I’ve asked it before, “Is the restaurant killing the chef?”
Ask any chef wife or significant other whose chef has been working in the kitchen for a while about their chef’s injuries and well . . . you better grab a cup of coffee and a chair because you might be there for a while.
Over the past 19 years we’ve dealt with cuts, burns, a broken back and torn ligaments, just to name a few.
Now it’s not totally fair to put all the blame on the career. When my chef/husband makes eating healthy and working out a priority, he can physically handle the job easier. However, when things get really busy as work, those are the things that tend to be pushed to the side. (This happens with many of us, not just chefs, right?)
However, no matter how good of shape you are in, sometimes injuries happen.
Right now, my chef/husband is sporting a lovely black cast on his left arm. (I would show you a picture, but decided to skip asking him if I could take one as I know he hates it when I take his picture. You can take a peek at it in this Facebook post from New Year’s Eve.) He’s left handed. He doesn’t have any broken bones, but has torn ligaments in his elbow from repetitive movements (chopping, working the sauté station, etc.) Even with the cast on, he’s in a lot of pain.
The day before he went to the Dr. it was so bad that he couldn’t even reach out and grab a cup of coffee. He had no grip strength and was in terrible pain. It’s been bothering him since Thanksgiving 2013, but finally was to the point where it was becoming difficult for him to do his job because of the pain and inability to grip things.
So how does a chef cook with a cast on their dominant arm?
He’s done a few things at home, but has actually asked for my help in the kitchen as he physically can’t hold a chef knife.
At work, he has been doing some menu development and organizing recipes for one of the restaurants in his restaurant group (along with 10,000 other things I’m sure). Obviously he’s found a way to make it work, but it hasn’t been easy. He’s had to call someone in to prepare each menu item so he could photograph it for the recipe book. He’s had to type with his arm in an awkward position. The girls and I helped put recipe books together for 3 restaurants here at home. (I always ask if there is anything we can do to help him and there finally was something!) Everything just takes him so much longer and I know that’s a frustration to him!
So my question for you today is, are there any chefs out there who have not had some sort of injury on the job (besides a small cut or burn)? Tell me your injury stories! I know you have them!!
From one chef’s wife to another,