Today, we’re moving up to the position of Sous Chef in this series. I’d like to introduce you to Chef Girlfriend Aino Kebina. I love that I can relate to her story, even though we live on different continents!
Tell me a little about yourself and your chef (how you met, how long you’ve been together, do you have kids, etc.)
Hello! I am Estonian born and raised and my chef is Northern Irish. Back in Europe, Estonia and Ireland are only 2.5 hours away when on a plane. But life brought us together in a small city in Australia, called Adelaide.
I started working in an average size restaurant as a waitress when one morning he stepped in and I offered him a table, only to find out that he is covering one shift there as a chef.
The restaurant is a franchise and he works for the actual licence. That means that he sometimes has to check up and work in other restaurants which are part of it.
We hit it off straight away and we have the same passion- cooking! We both love cooking and experimenting with food. We were friends for many months before we actually started officially dating and now we have lived together for 8 months. You know that feeling when after a long time you go home? I have that feeling when I´m with him.
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.).
Officially he is working as the Sous Chef but stepping into a head chef shoes. It´s a restaurant franchise and growing fast in Queensland, mostly known in Adelaide. It´s the biggest franchise in South Australia.
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. What does a typical week and day look like for your chef (hours, days off, etc.)? How does your chef’s schedule fit with yours? What is easy/difficult about that?
I was staying home back in Adelaide and did everything there is to do at home. But a few months ago we moved to Brisbane and I started working in a same restaurant because I was asked to help out by the owner. Thanks to that we have almost the same work week.
He has Wednesday and Sunday off and other days are double shifts. I usually have Sunday, Monday and Wednesday off, so I have that extra day for myself. We are very blessed now because we can spend our days off together.
He´s working around 50-60 hours every week but it´s better than two months ago when he worked 7 days a week, double shifts.
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?
His responsibilities in the kitchen are basically keeping everything under control: Wages low, ordering considering the budget and that there wouldn’t be too much waste of the food. He also plans weekly specials.
Does your chef bring work home with him (phone calls, email, texts, menu planning, etc.)?
He does gets phone calls on his days off but usually only a few.
What type of chef laundry do you have to deal with at this level?
His chef uniform is a black jacket and check trousers or black trousers. Aprons vary from butcher striped aprons to black, grey or company waist aprons. So that makes my life so much easier! I couldn’t imagine washing a white uniform! I know he would love to wear white but the company made their uniform black.
What do you feel is the biggest change when your chef moved into this position, vs. his last position?
He does have more responsibilities and that comes with more stress about work. Stress is definitely a downside about his position.
What is the hardest part about this position in the kitchen for you as a chef wife or girlfriend.
The hardest thing for me is that when he is stressed then I am stressed. And just a simple thing like him being tired all the time! It can get hard but you just have to reason with yourself and remind yourself why you are together.
What (if any) are the perks of this kitchen position (for him or for your family)?
I think the perks are that he can have more freedom, like planing the weekly special. That means he doesn’t have to do the exact same meals over and over again. And stating the obvious – better pay.
Dating a chef is not easy but we have true partnership. I love him and couldn’t imagine my life without him!
Any other chef wives or girlfriends of Sous Chefs out there? How can you relate to this? Let me know in the comments below!
From one chef’s wife to another,