Gift Ideas for a Chef

I don’t know about your chef, but when I ask my chef/husband for gift ideas for a holiday he usually doesn’t have many ideas, if any. He always says he doesn’t need anything and really doesn’t have time for much. But of course we still want to get him something. Unfortunately I usually draw a blank when it comes to gift ideas for him.

If you google, “Gifts for a Chef,” you’ll get a bunch of foodie gifts, most of which, chefs would think are rather stupid. Most of them don’t want kitchen “gadgets” as a gift.

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When Your 4 Year Old Finds Your Chef’s Sharpie

Chefs and Sharpies…two words that go hand in hand.

Rarely will you find a chef without a Sharpie in their pocket, or at least near by.

I get it.  They label things all the time and ask us to do the same at home, right????

Leaving Sharpies around the house and car isn’t that big of a deal unless one goes through the wash and the cap falls off (UGH!!!) or unless you have small children!

Our kids (12, 8 and 7) think a black sharpie is just like a regular washable Crayola black marker.  I’m constantly scrubbing it off the table in our office and reminding them to please, JUST USE A REGULAR MARKER!

Anyways…

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Chef Wives, You Are Not a Single Parent

I wrote the post below back in July, but never published it. Tonight I’m sitting on the bed, wishing my husband was home with us. It’s Cinco de Mayo – the busiest night of the year for his restaurants. We haven’t seen him all week and we miss him. I’m tired. The kids have been arguing while making Mother’s Day cards. (Really?????? I don’t want have to discipline for that!! Ugh!! I really wish he were here to deal with the Mother’s Day card arguing…)

Have you ever referred to yourself as a single parent because of your husband’s career as a chef?

They work a ton of hours.  They are gone the majority if not all of the hours the kids are awake. Because of this, the parenting on the days they work (and sometimes even on their days off) falls on us.

It’s hard.

I get it.

I’m living it.

There are many days our girls do not see my husband because he leaves before or just as they are getting up and gets home just after they are in bed. Having a 1 hour + commute on top of the long hours of a chef is tough. My husband would have to leave work at 5 pm (and then sit in the car for 2 hours because of traffic) to be home to see them for an hour before they go to bed (which is not their best time of day). The mornings, it’s the same. If he doesn’t leave before 6 am, the commute can be almost 2 hours long. There’s really no option for a change of hours, so we find way to work with the schedule the best we can.

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What is it Like to be Married to a Chief Culinary Officer?

This is the final post of this type is this series where we’ve walked through each cooking/chef position in the restaurant kitchen and have learned what it’s like to be married to or date someone in that position.  (Next week I have a post from a Chef who offered to answer the questions.,  YAY!!)

Today, I’ll be answering the same questions.  My husband is currently the Chief Culinary Officer for the Opper Melang restaurant group in Seattle, Washington.

Tell me a little about yourself and your chef (how you met, how long you’ve been together, do you have kids, etc.)

I met my husband when I was 4 and he was 5.  We were high school sweethearts and got married at 20 and 21.  He started working as a line cook about 6 months after we got married.

What position does your chef/cook have in the kitchen?  Briefly describe the size and type of restaurant he is working at (fine dining/casual, size, privately owned or part of a restaurant group, etc.).

My husband is the Chief Culinary Officer of a restaurant group based out of Seattle, Washington.  Currently they have 3 restaurant concepts (Mexican, Southern BBQ and Oyster Bar) and 12 locations, with a plan to open 3-5 a year for a while.  Currently about half of the restaurants are within driving distance.  When he visits the others (which are clumped together in different cities), he travels.  There are two owners and a CEO above him. (more…)

So You Want to Own a Restaurant . . .

Has your chef ever thought about opening their own restaurant?

As I’m sitting here working on this post, my husband reads the title and immediately says, “No way!”

It’s definitely not for everyone.  But I know many chefs who would like to one day have their own place and many chef girlfriends and wives (or husbands and boyfriends) who wonder what it would really be like.

There are a few chef wives who have written books about opening a restaurant with their chefs.  You can read about Delancey and Wife of the Chef in a few posts I wrote last year after I read the books.

But today, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Dhanny.  I met her through this blog and have LOVED getting to know her this past year!  She has such a great perspective on restaurant ownership and I’m thankful she’s willing to share her story with us today!

Dhanny and her chef/husband Joe own My Kitchen Restaurant in New York.  If you live near by or travel there, I’m sure they’d love for you to stop by. 🙂 (more…)

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