Being married to someone who works in hospitality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When I told my family I’m marrying a chef “great, you’ll never have to cook”. Funniest thing I’d heard. Other than when we were expecting our boys or on days when his best friends pop round my chef never cooks. With 6am starts and days that can see him reach home at 11pm or better yet New Years Eve returning home at 3am some years. When a chef spends all day cooking for others the last thing they are interested in, is coming home to cook.
When we were first living together truth be told I had no idea how to cook, no one had taught me. So when we first lived together he taught me the basics of Indian cooking. Funny right? Aussie girl cannot cook taught basic Indian cooking. On my days off from work I used to go through his college books to read recipes he’d learnt or I’d read cook books he had bought. (15 years in total we’ve been together and I am still struggling to cook Indian. Thank goodness for the internet there are some great sites with amazing indian recipes.) I used to get so nervous when he’d arrive home from a 14 hour shift and there’s dahl and rice on the table with what was some delicious vegetable that I had somehow managed to over fry. I seriously laugh at the thought of how all those years ago he ate whatever I had cooked. Some might say that’s love or as my friend Sujata jokingly stated that’s hunger.
I had no idea what I was in for dating a chef, let alone marrying one. The funniest part is when people hear your husband is a chef, they immediately jump to conclusion that you also know all the recipes and tricks too and start asking you how to make some sauce and you stare at them like .. ahh I have no idea. Then the next question ‘can i have the recipe’. I have never seen my husband write a recipe down nor any of his chef’s friends. They all seem to go by the taste and by practice over the years they just make it.
The fact that I married an Indian puts the stereotype that he works in an Indian restaurant as a chef. He tried when he first came to Australia working in an Indian restaurant and decided it wasn’t for him. He quickly jumped at the chance to work in european restaurants and hotels. But at home loves asian cuisine.
The hours and days are somewhat gruelling, some days we catch each other and some days we miss each other completely. And some weeks only one day off, oh the life of the hospitality industry. Many people think it’s glamorous but it’s hard work and dedication. Although having kids he takes more time off now than before which is great news for kids and I but during public holiday weekends etc whilst many others are holidaying the hospitality industry is busy at work.
The flip side I can take the kids to visit him at work and they get to see daddy in motion. Now I’ve two buddying chef’s on my hands. Will see how that turns out when they become teenagers …
Saying all of that, I’d never change being married to a chef, yes it can be challenging but when we finally catch each other and have family time it’s quality over quantity and that’s the best.