Top 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Date a Chef

I was recently interviewed by a local publication and the interviewer asked me what kind of guy I usually date.  My mind immediately screamed “Chef!” and, while it sounds sexy, dating a chef is the complete opposite.

I’m sure you’ve got some ridiculous idea of a tall, dark, handsome culinary god in your head–sleeves rolled up to reveal perfectly toned forearms, a kitchen towel slung over his shoulder, and a bead of sweat precariously perched over his furrowed brow while he concocts the perfect anniversary dinner.  Every girl has dreamed of her man whipping up a gastronomic feast worthy of Henry VIII, but if you think that’s what you actually get when you date a chef, you’re dead wrong, sister.

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I’ve dated them all–line cooks, chefs, maître d’s and, perhaps the most annoying of all, restaurateurs.  The culinary world is not a pretty one and you’ve got to have real fortitude to endure the ups, downs, and the whole “tortured artist” thing if you want to have a relationship with anyone who makes his living in a kitchen.  During this past Lenten season, most of my friends gave up the usual–profanity, chocolate, alcohol.  Me?  I gave up dating chefs.

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Top 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Date a Chef

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5. Weekday dates – You can forget going out with your guy on the weekends–weekdays will become your thing.  Unless you’re a senior citizen and your nursing home has strict curfew rules, a weekday date is the least sexy thing on Earth.  There is nothing especially exciting about checking out the city’s hottest, newest gastropub on a Tuesday night.

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4. What you see is not what you get – Your man may have graduated from the CIA and make his living creating the most gorgeous plates of food, but you will not bear witness to any of his culinary wizardry in your own home.  Uh-uh–he’s strictly on a grilled cheese and canned soup diet when he’s not at work.

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3. What am I?  Chopped liver?!? – Guess what?  Unless you’re edible, you won’t get much in the way of attention or affection.  Working in a restaurant is brutal business–especially if you’re working in the kitchen–and, chances are, your man’s more likely to be thinking of tomorrow night’s specials, the new summer menu, or how his shipment of morels got screwed up than you.

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2. Dude, you’re not a doctor – No, he may not be a doctor but he sure keeps hours like one.  He will get called all times of the night for even the most mundane things.  I dated a restaurateur who got a call in the middle of…well, you get the drift…and he actually apologized and answered the phone.  Turns out, it was one of the servers calling to inform him that two lightbulbs over the bar had blown out. Really?

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1. Sex – I know it’s a delicate subject but it must be mentioned.  Date a chef and you will not have much of it (unless you’re a server at his restaurant and you read a lot of Anthony Bourdain’s books).  The agonizingly long hours, the mental stress of dealing with obnoxious patrons/purveyors/staff, and the physical strain of working in a kitchen or restaurant is not conducive to a great sex life.  You’ll be spending many nights alone with battery-powered friends.  Guaranteed.

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There you have it.  Now I’m off to go get ready for a date tonight with…a chef. Hey, everybody falls off the wagon at one point or another–sue me.

About Iris "The Palate Princess" M.

Food writer | Author of Food Lovers' Guide to Philadelphia, Main Squeeze: Juicing Recipes for Your Healthiest Self, and On the Line (coming soon)

23 comments

  1. September 12th, 2011 13:31

    Oh dear you just broke my heart! Especially with point #4. lol

    Reply

  2. Stacee
    July 27th, 2012 4:01

    OMG…too funny! This made me laugh. Never dated a chef–had a crush on one once. Now I’m glad I didn’t pursue him. 🙂

    Reply

  3. Amelie F.
    July 27th, 2012 4:03

    Found the link on Twitter. I agree…this is too funny!! My bf’s a chef and I get so frustrated sometimes. Glad to know I’m not alone.

    Reply

  4. Jeannette
    July 28th, 2012 12:28

    Hilarious!

    Reply

  5. TnT
    June 29th, 2013 9:34

    Haha!!! So true. I have dated several chefs…and not on purpose, lol. I just seem to be drawn like a magnet to these extreme people! I always find out AFTER the initial attraction that they are chefs. “D’oh!” is all I can say, lol! One thing you didn’t mention, though (maybe for the sake of propriety..?) is the rampant drinking and drugging. So sad, really. But yeah, chefs! Definitely some of the most fun in bed and out that I’ve had! I must say, though, I recently had my heart broken by a chef in Philly, so I don’t anticipate dating another one. But, like you, who can tell if I’ll be able to resist..!

    Reply

    • Iris "The Palate Princess" M.
      June 29th, 2013 19:43

      LOL…glad to know someone knows how I feel! Luckily, I’ve never experienced someone with a drug/drinking problem. That’s a total dealbreaker for me.

