The Stress of a Chef

This past week, my chef/husband has had the week off as he is moving to a different company.  This type of week off is very different than just taking a week off from the restaurant or restaurant group.

There are very few emails and texts.

No worrying about food cost.

No wondering if someone ordered the correct quantity of something for brunch on Sunday.

No one asking for help in a situation.

No blueprints to look at for future restaurant openings.

Nothing on the calendar in the near future.

It is truly a break.

Even when we were on a cruise for a week, totally unplugged from the world and the restaurant, the job was still there and on his mind, at least occasionally.

The stress is gone.

He is smiling more, sleeping more, happier . . . because the stress of being a chef is gone.

I know that my husband’s restaurant/restaurant group is on his mind a lot.  He goes to bed thinking about it and wakes up thinking about.  The job is consuming.  And I know he’s not alone, from what many of you have told me.

[Tweet “The stress and responsibility of running a restaurant is HUGE! It’s not a job you leave at work.”]

The job comes home with you.  It goes everywhere with you.

We’ve talked a lot this week about quality of life and how to actually HAVE a life, while still working your hardest and working a lot of hours.

It’s not easy.  The life of a chef and stress seem to go hand in hand.  It’s a struggle to find the balance between work and home and to not let the stress of the job consume you.  Stress affects their health, their behavior, and just their general well-being.

The Stress of a Chef

While I wish I could say that this stress will not come back with a new position, I’m sure it will, at least from time to time.  The hours will still be long.  There will be a lot of responsibility and it will be on his mind all the time.

So since I can’t stop the stress, the question is, what can I do as the wife of a chef to best support my husband when he is feeling stressed about things going on at work?


I am always here for him to talk to.  Even when my brain can’t compute the numbers he’s telling me and I don’t totally understand what he’s saying, I can listen and he can vent.


I pray for wisdom for him as he makes decisions that will affect his restaurant group, employees and customers.  The wiser decisions he makes, the less his stress level will be in the future (hopefully).


My chef/husband is an introvert.  He is forced to be an extrovert all day long at work.  At home, he needs to recharge by himself and with a little peace and quiet.  This is a tough one since he’s also a husband and father.  He comes home to a wife and 3 kids and very rarely a quiet home.  I do my best to help facilitate a peaceful home for him to come home to or to leave from, but I am only one of the 5 of us . . . easier said than done.  (Feel free to send me any ideas you have on this one!!)


Sometimes he just needs some space to think and process through what’s going on.  There have been MANY, MANY, MANY times in our marriage I have thought he was upset with me and it turned out he was just thinking about work and needed sometime alone to work through it and decompress.  I have learned to not read into his behavior when he’s exhausted from work.  When I do, I am usually wrong!

So we’re off on a new adventure . . . a new restaurant group . . . a new position (and new chef coats).  We’ll take it one day at a time . . . him as a CCO and me as his wife and #1 supporter.

What do you do to help and support your chef when he/she is really stressed out from work?  Please let me know in the comments.

From one chef wife to another,




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