Today as we are getting close to the end of this series, we’re moving up to the position of Corporate Chef. Today, chef girlfriend Jocelyn Dewitt is sharing her story with us!
Tell me a little about yourself and your chef (how you met, how long you’ve been together, do you have kids, etc.)
My chefs name is David! We actually met each other in culinary school. We were in the same class and thought we would make good competition partners so we completed at local food shows and proceeded to compete in a regional hot food competition were we won fourth in the northwest region!!! Both of us love to cook so it made it easy for us to understand each others dedication in the kitchen and to the restaurant life. We have been dating for 9.5 years now, no ring just good ol fashion commitment, hopefully one day soon there will be a ring! We have 4 kids. A son River 5 years old, a daughter Quinn 3 years old, Daughter Ember 1 years old and a daughter Frankie 2 months old.
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 onwned or part of a restaurant group, etc.).
David is currently a Corporate Chef for Twigs. Twigs has 9 locations all owned by a father and son so privately owned. They are a casual/upscale restaurant with each location having an average of 250 seats. Twigs is an upscale bistro and martini bar that features local ingredients, fresh sheets and craft martinis. Because they are privately owned they get to do a lot of charity events for the community which is a a great plus!
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 am actually a stay at home mom to our four kiddos. With David working the hours he works I do everything from breakfast to bedtime 5 days a week. None of our kids are in school currently so we do everything from going out for the day at the lake to doing our weekly grocery shopping. I do all the laundry, cooking and cleaning! My goal is to always make it so our weekends together are not spent cleaning the house or catching up on household things, that way we can just have time together as a family!
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?
David’s responsibilities as a corporate chef are directing all culinary operations for all the Twigs locations, whether that be catering, specialty dinners or even weddings. All recipe development, staffing for restaurant management, documenting everyone’s food costs, research and development for all new and old products. All menu development for main and fresh sheet. Any equipment changes in kitchens. Heath department standards for each locations. Vendor relationships. He is currently spending his days managing the above then working in one location each night for their dinner rush
What does a typical week and day look like for your chef (hours, days off, etc.)?
David goes into work at about 8:30 each morning Tuesday – Saturday and spends the morning either going through people reports or developing new menu items then testing them out. He then spends his afternoons in conference calls with other chefs since 3 locations are out of state. At about 4 he ends up spending the dinner rush with one of the local restaurants. He goes in and works the line with all the cooks each night, not only because he needs to know how things are running at each location but he secretly can’t stay out of the rush!!! His day usually ends at about 9 pm unless he is working on a deadline on a menu item then he will work in the kitchen until it’s ready or it’s the first of the month and inventory input still needs to be done then he usually comes home about 12. His average work day is 12-13 hours currently.
How does your chef’s schedule fit with yours? What is easy/difficult about that?
David’s work schedule is hard at times, I am very used to his work schedule since it has been this way since we met and the kids do not know any different so that helps I believe. He gets up with the kids each morning and spends time with them while he is getting ready then we usually do a big phone call in the middle of the day so the kids can talk to him before the night rush starts. Sometimes the kids will take a nap so I will let them stay up until he gets home (if it’s his normal time). I think everything is average until it gets to about 6 pm then it gets difficult for me and the kids. Not having dinner with David and not having him home to help put the kids down each night is difficult on all of us including him! I am very thankful I am a stay at home mom so we are flexible to see David and talk to David whenever we can. The biggest difficulty for me personally would probably be the huge lack of alone time, because if he’s not home I’m the soul person and when he is home I feel like it’s catch up time!
Does your chef bring work home with him (phone calls, email, texts, menu planning, etc.)?
I can’t say yes enough to this question. Yes my chef has always brought work home with him. He is on his phone constantly, thank goodness it’s an actual work phone. He has constant emails and text messages and of course the never ending menu planning.
What type of chef laundry do you have to deal with at this level?
Luckily David has chef coats that are cleaned at work so we are only responsible for blacks, meaning pants and socks.
What do you feel is the biggest change when your chef moved into this position, vs. his last position?
The biggest change for me would be how much work he is bringing home now, but I would take him sitting by my side doing emails then out at events all night like he used to. For him the biggest change has been transitioning from running his own kitchen to managing others to run their own kitchens.
What is the hardest part about this position in the kitchen for you as a chef wife or girlfriend?
The hardest part hands down for me is his stress load. He is much more stressed out in different ways and about much bigger things. So helping him cope with the stress in a healthy manner has been most difficult for us.
What (if any) are the perks of this kitchen position (for him or for your family)?
The perks are for our family are great! He now has a guaranteed 2 days off, holidays are mostly off, we are relocated back to our hometown where all our family lives, he gets an extra week vacation and as time progresses he will no longer be working late nights which will be a great plus for our kids! Overall the corporate position is just more family friendly I am finding!!!
This is Jennifer again . . .
Jocelyn’s life sounds so familiar to mine as my husband is also in a corporate position. It’s so different than any other position he’s had!
If you can relate or have any questions about this position, let me know in the comments below!
From one chef’s wife to another,