Dating A Chef – Was My Romantic Fantasy A Myth?
I remember down to the day that I fell in love with ‘the idea of falling in love’ with a chef. I was living in Sitges, Spain, a quaint seaside village just south of Barcelona. It was the summer of 2006 and I was having dinner in the port at a VERY upscale Mexican restaurant called Don Ramon, owned by a dear friend of mine from Mazatlan. It was the first time I was dining there and I was introduced to something wonderful called a molcajete and ended up speaking to the chef about this marvellous treat. While he wasn’t my normal kind of sexy that I would have gone for back then, his passion for the food and his charming Mexican accent had me captivated.
Truth be told, at that time I was at the start of what would be a 10 year phase of being coo coo for DJs so the chef idea was of course instantly put on the back burner but it was there. Nothing in the slightest happened with that Mexican chef but from that moment on I had this lingering idea that maybe someday I would have a romance with a chef. Preferably a Mexican chef who could make a mean molcajete!!
Then I moved to India in 2011 and as a strange twist of fate would have it, I became a food blogger. I started meeting new chefs left and right. Some were local Indians but most of the chefs from the 5-star hotels were from Europe or the U.S. But none of them ‘float my boat’ as they say … but my fantasy lived on.
Fast forward to Southeast Asia. For the good part of the past 9 months I’ve been reviewing hotels and restaurants all around Malaysia, Bali and Singapore. Again, the mix of chefs ranges from locals to Australians, Americans, and Europeans. This time there have been a few that put a bit of a twinkle in my eye, including one absolutely charming and charismatic female chef! But there is one chef in particular where I live that I actually have a crazy-mad crush on at the moment here in Kuala Lumpur.
I know nothing will happen with him. Wait. That’s a lie. I say that so I don’t have expectations that something will happen with him. But in my romantic heart, I have this fantasy … and it goes like this:
I imagine chefs the way they are in the films. Arrogant, impassioned, and gentle all at the same time. My favourite recent scene that epitomises the fantasy for me is from the Jon Favreau film Chef. My favourite ‘fantasy’ scene is when he’s at home cooking pasta for Scarlett Johansen. But he’s not simply making a meal. He’s displaying his passions and she’s captivated. With every chop of herb or flick of the pan while he sautés up the sauce, she is drawn in. It’s very sensual to be honest, and that’s what I imagine life with a chef to be.
The chef I have the crush on seems like he could be that guy. He’s handsome and charming. He’s creative and passionate. He’s seems like a complete asshole at times (because if a chef isn’t he’s either still in training or he’s destined to be more of a cook).
And so I wonder … hhmmm, could my Mexican chef actually be an Asian chef after all?
Then the ball dropped. I was at a review in Singapore last month, interviewing a chef about his career and about life in general. He studied where we all fantasise that they study and he worked in a 3 Star Michelin restaurant in Paris (where we all hope they do!). And then he broke my heart. Well, not my heart so much but he destroyed the fantasy in my head that I’ve carried for over a decade. It was awful. He confided that he cooks at home maybe once a year, and that it was about five years ago when he last cooked a sexy fabulous meal to seduce someone. Basically he said, “I cook every day at the restaurant, why would I want to do that at home, too?”
So I ask the chefs of the world >> is this true? Is he the norm or the exception? I’m not looking for a live-in full-time cook at home or anything of the sort but that fantasy of being with a chef includes saucy kitchen moments!! It would be like dating a rock star but never having him serenade me. Or dating a cowboy and never exploring the countryside on horseback. Or being with a ship captain who never took me out to sea. There’s a certain iconic romance that comes with professions like those…
Anyway, you get the picture. Sorry, back to reality 🙂
Was it pure fantasy or is the chef dream still alive? As far as the KL chef goes, my daughter says I should confess that I like him and see what happens. But WHAT IF he’s the same as the Singaporean chef? I feel like I want to hold out for the dream still. Ughhh, it does sound silly as I type it out but I’ve had this image in my head for so long, I’m not sure I want to give it up. I mean, who wants to give up the dream, right?
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