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.

Do you work outside the home and if so, what do you do and what are your hours like?  If you stay home full-time, describe your responsibilities.

I do not work outside the home.  I stay home to take care of our 3 daughters and home.  I do everything around the house, so that when my chef/husband is off we can spend time together as a family.  It works well for us and neither of us would want it any other way!

From what your chef has told you or you have observed, what does he do in his current position and what is he responsible for?

He is over all things food and beverage for the entire restaurant group.  He does menu development and training.  He works with his 3 regional chefs to make things are running smoothly at each location.  He visits restaurants to work with individual chefs and crews as needed.  He does a lot more than that, but those are the big things that come to mind.

What is it like to be married to a CCO

What does a typical week and day look like for your chef (hours, days off, etc.)?

He works Monday – Friday.  He usually leaves around 5:30 am to miss traffic and then is home around 8 pm.  He has an hour + commute up to Seattle each day, so he tries really hard to not sit in traffic each day.  If he leaves at the wrong time it can take up 2 hours just to get to the corporate office.  🙁

How does your chef’s schedule fit with yours?  What is easy/difficult about that?

Since I stay home full time, I’m home when he is.

Does your chef bring work home with him (phone calls, email, texts, menu planning, etc.)?

On his days off, he turns his phone to silent so he can get a break.  He will check it a few times during day and respond to things as he needs to, but it’s on his terms and the phone is not constantly bugging him.  When he is home relaxing, he’s on the computer or reading.  He’s not necessarily doing “work”, but it usually revolves around food or organizing things on his computer.

What type of chef laundry do you have to deal with at this level?

I still wash chef coats and pants, but there are relatively few stains the coats which is AMAZING!!  I feel like I have so much more time in my week now.  (OK.  That’s probably a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s nice just to throw the coats in the other light colored laundry!)

What do you feel is the biggest change when your chef moved into this position, vs. his last position?

He is off the weekends!!  He has better medical benefits and a corporate card. (No more reimbursements!!!!!!!!). He’s not cooking much in the restaurant.  He’s not as physically tired when he gets home, but his mind is exhausted.  He’s not able to physically cook or cut/chop right now because he had elbow surgery, but when that is healed, I hope he’ll be cooking again at home!

What is the hardest part about this position in the kitchen for you as a chef wife or girlfriend?

The long hours.  Even though he is home earlier, he still misses the girls, or is getting home right at bed time (which is an absolutely horrible time to get home.  It makes it hard to get the girls in bed as they want to stay up and see him.)

What (if any) are the perks of this kitchen position (for him or for your family)?

He can bring food home from any of the restaurants.  We can eat for free when we dine in at the restaurants (if we are willing to drive an hours to get there.  That doesn’t happen often.). Weekends and major holidays off are a HUGE perk.  It will be nice to have him home on Thanksgiving this year!  Woohoo!!  With the weekends being off, he has much more time with the girls and it’s easier to do things as a family!

Well, I guess that’s it for this series!  If you have any questions or if my life sounds like yours, let me know in the comments below!  I’d love to know! 🙂

What is it like to be married to a chef

View all posts in this series here!

From one chef’s wife to another,


Follow Jennifer @ Emulsified Family’s board Married to a Chef on Pinterest.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *