Brian and I have been together for almost 4 years. I think he’s kinda stuck with me now. Plus, I don’t know many people who would laugh at all his corny jokes. I do!
I had some preconceived ideas about what it would be like living with a chef early on in the relationship. Some of those ideas are true and well, lots of them are complete and utter lies that I told myself!
Here are some of my top things I’ve learned from him during our years together, in no particular order.
1. Never, under any circumstances, question his culinary abilities or tell him how to do something in the kitchen, cook something, etc.
You see, this was one of my faults early on in the relationship…oh sure, I’m an oldest child, it is my lifelong duty and requirement to tell anyone and everyone close to me how to do things the correct way [aka my way] and boss them around. Yes, I’m a work in progress in this thing called life and I continue to learn from my mistakes. This one though, I learned right away! Who was I to think that I could tell someone who went to school for a culinary degree as well as cooked more meals than I would ever eat in my lifetime, tell him how to do things! Needless to say, I ask questions now and don’t boss him around in the kitchen. Lesson learned.
2. He can make a masterpiece with the smallest of kitchen spaces.
Our first Thanksgiving together, we were living in a tiny house with a kitchen on the second floor. It was about the size of a postage stamp. Oh sure, it had all the necessities but I thought there was no way he was going to prepare a Thanksgiving meal in THAT kitchen. And, I was stressing because my family was all going to be there as well as Brian’s mom and her husband. So, I also felt the pressure of both families meeting as well as it was the first time I was meeting his mother. Now, I should also mention that this house we were living in didn’t have a dining room. We did, however, have a living room that was the size of two postage stamps. I was stressing too about where we were going to put all these people. In my head we needed to rent out an event center. Our place was never going to work. He cleared out the living room and put up folding tables, set the tables very pretty…including table cloths, worked the morning of Thanksgiving, then came home and prepared and fed 14 people in our tiny place. I believe everyone had a great time. I will never forget that Thanksgiving. That was when I knew that not only could he cook, put he was also excellent at being resourceful and can think quick on his feet…all while I was concocting visions of this never going to work and probably being a bit dramatic!
3. He is one of the most giving and passionate person I’ve ever met.
Don’t get me wrong, he has a mouth on him that can get him in trouble and can be a little rude at times, but a true chef who is passionate about their profession, is very giving. They give up their holidays, weekends, nights, etc to cook up fabulous meals for people like you and I that don’t want to cook on certain days. Until this past year when he made a career change, every holiday he worked. And, I generally sat home thinking this is stupid. I have a standard, traditional job so my weekends or days off consist of Saturday and Sunday, duh, everyone has this right?! Wrong! So, remember that the next time you go out to eat, enjoy your meal but also remember that the person who prepared it likely is serving you and not their family on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, etc. They know this going into the job. They love doing it. They are passionate about it. They wouldn’t change a single thing about it.
4. His timing is impeccable!
When I say impeccable, I mean IMPECCABLE. This guy knows what time it is without looking at a clock. He will set a timer for 20 minutes and get up from the couch at 19 minutes and 57 seconds and say, “the pizza should be about done” and then the timer goes off. And, it’s not just with food, I remember early on in the relationship, I was traveling a lot for work. He would know almost to the exact time when I would arrive to the airport parking lot. He would send me a text and say, “did you make it safe?” I always wondered if this guy had a GPS tracker on me. Nope…it’s just his timing. You see, chef’s require timing for everything. When does the meal need to be ready? How long will the main dish take? How long do the sides take? It all needs to be plated and still warm to be enjoyable. Or, maybe I find this one amazing as my timing in the kitchen sucks. I’m not a late person, but I have never been able to perfect the timing of a full meal. I’d have the breadsticks done before I ever even finished the pasta. I leave the timing in his capable hands now.
5. He makes the biggest mess in the kitchen, however, the plate you eat from will be a pristine masterpiece.
In a well established restaurant, the Chef is responsible for the food. Prepping, planning, cooking, plating, etc. They are not, however, responsible to clean up the mess. This is what other people are for. I am that “other person” at home! Now, another thing about me. I HATE messes with a passion. I am a clean freak to a fault. I have had to learn to be a little more relaxed when it comes to messes in the kitchen. Now, while the messy kitchen looms in the background, you will, however, be eating your meal from a nice white plate that has been wiped clean around the rim and the food looks like a masterpiece. You see no mess…except me as I have to go clean up the kitchen.
6. He loves quiet times.
Chef’s spend their working hours in a noisy kitchen calling out orders, the clanking of pots and pans, servers coming in and out asking questions, etc. Their off time looks a lot like some major quiet time. His idea of fun on his day off is sleeping in, relaxing, heading up into the mountains to listen to silence. Don’t get me wrong, he is usually up for just about anything, but his main idea of relaxing on his days off are simply spent in a little bit of silence.