Five things I learned when I married a chef


I’ve probably mentioned it a thousand times over, but let’s state it once more for good measure: hubby is a chef. He was a killer in the kitchen before he actually started cooking for a living, and there was a definite direction in his career choices from when I first met him until the day he put on his chef slacks for the first time.


I was so proud it’s unreal. Not that I’m not anymore. But it’s worth mentioning because hubby had worked hard to get where he was and once he got there stage one of his master plan was complete. I get confused with the stages but the end game is owning his own place.


I suspect it’s a similar story for majority of chefs; it’s a profession you either firmly choose or drift into because you love food. Cooking it, tasting it, serving it to people and seeing them taste it (and enjoy it, obviously)… you know, the whole nine yards. It’s not a job you do unless you have love for it. I mean, who in their right mind would do 12 hour shifts in a boiling hot kitchen under enormous time-restraints when there is an option of an air-conditioned office and sitting on your tush all day. Right? OK, that may be debatable but you know what I’m talking about.


And because it’s a labour of love, hubby’s passion overflows from his work to our home as well. Which is at the same time endearing, exciting and frustrating as hell. There are a number of reasons for this, but for purposes of blogging about it, I have chosen five.


Impromptu mussels in cider sauce with olive bread


1. Kitchen is their kingdom…


Forget about whisking a little something up. Forget about leaving the dishes on the side “just for a moment” before you wash them. Forget about space in the cupboards or sides for anything that isn’t a million different spices, condiments, cooking apparatuses or related. I swear half the time I have no idea what the machinery, pots or cups are for, but I have it on good authority (hubby) that they are very important.


On the plus side, the kitchen is always spotless as hubby gets extremely stressed if there are even the tiniest crumbs left from my toast (which is pretty much the only thing I’m OK to “cook” in the kitchen) and I never have to wonder where anything is. Hubby has every item mapped in his mind and he’d rather get it for me anyway to avoid me messing up his system. Which brings me nicely to…



2. …And you’re not welcome in it


Well, that’s not entirely true. I can be in the kitchen at two occasions: When hubby is not in there and if he is, when I’m just passing through. But if some serious cooking stuff is going on in the kitchen I get my marching orders very quickly if I dare enter.


This may partly be my own doing (apparently the constant flow of “what is that” “What are you doing” “Isn’t that dangerous” is annoying, who knew!) but also because it’s probably not safe for me to hang around masses of super sharp knives, or a bunch of boiling and frying things. If I’ve been extra good I can stir something for a while but only until I do it wrong again. Which is something I’ve learned to accept, like I’ve learned to accept that…


Hand made Scotch Eggs


3. Food Network = Porn


He always has a bit of a guilty look o his face when I walk in on him staring at Food Network. Like he’s been caught doing something he maybe shouldn’t be. You know what I mean. Sure, there’s worse things to obsess but I’ve lost count how many cook books we have, and the only reason we have extra channel packages in our TV subscription is to have extra cooking shows added to the arsenal.  The internet is for recipes research rather than watching questionable videos.


Hubby stares at the latest food shows with the same intensity I stare at that perfect pair of high heels that cost a small fortune or Jensen Ackles (the sole reason to ever watch Supernatural) and I swear sometimes I can hear him gasp when they bring the dishes out of the oven. I only ever have that reaction for as cookery show when they talk about the wine or beer they’re pairing with the food and I remember it being on offer in the shop. Of course the new recipes he’s ingested through the television screen must be tested, usually on me, and when this happens, I have to remember that…


Diet starts tomorrow, right?


4. Don’t even dream of being in a rush


Rome wasn’t built in a day and delicious meals are not whisked up in seconds. We’re talking about hours here. They know that you rock up home from the office starving because the last time you saw some food was around midday and it’s gone six now – but if dinner isn’t ready it isn’t ready and you best sit down and practise some patience.


Hubby has of late learned to have emergency snacks in the fridge (like home-made mackerel pate and melba toast) to fence off my worst hunger pangs so I don’t reduce into a puddle of a hangry mess while I wait, but that took years. You’d think I’d learned during those years to not be ungrateful and not to have a little moan about why everything always takes so long… but you’d be thinking wrong. This is the best compromise we came up with. Speaking of which…



5. Kiss goodbye to your waistline


The biggest compromise of being married to a chef is between your love of all the lovely things they cook and your waistline. Basically, I’m compromising my waistline in order to eat all the gosh darn lovely things hubby cooks. The saying “never trust a skinny chef” should be expanded to “or their skinny spouse” because, let’s be honest here, the spouse is the ultimate tester for all the new recipes and all the lovingly prepared meals the chefs conjure (they are wizards, I’m telling you). Truth be told, I love hubby’s food far more than I love my waistline so it is a compromise I am willing to make time and time again.


Have you got an anecdote about being the Significant Other to a chef? Hit me up in the comments.

  • jaipurthru mylens

    Ha ha! great points. I’m sure every person who marries a chef must be experiencing this

  • Perla

    Thing about I was reading your post just before breakfast and now I’m not going to like my no-so-good-looking-plate after seeing these “all the gosh darn lovely things” here. I want a chef hubby right away!

  • Wonderful reading Katja! You should consider your self lucky as most of the men don’t even want to be in the kitchen. And he must be a great chef, all the plates looks so delicious!

  • Jayne

    This makes me wish Matt could cook!! Did hubby make all those meals ?? If so, send some my way !!!

  • Pacheco bidemi

    Now you are going to make me change my mind from searching for a doctor or an engineer to marry. I do doubt chefs makes the best spouse and now my doubt is cleared.
    Lovely article and yummy pictures!

  • Samantha O’Brian Summers

    Oh, that has to be a double edged sword. I would be huge! I do enjoy cooking and try to fight my husband back when I’m in the kitchen so I can understand him there.

  • Jasmin N

    AH, you’re so lucky! Sometimes I wish my hubby could cook but damn that man is seriously not allowed in the kitchen 😀

  • Tadeja Umek

    hahhaa, lucky you 🙂 I’m the world greatest foodie so through my eyes you really hit jackpot 😀 Great post!

  • Karoliina Kazi

    His dishes always look so amazing – you’re one lucky girl!

  • Jasmin N

    OH my goodness, I wish my husband was a chef! 😀 Then I wouldn’t have to be one cooking all the time haha 😀

    ~ Jasmin N