversary and attend to executing a spectacular night for the investors and their 500 guests? And he might not even have time that week or even that month to take a night off to celebrate with at all. Then days pass by unnoticed. You hope he can get a night off the following week. But no, that week, he needs to cover for another chef who is going on vacation. Oh well, maybe next year, he will make it up, right? And situations like this become the norm. He misses his daughter’s school play (that she has the lead role in) for the tenth time because there is a special tasting menu that night and he has to be there…cooking up his specialties only he knows how.

Since I have been in the industry, I have been hearing my male colleagues complain about trouble in paradise with their wives and girlfriends. And I find it interesting to hear perspectives from the other end. The wives/girlfriends’ main issue was always that the two of them don’t spend enough time together. He’s never there for the things that matter This can lead to fights, lead to more drama..the woman can feel neglected, which leads to more fights and drama. And in some cases, the relationship just deteriorates to an end.

If you are in a relationship with a chef, especially ones that work crazy hours, it would take a huge amount of being super-duper understanding. I give you ladies props.

Hilary Battes said...

Miss Kim,
I'm surprised that your sous chef would allow you to write those things about his personal life. I saw that you worked carefully to avoid using any names, but does he read those blog posts after you write them?

I've always stood firm on the goal of this blog: to set up a place for women to work together and realize that their struggles are not only valid, but able to be worked through.

In my experience, I've never met a women who checked on her husband, without having a reason to. That reason may be an actual case of infidelity or just a close call. Either way, it isn't a healthy way to live, but sometimes people have to just survive before they can thrive.


Miss Kim @behgopa said...

Yes, people at my work know about my blog and I don’t blog about them without permission. And no, our sous doesn’t read my blog regularly. I think he just doesn’t care. He is not into reading blogs. And if he were to ask me to not write about him, I definitely would not.

Women’s intuition is very powerful. When a woman senses that something is wrong, there usually is a valid reason behind it. But in some cases (like with our sous chef), I honestly don’t see a reason for his wife being overly paranoid the way she is. I don’t think it has anything to do with our sous, but is more rooted with personal insecurities.

Perhaps she has been betrayed in the past (in another relationship) and has carried those developed mistrust issues into the marriage.
My woman’s intuition tells me that our sous doesn’t even have intentions of engaging in outside affairs with other women. The only thing he does contemplate on is leaving her because of her jealousy issues, not because of another woman. My personal opinion is that if she calmed down a little and backed off, turn the tables around a bit, it would alleviate some of their issues…acting like she doesn’t care, giving him some space…I know from personal experience that this can do wonders.

Jealousy is a monster that can grow into something more than ugly and drive partners away. I once dated a guy that actually started giving me doubts about his fidelity. I have never been the type of girl to check up on a guy, become jealous, or snoop until this guy. I really did not like the person I was becoming. And as this escalated, I started to really hate myself for sinking this low. I realized that I did not want to be in a relationship with any one if I were going to be made to feel that way. And I kicked his booty to the curb for even daring to make me feel unsure. And I was so much happier and felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I did not have to stress about what I think he was doing, where he is, who he was with, what he was lying to me about, etc. I found out later on that my intuition was valid btw.

My take on things is that if a man makes a woman have doubts, has her feeling insecure, question his fidelity, she should not put up with that. She can either leave or do something about it. For me, the minute a guy makes me start having these doubts (and my intuition is usually valid and accurate..I woudn’t get these feelings without a valid reason), I am ready to leave. But that is just me. I don’t want to be with a man who is not going to make me feel loved, appreciated, and happy. That is just baggage I don’t need to deal with.

Maybe it is the Taurus in me. We highly value loyalty and will never put up with anything less. I know that if I can’t trust my partner (and trust is the foundation of any relationship), I would not be happy. I’d always be wondering whether to believe what he says or if he is lying to me. And to me, that is not a relationship worth having.

diana l said...

For me, it's not just the hot sous chef or line cook, etc., it's also the model/actress server/hostess they just hired FOH (it's L.A., after all) and the nasty once-overs you get from her when you come in to have an innocent meal. It's not just feeling insecure about hot women being around your husband who is always, always at work, but realizing that yes, they might actually be after your husband.

Anonymous said...

I agree Diana. I have only been dating my chef a few short months and I am kind of struggling to adjust. The other night I was working late and just texted to check in and see how his night was going. His reply "it's been a good night. I'm entertaining my new sous chef." A simple innocent statement that sent my mind reeling. Who is the new sous chef? Male or female? If its a she, is she pretty? Is she funny? :-( they are having fun together and he and I are apart more often than not. But I roped it in, took a deep breath, and told myself that insecurity is ugly and this will never work if Iet these questions breed doubt against the man I am falling in love with. I trust him. Even on late late nights. - TS, Baltimore

Jennifer said...

I've been with my chef for six years and I think it's always a little disconcerning when another woman spends more time with your signifigant other than you do. The way my chef helped me cope was to tell me that he is just not interested in dating another cook, so much of his life is already consumed by cooking that to come home to a girl who doesn't smell like onions, who takes care of him, isn't stressed out all the time, and appreciates every second with him is a dream come true. As a spouse or girlfriend to a chef, you're his chance to escape and that's something you should be proud of. Plus, any guy who cheats isn't worth being with in the first place and fear of infideltiy ultimately comes from your own insecurities you just have to deal with.

Gretchen said...

As a female chef, I can tell you if I am working with another chef and he is taken no way in heck I am touching him. Flirt sure, talk dirty maybe but never would I allow it to go to where the spouse or gf was getting upset or causing her to be worried . My best friend is a male married chef and I made great friends with his wife whom I adore. I know what it is like to be cheated on and to have my partner not understand my hours , exhaustion and be jealous of my friendship with my friend(honestly we are two peas on a pod but he would make me scream if I was his wife lol) and thought I was disloyal. I was actually going through a very bad depression .. Go being bipolar .. One thing I will say is that I think with any chef relationship you have to stand up and say no... We need time together or the job is killing us. I have learned the hard way that I live once and I will be damned if a job will ruin me again. Never worth the scrafices.
I also write a blog about my life as a mad chef... No names of anyone and no one I work with knows about it. Though my ex does lol.
I can only hope that I meet a man who is as understanding as you ladies are and bless your souls for being awesome women!!!!!