The Weirdo “No Hope” Diagram by Robert Crumb
Scanned from Weirdo #3, Fall 1981, Last Gasp Eco-Funnies
As Chef half of this duo, I hardly get a chance to write directly on the blog due to my hours but I contribute often with menus, recipes, food prep, instructions, responding to comments and even editing. Turns out that The Steward discovered that I make a decent editor -strange if you know me- but I find it is easier to edit her writing than mine.
We have found that one of the things that makes our blog unique is the combination of talents that we have and how we have merged them in life and work. But it has not always been easy. All of my chef colleagues and friends understand how difficult it is to manage both work and marriage especially when your job is so demanding. Our wives also seem to instantly understand each other’s experiences. You see, when it comes down to it, you have to live the life to understand. There is a misconception that all the lining of a chef’s jacket is made with gold leaf.
Being a chef is a very tall order. I think it must be even harder to be married to one, so here is my list of things I feel that anyone who is thinking of taking on one till death should really sit and marinate on.
- You will be alone most of the time.
- You have got to have your own life. Having your own identity is essential in every relationship but being independent is even more critical when you are married to a person who you will hardly ever see.
- If you cannot approach the holidays, Valentines and special occasions like a single person, look the other way. Special occasions are when chefs work. You will stand alone under the mistletoe and New Year’s Eve will find you alone. Guaranteed.
- There is nothing glamourous about being a working restaurant chef. Forget what you see on TV, real chefs have long, tough hours day in and day out and come home smelling from anything from smoke, to onions to fish.
- Most chefs have no desire to cook at home. Just think of the prostitute who is expected to put out after a hard days work.
- We talk about amuse bouche in our sleep. Or waiters picking up the orders, or new menus or just food.
- We work long hours everyday. This is not an occasional late night in the office. This is daily hard, rough and tough back-breaking hours that would make cowards cry.
- It takes a long time in the trenches and most chefs never get to seniority. If you are looking for fame, marry an already famous movie star or go on Jerry Springer. If you are looking to get rich quick, join a Ponzi scheme.
- We really don’t feel like talking about “feelings” when we get home 2:00a.m. and we will try as best as possible, but sometimes, we will just start snoring.
- You have to learn when to talk like a short order cook because we will not have leisure time to just talk. Think of telegrams of the old says. Say it quick and short and make every word count.
- Do not call us in service unless it is important. No we cannot just disappear from the kitchen during service to talk for 10 minutes.
- You will eat dinner alone at least 5x per week. And breakfast.
- You will be criticized for your cooking as if you were a rookie apprentice commis chef. We just can’t help it sometimes.
- We love when you cook for us. Just don’t bother during work days because we are too tired most times.
- If you are going to cook something, call us or SMS us and let us know. That way, we will not eat staff dinner.
- We are passionate. We can’t help it. Passion is the blood than runs through our veins. This is not a job for the feint-hearted and passionless… it is for the one who truly loves his/her craft and lives and breathes for it (and even dreams about it see #6 )
- For the same reason, we marry for love. However, if your dowry includes the cash to open our own restaurant, that wouldn’t hurt either. Just saying.
- Our marriages are hard, and some don’t make it, but they are important to us.
- When we are off work, we are often just tired, sleep all day or watch TV and get grumpy. Just ignore us. No joke. We really wish you would. Life is just better that way.
- Do not get in our way in the weeks leading up to a new menu or months leading up a restaurant or hotel opening. Really bad idea.
- You will have to handle most of the housekeeping matters. Refer to #7 and #19.
- We are romantics. There goes that passion again. We will surprise you just when you least expect it.
- Chefs support each other, and good chefs get treated well by wait staff. That means that every time we dine together, you will be treated like royalty. Enjoy the perks. You deserve it.
- When we cook for you at home, you will fall in love all over again. Just like you did the first time. Exceptions made in #27.
- We tend to be a little cocky. It comes with the territory. Even females chefs. Female chefs kick ass!
- You should love food. If we live and breathe it and you cannot stand it, there will eventually be a legal paper filed at some point due to “irreconcilable differences.”
- You have to have a sense of adventure. You will be our guinea pig. We may work on a recipe repeatedly from home until we get it right. We may make things you do not like in the process. It comes with the territory.
- As a result of our own strife for perfection, we will always be telling you how you can improve your recipes. Grow a tough skin or just put us in our place. Or blog complaining about it like my wife did.
- If you think that your life will consist of restaurant food daily, think again. When we are at home, we want good home-cooked food.
- If we do the grocery shopping, expect the bill to be much higher than if you did it alone. Yes we must buy that expensive carton of French cream and no, we cannot substitute. That applies for every basic ingredient. Forget about home economics, we are expressing our love.
- You will eat some of your richest, most delicious meals at home when we actually do some grocery shopping and cook at home (not often) that will make you forget about the price of the cream.
- You are likely a great person and bring balance and stability to our lives. We have seen something in you worth keeping. If you have never worked in the food and beverage industry or hospitality, do some research and find out from other people what to expect. If you can handle it, we promise you the ride of your life! I really hope you still marry that man- he certainly needs a good woman!