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When Chefs Travel

This year I’m heading to Israel and Cyprus for vacation.   While I have visions of Haloumi and Middle Eastern delicacies dancing in my head, my travel companions have already started lobbying for less time in restaurants and more time in museums.  

Working in a restaurant means long hours over a stove.    For me, this means that my time off serves a few functions.  It helps me to relax.  It helps me to clear my head.  It also gives me time to explore what’s happening in other restaurants and to see how food is being served in different parts of the world.  Let’s not forget that it also gives me time to reconnect with my family and while they love that I’m a chef, they see culinary vacations as an extension of the time I’m not available to them.

So how to find the right balance?  We’ve set a few rules in place:  I get to eat at one notable restaurant on each vacation.  Lunches can be quick but dinners have to be sit-down.  They can be informal, but having a real meal gives us a chance to discuss what we’ve seen during the day and gives me a chance to check out the local dining scene.   I will sometimes separate from the group to explore local markets but I keep this at a minimum.

How do you manage this?  Do you travel with a culinary group or are you trying to figure out how to keep everyone happy?

Let me know, I can always use new strategies.

Cheers.

Chef CWK

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