Widow of the World: Meet Nicky

What is your name & what kind of widow are you?

Nicky Nolot widow to Chef Matt

Where is your casa & what is your jobby job?

Fort Wayne, Indiana and by day when I’m not “The Chef’s Wife”, I’m the shaper of little minds – a.k.a. Kindergarten Teacher

How long have you been in a relationship with someone in the 'industry?

3 1/2 years and married since July 2010.

What is your biggest turnoff or dislike of being a Chef/Restaurant Widow?

-       When we go out to eat, can it not be a critique?  I think we are running out of places to eat in our city that we both will go to for dinner.

-       When people don’t recognize me unless I’m with my chef.  I can see someone that I’ve talked to a hundred times in the restaurant but they don’t recognize me when I’m out and about by myself.

-       The pity that people give to me on the holidays.  It gets old when I hear “Oh, I’m sorry that you are spending the (insert holiday) by yourself.  That must be hard.”  I just want to tell the person – “Do you really think so?  I mean, geez… I would LOVE to have my husband home with me on Christmas Eve or  Easter to celebrate with our family instead of him feeding people that don’t know how to stay home with their families.”

What is your favorite aspect of being a Chef/Restaurant Widow?

Seeing his creativity flow in the kitchen.  When he gets excited about something, I get excited for him.  His passion that he has for food and making the best experience for people brings a smile and makes me giggle (although, I would never let him know that!).

Considering your significant other most likely works a million and one hours a week, how do you find time to keep the relationship alive?

On his one night off a week, we have our ‘date night’ in the middle of the week.  We go to dinner and just have time for ourselves.  Every other night, I wait up for him and hang with him for a couple hours which typically means that I’m getting oh… about 5 hours sleep each night before I have to get up in the morning.

When you do have time together what is your favorite thing to do (besides the nasty;)?

-       Hanging with friends that we don’t always get to see.

-       Trying new places and finding a new fave hang out.

-       I LOVE when we stay home and make dinner together in the kitchen.  I always learn something new from him but every once and awhile, he learns from me. J

Do you have any sage words of wisdom for those men or women just starting a new relationship with a Chef or Restaurant manager?

-       Be understanding that you will be spending many holidays alone or without your Chef.

-       Find new interests that can fill your time.

Do you cook?

Yes.  I actually do most of the cooking at home.  We’re not eating gourmet meals but it’s the good, homemade with love meals that grandma used to make on Sundays.  And if there’s anything left after the little chefs in the house get done, I try to make a plate for him to stick back so he has something.

What would your last meal/adult beverage on earth be?  Who would you eat it with?

Definitely something very simple… a true Southern meal of gumbo, red beans & rice, grits with spicy shrimp fresh from the Gulf and a plate of blackened puppy drum with a tall glass of sweet tea.  I’d have to share it with my fabulous Chef of course!

I know that being a mother and being married to a Chef makes me insane, how do you handle balancing your family life with such a demanding work schedule of your partner?

I try to have the majority of the “house stuff” taken care of so we can enjoy his days off together as a family.  Sometimes I don’t always accomplish this and things do pile up with 3 little men and our zoo of 5 four-legged kiddos but it’s the goal. J

If you have/had kids would you encourage them to pursue the restaurant industry as a career?

We have one of our boys already talking about it at the age of 9!  Not kidding… every time the Chef is in the kitchen this one is at his side helping make pork belly croutons, stirring pasta sauce, cornbread or whatever it may be.  So, yeah… if that’s what they want to do then we say GO FOR IT!  Love what you do.

Feel free to share an awesome widow fact about yourself &/or anything you've got going on…blog, restaurant events, etc…

We are going through the steps to open our own restaurant.  It’s very exciting for us and we can’t wait for opening day.  It’s been A LOT of work but we know in the end it will be well worth it!  When opening day comes, we’ll make sure to let everyone know so you can come check it out. J

Please feel free to elaborate on anything.

Over the past few years, I have met some fantastic people and learned many lessons myself.

- I’ve learned patience is a virtue.

- Appreciate the time that you do have together and don’t waste it on trivial things that really don’t matter in end.

- We “Restaurant Widows” stick together and are an awesome bunch!

I am proud to be in the select club of Chef’s Widow.

xoxo bitches.