Dining Out as a Chef’s Family

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Dining Out as a Chef's FamilyI’m not sure about other chef families but we rarely eat out.

I feel funny saying that as I know that the restaurant industry is what pays our bills.  But yes, our family rarely eats out in a restaurant.

So why is it that we rarely eat out?

Really there are several reasons.

I’ve been debating about answering that question or even writing this post as I’m afraid being married to a chef might have made me a bit of a food snob. 

But with that being said, here’s the truth . . .

First – I’m married to a chef (obviously.)  Whatever we eat in a restaurant, he can make at home (and it’s usually better.) 

I also think that when we take our family out to dinner, the food should taste good.

I can’t believe I just said that.

But seriously, it’s very frustrating to get a check for $70-$100 for our family’s dinner after eating food that was clearly not tasted by anyone in the kitchen.  (And this is me speaking not even my chef/husband.  Just me . . . a home cook with no restaurant experience.)  If someone would have tasted the individual components before they put them on the line for the evening, they surely would have realized that it was WAY UNDER SEASONED and that they needed to grab the salt!!  AHHH!!!

Food snob.  See?  I can’t help it.  I think that food should taste good and be seasoned properly.  Is that too much to ask? 

Apparently it is for some restaurants and that makes me very sad, especially when we get the check!

Second – There are not many local restaurants that we would care to eat at. 

We live about 45 minutes outside of Seattle (without traffic) and our nearby restaurant choices are not that great.  We would have a lot better options if we were willing to drive into downtown for dinner.  But with 3 kids and traffic . . . no thanks!  I’d rather cook!

Third – It hasn’t always been in our budget to eat out. 

In case you were not aware, just because someone has the title “Executive Chef” doesn’t mean they are making a ton of money.  We live off my husband’s income ONLY and there have been many times that we really could not afford to go out to eat, especially with 3 kids.

Because of that, I guess we are just in the habit of eating at home most of the time.

Fourth – Eating out with 3 young children isn’t very relaxing. 

Our kids are pretty well behaved, but they are still kids.  Sometimes I just want to sit and relax and not have to play tic tac toe or help someone find a word in a word search.  (For some reason our kids think they can only play tick tac toe at a restaurant.  Maybe I should grab some paper and sit down and play it one day here at home!  They would probably love it.)

Fifth – It feels like work for my chef/husband, even if it’s not one of his restaurants. 

It’s hard for a chef to sit there and not critique the food or peek back at the kitchen, or be frustrated by a server that really has no idea what they are doing.

(My chef/husband and I do  usually eat out when we go out on a date.  On those occasions, we usually drive into downtown and enjoy a meal there.)

So are we the only chef family who doesn’t eat out often?  What’s it like when you go out to eat with your chef (on a date or as a family)?

From one chefwife to another,




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  1. Sara Arrigoni

    I’m not even a chef’s wife, and I’ve found it often disappointing to eat out. Like you said, our local options are lackluster, and if I’m going to drop $50 on a meal for the family I want it to taste better than a stouffer’s TV dinner. When hubby and I are able to sneak out, we enjoy trying out new international cuisines with food that I can’t/won’t make at home, or sometimes food that we can’t eat at home because of our kids’ food allergies. Honestly too I’d rather skip the money-draining cheap dinners out and then splurge very occasionally on a really good meal (like your husband offers at his place of business, for instance ;).

  2. Jennifer

    International cuisine – usually our choice when we do go out as well. (We love Indian food!!) I haven’t had a TV dinner in a long time. 🙂 I wonder if our kids even know what those are.

  3. Jes R

    We are tremendously lucky to live in San Francisco which has a fantastic food scene and lots of wonderful options to choose from. Being in the industry he ‘knows someone’ at a wide array of venues and as we are only the two of us we are lucky enough to be able to take advantage of that fairly often!

    • Jennifer

      How nice that you get to eat out often. Even in a big city, chefs seem to know each other. It’s funny. 🙂


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