THE BLOG

So You Think You Want to Marry a Chef...

05/21/2015 10:30 am ET | Updated May 21, 2016
Jennifer Small

"When I get married, I'm going to marry a chef because I can't cook."

"I want to marry a chef so they can cook for me every night."

"My Mom just told me I better find a chef to marry or I might never eat when I move out."

When I see someone tweet about wanting to marry a chef, I want to laugh, cry and sometimes even yell at this stranger who I see on my computer screen. I'm sure they are very nice people and mean well, but thanks to the media, the majority of people really have no idea what it's like to be married to a chef.

On TV, in magazines, in books and online, chefs are described as having a glamorous life, which is ridiculous. Chefs are normal people just like you and me. They just cook better. Seriously. There's nothing glamorous about working 16 hours a day for 23 days in a row.

And while the life of a chef is not glamorous, neither is being married to one.

I have been happily married to a chef for 19 years. I love my chef/husband dearly and am glad that he's a chef. However being married to a chef is not what most people think it's like.

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but if you marry a chef, they are not going to cook for you every night.

Now unless you have lived the life of a chef, are good friends with one, or are in a relationship with one, how would you know what their life is like or what it's like to be married to one? I get it! I have no idea what it's like to be married to a handyman, a lawyer, a doctor or a plumber. I only know what it's like to be married to a chef. So you could claim the same ignorance about me and another occupation.

However, on behalf of chef wives, chef husbands and chef significant others all over the globe, can I please just give you a small glimpse into our life so you can see what it's really like? Then you can make a more educated decision on whether or not you want to marry a chef, date a chef or tweet about it because you want someone to cook for you.

First, let's start off with the obvious. The food they make is amazing . . . when they are home to cook. My chef/husband can make something amazing out of whatever happens to be in the refrigerator. Whatever he cooks is perfect. (Thank goodness or he would be unemployed!)

HOWEVER, "when they are home to cook" is the key phrase in that previous paragraph.

Can we think about this logically for a second? If my husband is cooking dinner for you in a restaurant, he's obviously not home cooking for me, right? I do the meal planning and the majority of the cooking for our family. I'm not complaining, that's just the truth.

So I beg you, please stop thinking that if you marry or date a chef, he or she is going to cook for you every night. It's not going to happen. I'd hate for you to start dating a chef and be disappointed. (And FYI . . . while my chef/husband does enjoy cooking when he is home, some chefs do not.)

Second, if you are married to or dating a chef you are alone most evenings. Even if you have kids and are surrounded by noise and little people, being home by "yourself" 5-6 nights a week is very lonely. (And social media makes it even harder when you see your friends out and about with their husbands.) I've come to enjoy having some time to myself for hobbies in the evening, but even after 19 years, I still get lonely. I don't think it's something you ever totally get used to.

Third, you attend most social and family functions by yourself. People might even start to wonder if you really have a spouse and tease you about it. (Yes, believe it or not that does happen.) Not only do I go to family events and activities by myself (and when I say by myself I mean me and our 3 kids), my chef/husband misses out on most of them because of work. It's as tough on him as it is on us. And you should get used to people asking where your chef is when he's not with you. I've been married to a chef for 19 years and people still ask where my husband is or if he's at work. I guess I assumed questions like that would stop after a while, but they don't. Eventually you come to accept this and make the best of it, but it's not easy at first.

Still think you want to marry a chef?

Fourth, chefs have a crazy amount of recipes and cookbooks. I know what you're thinking. That sounds great. And it is. I have access to a recipe for anything I could ever want to make, without having to go search for it online and wonder if the recipe will turn out. I also have access to a chef who can answer any cooking question I have. (I LOVE THIS!!) However, 12,000 recipes on the computer, and 400+ cookbooks on the bookshelf can also be a bit overwhelming if you are just looking for a simple salad dressing recipe. Then of course when I find the recipe, it makes 5 gallons. . .

Fifth, people are afraid to cook for your chef (and sometimes even you). Because of this, you are rarely invited over to people's houses for dinner. Plus, if someone is brave enough to cook for your chef, you'd probably have to cancel and reschedule the meal a few times because the chef's schedule changed last minute at the restaurant. The schedule of a chef makes it really hard to plan things in advance.

Last, you have way too much stuff to fit in your kitchen. While my chef/husband hates kitchen gadgets, we have more things in our kitchen than I know what to do with. (And seriously, some of the things I actually don't know what to do with.)

The quantity of knives we own is crazy. One of them is so large it looks more like a weapon than a kitchen knife. (You should have heard the gasp from the audience when my chef/husband pulled out his semetar knife at the last cooking demonstration he did! It looks like a sword!)

And of course we need 20 cake pans. You never know when you are going to need one of them. So you keep them for 15 years and find random uses for them. Doesn't everyone do that?

Those are the facts. Ask anyone married to or dating a chef, anywhere in the world, and I guarantee they can relate to many of these.

Now I'm not trying to talk you out of marrying a chef. I love it. I really do. If you don't believe me, you can read more here. However, there's more to being married to a chef then the chef just cooking for you. I just thought you should know.

So if after reading this, you still feel the need to tweet about how you want to be married to a chef so they will cook for you, feel free. But don't be surprised if I reply to your tweet and nicely tell you what it's really like. :-)

Oh, and if you are married to a chef, do you agree? Let me know in the comments below!