      Reply

      • TnT
        June 30th, 2013 11:27

        🙂 As far as the drinking/drugging, it’s a pretty well-known and prevalent restaurant industry issue; it’s actually shocking to me that you haven’t come across it in your culinary adventures. But I agree with you, definite romantic relationship deal breaker for me, too! Cheers 🙂

        Reply

  6. Chef d
    September 17th, 2013 22:45

    Lmao is all I have to say. Your all silly

    Reply

    • Iris "The Palate Princess" M.
      September 18th, 2013 12:21

      How long have you been in the biz, Chef D? Are you local?

      Reply

  7. anne
    December 11th, 2013 7:48

    As someone who gets to talk to a lot of chefs, i can understand the attraction. Guys who know how to cook are hot! But yeah, i see how intense and competitive the food industry can be, plus a lot of them are artists in their own right, so they’ve also got that temperament that goes with it.

    Reply

  8. June 20th, 2014 2:00

    Are executive chef known for cheating, know for prowling the internet for casual relationships, are they capable of true relationships and how do you know how he sees you as a partner or otherwise.

    Reply

  9. Karen
    May 21st, 2016 14:50

    …so I guess a woman can’t be a chef and make her living in a kitchen?!?

    Reply

    • Iris "The Palate Princess" M.
      May 22nd, 2016 17:50

      Oh Karen, you missed the point of the article which was meant to be a lighthearted observation (from a personal viewpoint might I add) not an in-depth thinkpiece delineating and highlighting the gross discrimination and exclusion of women in the culinary world. (That’s a discussion for another day.) In any event, thank you for the comment.

      Reply

  10. Eva F.
    May 21st, 2016 15:49

    I do LOVE how this article doesn’t even leave a chance open that a chef could be a female, like myself and many of my friends. We go on weekend dates and have healthy sex lives and even have hobbies!! Gee, just imagine. Do you ever think that MAYBE, just maybe the person you’re dating is using their work to avoid you and treat you badly NOT because they are a chef but because they just want to treat you like crap? Yes, chef’s are typically extreme people who never sleep but we are more than capable of having healthy normal dating lives outside work. Article is silly and baseless and if you believe it I’m glad, you probably don’t deserve to be with someone as rad as a chef.

    Reply

    • Iris "The Palate Princess" M.
      May 22nd, 2016 17:48

      While I appreciate your comment, this article was written from the viewpoint of a heterosexual woman who, yes, dates men so naturally I am referring to male chefs. Am I negating the fact that a woman can be a chef??? My goodness, no! The suggestion is ridiculous. The article is also written from a PERSONAL viewpoint and based on my own experiences. Sheesh, lighten up.

      Reply

  11. Craig
    May 22nd, 2016 0:21

    My wife is a head chef and find your points to be exaggerated and superficial.

    Reply

    • Iris "The Palate Princess" M.
      May 22nd, 2016 17:51

      Thanks, Craig. I appreciate your comment. Pass along my thanks to your wife as well. As a reminder, this post was written from a personal viewpoint and based solely on my experiences–experiences that are not subject to anyone else’s analysis.

      Reply

  12. Lana
    August 16th, 2016 15:56

    I have been dating a chef for five years, and you summed up my experience in one quick article! I have often asked my chef boyfriend why he can’t take the time to balance his life a bit better, so that I don’t end up feeling so neglected, or like a third priority. He has tried, but bad habits creep up again. I’ve spent plenty nights waiting up for my chef to call me on his drive home, only to find out that he stayed at work and had a drink with the cooks to “unwind.” I don’t know how some people are able to be in happy relationships with chefs. Are they just much more relaxed and easygoing than I am? Or does their chef just try harder to make the relationship a priority. Either way, thanks for this lighthearted article. Made me feel a little less crazy. 😉

    Reply

    • Iris "The Palate Princess" M.
      August 18th, 2016 11:43

      Finally, someone who understands! There are so many beautiful aspects to a relationship with a chef but, sadly, there are also a lot of struggles that come along with the territory. Stay strong! 🙂

      Reply

  13. Kristen
    November 2nd, 2016 13:47

    I agree completely. I’m currently dating a chef and he claims to want to marry me and love me, etc. but spends his free time scrolling through instagram looking at food or interrupts what I’m saying to talk about a menu idea. It makes me feel like food is more important than anything I have to offer. Sucks sometimes.

    Reply

    • Iris "The Palate Princess" M.
      November 26th, 2016 20:18

      Oh, Kristen–I completely understand. I’ve definitely thrown my share of cell phones against the wall! (Kidding.) I love and admire chefs’ passion but their romantic relationships often take a backseat to their profession.

      Reply

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