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Loving a Chef

Loving a Chef

Several years ago I fell in love with the chef. I was a regular at his restaurant, he cooked my food, and one day he asked me out. I resisted for some time, sensing what life would be like dating a chef. Challenging with incompatible schedules and lifestyles, I thought—not for me. Eventually though, because he was persistent, I said yes and on a Monday night we went Dutch on dan dan noodles. And then I said yes again and we continued sharing meals until eventually we were a couple.

Since then I have learned a few important things about chef life and what it’s like to be partnered with one. The rumors are true; the hours are long, the job is stressful, you see each other little–and a chef’s commitment to this life is unyielding. All that can be rough on a relationship, but only if you look at it that way. The truth is that rewards are many.

Here are a few things I’ve learned from loving a chef. My chef happens to be a male and for better or worse, his kitchen is 100 feet from our apartment.

I’ve learned that he will drop everything for two things—me, and his kitchen, but not necessarily in that order. And I’ve learned I need to be ok with that.

 I’ve learned to love his restaurant family as my own. Domestic conversations about the status of the laundry and the cat food supply happen in front of his entire staff. Often it’s the only chance we get to talk all day. They get used to it. We are family.

I’ve learned that mundane tasks are opportunities. When he requests an emergency delivery of chili paste or some celery before service, it’s no bother at all just because I get to see him.

I’ve learned that our community supports us. Living in a small city we run into our friends all the time. When we’re out together on a Monday they know it’s the only free night we share and keep their distance. And if we’re lucky, send us a round of drinks.

I’ve learned that the brotherhood is real. Male chef friends are brought together by a combination of raw creativity, restless energy, and hearts that are hungry to connect. They would give an enormous amount of themselves for each other and there is a tenderness in that. And because I am part of his package, the brotherhood extends to me.

I learned what true mentorship looks like. He shows me by the way he takes his cooks and dishwashers under his wing and feels a responsibility for their success. This level of dedication to the younger generation is rare and entirely admirable.

I’ve learned to cook for two even though I eat alone most of the time. But in the process I’ve become a better cook. I’ve also learned that a bottle of Siracha will be left out on the counter at least three nights of the week and that leftovers will forever be stored in quart containers.

I’ve learned that he trusts me to be part of his creative process. When he’s testing out a new dish he will send it out to me to try before it officially goes on the menu. We will talk about its particulars, usually via text, before service the next night.

I’ve learned just how independent I am and that my alone time is even more precious than I thought. Navigating plans seven nights a week with your significant other is for people with 9-5 jobs. That’s never been me so why would I think I’d want the lifestyle that comes with it?

And most of all I’ve learned to love the little things. Like the rare night he’s home before I go to bed and I fall asleep on the couch next to him just because I can.

 

 

 

 

Winter Workshops

Thursday, January 23rd
Desire Collaging at Craftland.
6-8 pm
$25

A hands on workshop creating collages to help visualize goals for the future. The finished product will represent what we most desire for the future. Wine and nibbles provided.

Register Here

Saturday, February 8th
Moving Forward. Being Still. Yoga and Coaching workshop at Focus Yoga in East Greenwich.
4-6 pm
$20

In this afternoon workshop you will move closer to your future goals while exploring the present moment on your mat. You will examine elements of balance, flexibility and strength as they relate to your body and where you can invite these elements into your lives and aspirations.

Bring a journal, pen and yoga mat.

Register Here

Thursday, March 6th
Moving Forward. Being Still. Yoga and Coaching workshop with the PVD Lady Project. Ladies only please.

6:00-8:00 pm
$20

In this workshop you will move closer to your future goals while exploring the present moment on your mat. You will examine elements of balance, flexibility and strength as they relate to your body and where you can invite these elements into your lives and aspirations.

Register Here

Tuesday, March 11th
Balanced Life, Balanced Training. A workshop for dog owners at Solid K9 Training.
6:15-7:15 pm
$15

An evening of wine, cheese and bringing your life and your dog’s training into balance. Bring your dog. Open to current clients of Solid K9 training. 100% of proceeds go to Jeff’s Pack Rescue.

Register Here

And More Workshops Coming……..

Interview with Joan Dwyer, Founder of All That Matters Holistic Center

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You’ve had a long career in the healing arts. Can you tell us a little about your background and what led you to create All That Matters?

I was brought up by a very ethnic Syrian family. My dad was in the restaurant business and my mom was a great Syrian cook. I had wanted to go to cooking school, but my dad did not want me to. When I went off to college in North Carolina, my sister dropped off a 25 bag of brown rice. She knew I had no money and was into health food. I started to hang out at the natural food store to learn more and a number of my ailments started to disappear. I quit college and headed to Boston to live in the Ann Wigmore Raw Food Center.  While there, my sister came to Boston to study with Micho Kushi who was the head of the Macrobiotic Movement. I started to study with him too. Later I opened a Macrobiotic center in MO and taught classes for many years while my husband David was in school. I was pretty much a fanatic–5 home births, cooking everything from scratch. I loved that the field of holistic health made some much sense.

At its core, what would you say is the philosophy behind All That Matters?

At ATM we believe that health is possible for all and that it is not that complicated. If you eat well, move your body and find time to be quiet— life works. We often use the byline– “inner peace leads to world peace, and that is all that matters.”

Has this philosophy remained steady over the years or has it evolved as the world, the industry, you, have evolved as well?

It has been steady. The beauty in holistic health is that it is rooted in ancient wisdom that does not change. Most of this stuff is thousands of years old. Yoga, eating close to the earth, mediation etc.

You offer a large range of wellness modalities: everything from yoga, massage, meditation, nutrition, reflexology, Ayurvedic treatments, naturpathic medicine, wellness counseling and more. How do you maintain a consistency of quality and integrity among all your practitioners?

I am not sure there is one answer to this. The folks who apply here know and value ATM. This is a good start. We get recommendations, we meet with folks over and over again before we hire them, and there is a team of us who hire collaboratively. So by time we are all on board, it feels right all around.

What do you feel is your greatest leadership skill that you bring to All That Matters?

I am creative, good at strategy and work with smart people. I also know this field well. I have been a student of the healing arts for 36 years!

What does your business still give to you regularly?

1000 folks a week come through our doors here at ATM. Each are healing, growing, transforming–that is my work. I work with talented folks who inspire me and I am constantly learning new things. I teach throughout the country and am writing a book now too!

What’s the book about?

We have been teaching a 40 day program for 5 years and 1000 people have taken it with grand results. In October we will have the first draft of “The All That Matters 40 day Program: eat well, move well, be well” (working title).
Where do you see the future of All that Matters and the “wellness” industry in general as it has become talked about than ever before?

Like I said before, this stuff is thousands of years old- it is not going anywhere. It brings me great joy that it is becoming mainstream. When everyone is doing yoga, eating well, meditating and feeling great I will be happy to take a long winters nap.