Today, I’d like to introduce you to Corrina Zieba. She is dating a Sous Chef/Kitchen Manager. It’s fascinating to me how all our stories are just a little different, but yet have so many similarities!
Tell me a little about yourself and your chef (how you met, how long you’ve been together, do you have kids, etc.)
My chef and I met online. He’s 25, I’ll be 24 in August. He went to school primarily for pastry. We’ve been dating for 7 months. We do not have any kids and live separately.
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 chef is a co-sous chef/kitchen manager. At this time there is no “technical” executive chef at his restaurant. His restaurant could easily seat 300 people at one time. It is a New American Restaurant, Bar & Hotel on the beach, not so casual, but not overly fancy either. It is privately owned, but the owners have two other restaurants that occasionally share employees in the off season and other restaurants in other states.
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 currently work Monday to Friday full time. Some days as early as 9 AM and others as late as 7:30 PM. I work for an energy company creating/inputting new accounts. When my chef and I met, I worked for a bank.
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?
From what my chef has told me, he is responsible for overseeing the workers in the kitchen, creating and pricing menus. (other than cooking, obviously!)
What does a typical week and day look like for your chef (hours, days off, etc.)?
Right now a typical week includes working Thursday to Monday. During the summer, it could easily turn into 6 or 7 days. He leaves at about 9:30 to be there by 10 AM and works as late as 11 PM. He has some paid time off, but he does not plan on using it until the winter when it’s slow. In the winter, his days are shorter and less actual work days because his restaurant will close and they’ll send him here and there to the partner restaurants.
How does your chef’s schedule fit with yours? What is easy/difficult about that?
Our schedules don’t sync up perfectly. He’s working the majority of the day. My day is only tied up for 8 hours not including travel time and I have weekends off and he has two week days off. What’s easy about that is that we still can be somewhat independent on our days off and then see each other when the workday is over. His days off are a little easier because I don’t work quite as late as he does so we have some more time together during “normal” wake hours. What’s difficult is that we really can’t make set plans or grand plans as a couple with friends or family. Our quality time is relatively short and/or late at night or when one of us is on the go for work and it seems we don’t have the time to just enjoy each other’s company or talk.
Does your chef bring work home with him (phone calls, email, texts, menu planning, etc.)?
He definitely brings work home with him. Mentally, as much as he might not admit that right away. (He tells me he dreams about the order tickets overflowing on a busy night!) He also checks the report email that gets sent out every night and always looks at reviews online.
What type of chef laundry do you have to deal with at this level?
Luckily, I do not have to deal with his laundry right now.
What do you feel is the biggest change when your chef moved into this position, vs. his last position?
There isn’t any change. He’s been doing this since we started dating.
What is the hardest part about this position in the kitchen for you as a chef wife or girlfriend?
The hardest part about this kitchen position is that we really don’t have the quality time that we had in the winter when it was slower and it can be lonely at times. I got used to running errands and cooking together and not only being a couple but being best friends.
What (if any) are the perks of this kitchen position (for him or for your family)?
The perks for my Chef is that he’s clearly doing what he loves and is passionate about. I’m so proud of him because he has so much talent! The perks for me, I can go to his restaurant for dinner if I want him to cook for me!! 😉 HAHA! But, seriously, I can talk to him and ask him questions about any tips for recipes or cookware that is good quality. The biggest perk is just getting to call him mine. 🙂
(This is Jennifer again. . .)
“The biggest perk is just getting to call him mine.” I love that! What a great perk!!
For those of you married to or dating a Sous Chef, what are some perks you see to this position as compared to others in the kitchen? Let me know in the comments below.
From one chef’s wife to another,