Chef Dads

Pre Parental Units hence the ciggy

Pre Parental Units hence the ciggy

When the Chef found out he was going to be a dad he was a 24 year old sous chef at Charlie Palmers' now defunct Kitchen 22. I told him the news in the basement office. We had only been "back together" a few months and neither of us had planned for a family. He was happy when I told him, his grin expanded and he quickly pulled me to his chest. His reaction threw me for a loop. I had spent a good portion of my commute on the f-train going over different scenarios and none of them ended with happiness and embrace. I should have known then exactly what type of father the Chef would grow to be. 

That moment happened almost ten years ago and since that warm embrace, the Chef and I have built a family together, we have a built a home for our two children and we have built a partnership within our marriage. The choice made those ten years ago by the Chef to embrace fatherhood and choose that over everything else has stayed with him to this day.

He is a Chef Dad.

Last week the Chef took me to Philly for a few days to celebrate my 3̶5̶t̶h̶, 29th birthday. We ate our way through the city and spent some time with chef friends. I even got to meet #babysolo who was born on my birthday! It was a much needed weekend as the Chef and I had barely been on speaking terms prior to that. {Opening a restaurant is NOT GOOD for marriage, no matter how good you think your marriage is} We went to Zahav (if you haven't been, RUN) for dinner after meeting my birthday twin, and our conversation turned to fatherhood. We had just spent the afternoon with another chef dad and the conversation expanded to dads in the industry. As a chef wife, I see it all. I see the cheaters (there are ALOT), I see the drugs, I see the passion and talent, I see the insanity and drive, I see the sobriety, I see the bad and I sure as hell see the good.  

 

Post Kiddos (see no ciggy!)

The Chef Dad can be defined simply as this: "A Chef who loves being a dad and puts that at priority #1." The Chef Dad is as passionate about fatherhood as he is about the food on his plate. He moves mountains to be at soccer games and leaves early to be at kindergarten graduations and heads back to the restaurant after. He is an active participant in family life. He does dishes, he takes out the trash. There is nothing more important to the Chef Dad than his family. Chef dads are becoming a regularity nowadays and I see it more and more now that chefs our age are starting families.  Chef Dads work just as hard as non chef dads. They still live and breath the restaurant and their kitchen. They still work insane hours and travel too much. They just figure out how to do both. Whether it be bringing the kids to the new restaurant (sorry kids it's almost open I promise!) or taking them to events (our kids worked their first event in May!), the Chef Dad believes that the kitchen and family can be integrated. 

Spending time with a bunch of Chef Dads last week was so fulfilling. It is wonderful to see boys evolve into men and even more amazing to see men turn into Chef Dads. I know I will be raising a glass to all the Chef Dads I know this year on Father's Day!