What is a Restaurant Widow?

A restaurant widow is the wife of a professional chef who is not also in the same industry. Why the term widow? Because when you marry a chef you quickly discover that, due to the long, hard hours it takes him to run a restaurant, you do not have a husband but an imaginary friend. He’s asleep when you rise in the morning, he comes home long after you’ve already passed out cold in bed. Your friends suspect that you’re not really married at all, and if you have children you are, by all intensive purposes, a single parent.

Your family weekends become Sundays and Mondays, or just Sundays, or just don’t happen at all for weeks at a time. And forget holidays. According to the Book of Restaurant, Christmas never occurs on December 25th – it’s more of a fluid holiday, most often occurring on Sundays.

What Kind of Person Makes a Good Widow?

Independent, self-contained, resourceful, low-maintenance, and in no way the “needy little woman”. You gotta roll with the punches, be ready to change plans at the last minute, and be perfectly comfortable with moving a piano, repairing the  electricity, raising the kids,  and handling power tools. All by yourself.

Characteristics of A Restaurant Widow

A keenly developed palette, built-in food snobbery, and the inability to appreciate a restaurant with shoddy service and sub-standard food.

  • Usually manifests itself as “I can’t f*@#ing believe we just spent money on this slop”, which leads to…

The ability to give every new restaurant one shot, and one shot only, at impressing her.

  • A word to the waitstaff: your menus had better be memorized, your knowledge of the wine list had better be rock solid, and your ability to use a table crumber like second nature. Your tip percentage depends on it.

A very good poker face.

  • Because honey, let me tell you…  the day your husband walks through the door with a freshly butchered pig’s head, plops it on the kitchen island, and pulls out the hand saw, the heat gun and the black plastic bags, you’re gonna need that poker face working in your favor.

A stomach of steel.

  • Normal sightings in the home kitchen of a chef include such treasures as a dish of fresh frontal lobe on the top shelf of the fridge, sausage made from some poor animal’s blood ( blood sausage is black by the way), and artisanal cheese so moldy it smells like 6 month old sock and has more fuzz than a baby chick.

Tolerance and patience with your husband.

  • Due to his high standards, dining at a restaurant with a chef husband can be an amusing experience, to say the least. When sliced, fresh lemons are delivered with your drink, be prepared to hear a volley of expletives if so much as one single lemon seed is found anywhere near your table. When bread service arrives and your ravenous self reaches toward a beautiful warm roll, be prepared to hear “Bread is for amateurs”.

The meanest school-lunch-making skills in the whole town.

  • Even the kindergarten teachers will sit up and take notice when your petite spawn start mawing on raw fish eggs with glee in the school cafeteria.
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