Patty Canedo is a chef in Palm Beach. She writes frequently about her kitchen exploits in this column, Half-Baked.
There's something about the coat that's a magnet for more than just spills. When certain people hear the word "chef," their eyes light up and their lips begin to quiver. Having been on both sides of a chef entanglement, I know both the "wows" and "whoas" of this heated situation. It's hard meeting someone who finds the aroma of onions and sweat sexy -- but when you do, that's a keeper.
Here, I analyze five major elements that come with the chef-lover realtionship and give you the pros and cons.
Pro: Chefs congregate in a small community. With your fling, you'll frequent the newest "must try" spots, discover hidden jewels you only find via word of mouth, and introduce your palate to flavor combinations that never would have occurred to you otherwise.
Con: You have to go out because Cheffy doesn't cook off the clock. And there's nothing in the fridge but random product samples, rotten take-out, and a wide selection of energy drinks and/ or booze.
Pro: For the independent individual, it's great that a culinary romance leaves your evenings and weekends free. Your honey may do a fly-by after the rush if you want them too.
Con: When the night dies down, that's when chefs come out to play. Looking to wind down and blow off steam can lead to some very late-night escapades and hook-ups. Although the late-night hours can be packed with excitement, this may present a problem if you need to wake up before, say, 10 am.
Pro: To be a chef, we have to be passionate about what we do. No surprise that passion and drive are attractive qualities -- or that your flame is kindled by all this energy and you're hooked on this intensity.
Con: The same passion that makes you swoon can manifest itself as firey rage, especially in a kitchen. Emotion is like a sauce: too much heat and that baby will boil over and break. The trick is not to get burnt.
Con: (This is a big one, so I'll put it out there first) So your honey is a chef? You say you're prepared to be alone all the major, faux, and drinking holidays -- but honestly, it gets old real quick. You can't help but feel lonely on these days, which makes Cheffy feel guilty. There's no better way to say this: our hours suck, and they suck even more for the people in our lives.
Pro: We know our schedule is unbearable so we tend to work a little harder to appease our sweeties when we can. While the rest of the world is romancing on, let's say V-day, you'll have Feb. 15 as a special night all your own.
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Pro: Whether we just rocked out a Friday night, or are pent-up with the frustration of a long, hot day, we tend to be always charged and "ready to go." Walk-ins, the stall at the bar, confessional in church, everywhere anytime is fair game.
Con: None. Bon Appetit!