Reciprocation or Symbiosis.. A Healthy Love Story
Another yacht charter has elapsed; guests were entertained and new food memories were pleasantly created resulting in offer to cook at a vineyard for 3 separate occasions later on in the year. Before I could marinate in delight about the new avenue, I relished in a bit of physical pain, attributed to the culinary lifestyle. Enduring it, I reflected on health issues regarding chefs and questioning if the love of the craft is symbiotic or if the love is truly reciprocated.
As of right now, I lay in bed from pain from an ankle sprain and it occasionally gets iced in an effort to relieve the pressure. A functioning chef needs mobility and fully operational hands in their craft. Currently, I’m useless and convalescing, using a few days off to see the end result. I hope I don’t have to greet a doctor and it subsides immediately. Chop on wood.
Functioning as a yacht chef or in an estate, you’ll be upright on your feet at least 12-14 hours with a few breaks in between; this can trigger health complications (posture, back issues), should you not have proper support. The same goes most across the culinary landscape (despite not being in the private field) inclusive of bakers to restaurant chefs. Their action may be more fast paced, action oriented and stressed, just to deliver a decent meal. Only the end result of a tasty meal is on the consumers mind for the most part.
Besides many emerging mental health reports regarding chefs, physical health reports are not really as prominent. For example grill chefs, may face acute bronchitis and other lung issues due to excessive smoke inhalation as a filet mignon or BBQ ribs, and reach the zenith of flavor and doneness. Aforesaid, hours as a chef are long. If you’re upright all day, exercise is the last thing that’s on your mind, especially after an eventful evening of prep work and execution. Eating after a shift late or engaging in other unsavory activities only adds to the dilemma of obesity. Other factors to take note of are: high blood pressure, gout, arthritis and carpal tunnel.
I would address accidents derived from slip and falls, lacerations from knives and other equipment, grease fires and burns but for the most part, the factors leading up to that can be controlled and suppressed, minimizing these issues. Addressing the cynical side regarding culinary makes one feel if the professional relationship is merely symbiotic. Adding insult to injury are wages the average cook endures and the demands from an unconcerned patron requesting a meal cheap and quick.
Despite the stress and health complications many across the culinary spectrum may encounter, it temporarily subsides when egos and vanity are fed with a client or guest saying that the food is divine and appreciates your effort, putting a smile on your face. Man even at his best is vanity; this is a peculiar business. As soon as the crazy season slightly dies down, I’m hitting the gym and eating better. I have to take care of myself through proper eating and health and I only own 1 body that I’m cognizant about. The love is still there, I suppose.