As Masterchef comes to a close, the ever-present chef adoration seems to be at an all time high.
For weeks, Gary, George and Matt have appeared on our TV screens, accompanied by a dizzying array of internationally renowned chefs and cooks. They’ve challenged contestants with mouth-watering, eye-catching, mind-boggling dishes designed to delight and astound us.
Chefs have morphed into celebrities, so much so that ‘celebrity chef’ has become it’s own job description.
But for the vast majority of chefs, the daily grind is extremely different to the perceived glamour.
I know, because for the last three years I have dated a chef.
And, like thousands of other women and men around the world, I know the being a chef is nothing like the exciting life that it seems.
My partner is a chef at one of the top restaurants in the country. At 18 years old, he was staging (unpaid work) for fourteen months in one of the world’s best kitchens in Spain.
And he has made more sacrifices than most would ever consider.
I have seen such dedication, passion and skill from him and his colleagues. But the reality for him, for me and his family and friends, is brutal.
It is missed birthday celebrations, and not having a day as a couple for five months straight.
It is rarely seeing his friends, late drives home and meals at 2am.
It’s leaving notes to each other because you can go days without an actual conversation.
Whenever a stranger finds out my partner is a chef, their first response is ‘Wow! A chef! How amazing! I bet he cooks you the best meals!'.