Do Chefs Get Vacation Time? – Part 2

I’m coming back to this question again, “Do chefs get vacation time?” as I think about our quick last minute getaway as a family last week.  Taking a vacation with your family when you are a chef is not easy.  You have to plan your time off around holidays, menu changes, events, restaurant openings, etc.  Then throw the traditional school calendar in to the mix and GOOD LUCK finding a time to get away.

In the past, we’ve taken the girls out of school for a day or two so we could get away as a family.  But this past week, their mid-winter break lined up with a good day for my chef/husband to take off.  So with that extra day and his normal 2 days off, we headed up to northern WA.  The forecast for our days away was sunny (which rarely happens up here in February) and we were able to get a few last minute hotel reservations.  It was an amazing time away and really good for our family to spend uninterrupted time together.

I won’t bore you with the details of the trip (but will of course share a few of my favorite pictures.) (more…)

Do You Know What Summer Vacation Means for a Chef’s Family?

It’s finally the last week of school for our two older girls.  It’s been weeks of seeing friends from around the country post their end of the school year pictures on Facebook and it’s finally our turn.

While summer vacation is a great thing for most families, for the family of a chef it’s AMAZING!!  Why?  Because no matter what days my husband takes off (which change weekly, daily or hourly based on what’s going on in the restaurant) we are all home and can do things together.  Or we can just hang out. (Although that’s something our younger two haven’t really figured out yet.  They still think that if Daddy is home they need to be right on top of him every second of the day.  We’ll have to work on that a bit.)

For this past school year, my husband has had very few weekend days off.  So while I have had time to spend with him and so has our youngest daughter who was still at home full time, the older two really only had a few hours in the evening after school to spend with him.  There have been some tough moments, the hardest was probably when our 9 year old actually asked, “Why can’t Daddy have a normal job?”  That’s a hard one to answer. (more…)

Do Chef’s Get Vacation Time?

Last week was mid-winter break for our kids AND my chef/husband took the week off!  I can’t even remember the last time that happened.  No email (OK tons of email, but email notifications turned off), only a few texts, 1 voice mail. . . I probably should go into the restaurant and corporate office and personally thank his staff for this.  🙂

So I guess the answer to the question “Do chef’s get vacation time?” is yes.

It’s not always easy to find a good time to take it.  For his restaurant, right between Valentine’s Day and the start of Dine Around Seattle was perfect.  It also happened to line up with mid-winter break for the girls!  Yeah!

So after reflecting on an amazing week as a family, here are 10 things that happened:

1.  We had so much fun together as a family!

I was a little nervous about what it would be like to have him home for a week, as there have been many times when things have been awkward, the kids have been strange toward him because they haven’t seen him much, etc. (More on this another time.)  But our week was AMAZING!!

do chef's get vacation time (more…)

Letter to a Young Chef Wife

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Dear Young Chef Wife,

This month my chef/husband and I will be celebrating our 19th wedding anniversary.  It’s hard to believe it’s been that long.  I’m not quite sure where the time went.

As I look back on our marriage, there are so many things I would have done differently as a chef’s wife, if I only knew what I do now.

letter to a young chef wifeI know you love your husband and would do anything for him.  I also know that his career as a chef is tough on your marriage.  I’m writing to you today to encourage you to not give up.  It’s not easy. I’ve been there.  Wait . . . I’m still there!  I’ve learned so much in 19 years and still have so much more to learn in the next 19+ years to come.

I would love to sit down and talk with you, share with you, laugh with you and cry with you about what life is like being married to a chef. But since I have 3 young children, we would probably be interrupted (politely, of course) about 800 times during our chat.  So for the moment, I’ve come up with 11 things that I really wish I would have known early on in my marriage to a chef.  I would love to share them with you.  You might have already figured them out or they might be something you never thought about.  There’s even a chance you might not agree with all of them.  Whatever the case, I hope and pray that they will be helpful to you in your marriage. (more…)