I got me a chef, ladies. Eat that.

Oh you may say wow, that went fast! You may think, gee, it hardly seems like ten minutes have passed since you announced Nate was starting culinary school, or taking on an all-hours internship or giving up every waking moment (short of Sundays – because those are sacred and reserved for the Redskins) to devote his life to a new dream of working the line for $11 an hour.

But to me? This was a long-ass ten months.

This week, Nate graduated.

He has a fancy diploma to show for it, a uniform that’s far less crisp and far less white than the way it started, some new friends who scare me only a little bit, and a photo with Jacques Pepin. Also, excellent tournage skills and three fancypants Manhattan restaurants battling over his future employ.

But as my mom put it, “If all he learned to do was make half the mess in the kitchen he normally makes when he cooks, then it was time and money well spent.”


Though there’s a little more to it than that.

He’s happy. And he’s proud. But he’d never say it. So I’ll say it for him.


56 thoughts on “I got me a chef, ladies. Eat that.”

  1. Congrats to Nate, and lucky you! And to the dude on the right, “PERK UP, buddy, you just graduated.” 🙂

  2. Congratulations, Nate!! And kudos to you, Liz, for living through it. Having a sigOth who's a student is a special kind of hell, and not everyone survives the experience. 😉

  3. Congratulations! Now you should incite him to write a blog and do a challenge to do Julia Child's recipes in a year… Oh no, thar was done already. Darn!
    btw, your girl is ohhhh so cuuuuuute!

  4. Congratulations, Nate! And second the notion that you are a lucky woman, Liz. I think I find you especially lucky at the moment since I'm hungry…

  5. Congratulations, Nate and Liz.

    Way to live the dream — and I mean that. Life is short. Sometimes, you just gotta stop and look around, or you might miss something. 🙂

  6. Congrats Nate! We're coming to NY some time this year, I expect that we will know where he works so we can all enjoy his schooling, right? 😉

  7. Congratulations Nate! I'd be happy to join Marinka for tastings. Or perhaps to save on my airfare you could just airmail me delicious things on a weekly basis? Good, that's settled then.

  8. First, congratulations! Second, you really needed a link on “tournage,” because quite frankly I had to google it and I still don't know what it is.

  9. Of course he has mad tournage skills. It's only fitting for a Redskins fan to be able to shape his vegetables like footballs. 😉

  10. Just stumbled onto your blog from Sundry. Congrats to you and your husband! My husband recently graduated from FCI's Italian program…I hope that you find it to be as good an investment as we did…even if he only ever cooks at home 🙂 Best of luck!

  11. wow. an adorable little girl and a partner who wears a toque. not bad for a day's work. is it possible that it was just an eensy bit harder to be the person tending the home fires than the person learning tournage, just an eensy beensy bit? CONGRATS!

  12. Yee haw! Congrats, Nate! I know a quaint little bed-n-breakfast here in the Massachusetts boonies that would offer you a job. Yeah, not as exciting as fancy-schmancy NYC, but my kids love goat cheese, sushi and sausage. Hmmm???

    I always wanted to be a pastry chef, so maybe I'll get the nerve someday to do what you did…

    And congrats, Liz, to you on surviving. After watching my sister live through two years of her husband's MBA program, I don't know how you super-mom/wives do it.

  13. Congrats! What a great accomplishment. I just wish that guy to the right could be as excited. 🙂

  14. Congratulations to Nate! And to you, for making it out in one piece. I hope that he cooks many delicious meals for you as recompense.

  15. Hurray! I hope that things get only better (and tastier) for your family from here on out!

    Congrats to all of you on making it through as a family unit!

  16. Congrats, Nate! At least something good is happening during playoff season, because the Redskins sure aren't! (Unless you count getting a new coach, which I guess I do but how many new coaches have we had over the years and still the team is not really improving…)

    And way to go, Liz, for getting through those long months!

  17. Congrats to him! How exciting. I hope he treats you to some of the fancy food he's learned to make and does clean up the kitchen as well as you hope!

  18. I am so happy he found his calling and went after it. And, I love that last photo, with the evil side-glance from the other chef. It's like in Scooby Doo when the bad guy says, “I would've gotten away with it if it wasn't for those meddling kids”.

    Now, what type of salt should I get him as a graduation present?

  19. Thank you all so much for the kind words and good wishes.

    Nate's pretending not to be reading this…but I totally know he is.

  20. Congratulations to the whole family! (For the graduation, for more family time, for a little less mess in the kitchen, for a chef's hat to play with, you know, all of the above!)

  21. Oh, congratulations Nate-who-is-pretending-not-to-read-this!

    (And kudos also to you Liz, for surviving the 10 months. I hope the pastries will eventually make up for it.)

  22. How incredibly brave of you both. No one should have to settle for anything less than a job they love. Yes, I know how unrealistic that is. This year, I love mine, and the personal fulfillment it's brought me has permeated every aspect of my life. So, cook it up, Nate. Cook. It. Up.

  23. HA! Nice work Nate!

    Now, everyone will tell you that you must eat well at home, what with your spouse being a chef.

    Join MY husband in responding: Not really. She's never home for dinner, I do the cooking at home…

  24. Congrats to you for making it through.

    but mostly, CONGRATULATIONS to Nate for following his dream. what a brave human!

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