Let’s Hear It For The Chefs!

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And the kitchen porters, the housekeeping staff, the gardeners, front of house, maintenance and everyone else working to make your Christmas special.

Lets hear it for the Chefs at Christmas
Chefs, we should all love ’em at Christmas!

They are all amazing. They all have to work over Christmas and all have a smile and a “Merry Christmas!” for even the grumpiest customer.

My husband is a chef, Executive Chef at a a luxury resort in Port Douglas Australia, his restaurant is sensational. I’ve had eleven years of being married into the hospitality industry, 5 years at his current hotel. Every year a dedicated team of professionals works incredibly hard to give the people who choose to spend Christmas at the hotel, or have their Christmas lunch in the restaurant, an extra special experience.

Christmas in Hospitality is Hard Work!

My husband did a 17 hour day yesterday, Christmas Day, as he will most days over the Christmas period. We stay in the hotel for a couple of days, a perk, so that we can at least see him over Christmas. He left us at 6.30am, after watching the children open their presents, he was home some time around midnight. I don’t know what time exactly, I was asleep.  Some of the other hospitality staff will have been there for the same number of hours. I’m very grateful that my husband was able to take an hour off, mid afternoon, to swim with the boys, the junior staff wouldn’t be so lucky, no in-house perks for them.

The boys and I had a lovely Christmas, we swam for most of the day in an amazing pool, they played with their new toys, I watched and enjoyed their happiness. My husband, the Chef,  has one day off between Christmas and New Year, we’ll have a family meal then.

It’s one of the biggest days of the year, the day the hotel chain makes the most money,  it’s not the staff making money,  it’s the owners.

hospitality christmas. chef.
Chefs have families too. Christmas day in the kitchen.

We Should be Thankful.

If we are lucky enough, cashed up enough, to spend our Christmas in a hotel, anywhere in the world, lets be grateful. Remember how fortunate we are to have the disposable income to outsource our celebrations. Please remember that all those hotel staff busting a gut on Christmas day have families, many have young children, who are missing out on seeing a parent on this special day. Yes, it’s their job, but they’re not paid much. My husband earns little more than a kitchen porter, when you factor in the number of unpaid hours he works to make sure everything is as perfect as it can be.

Yes, they chose that career. Nobody forced them and nobody forced me to marry into the hospitality industry.I’m not complaining, I’m just suggesting people be grateful,  be kind. A minority of people aren’t.

Please let’s not complain if a meal takes 5 minutes longer than expected or a medium rare steak isn’t exactly as we imagine medium rare should be. It’s not such a big deal, really, is it?  The staff are busy and under pressure.  It’s all about the money for the hotel owners, so, to cut costs, there probably aren’t enough staff on duty for things to run perfectly smoothly. Staffing isnt’s your waitress’ fault and it’s not the chef’s fault. They are doing their best.

As travelers we’ve spent Christmas in hotels and guest houses, not for a few years now, certainly not at hotels of  the caliber of my husband’s . I will do my very best to be grateful for every meal, every ” Happy Christmas”  I get. I once tipped my room cleaner in India $10 on Christmas day. I heard her whoop for joy as she opened the envelope outside our door. I’ll never forget that whoop. She was a Christian girl, going home to her parents for lunch. She was so happy, she invited us to spend Christmas with her family. I was touched and humbled.

I realize there are plenty of other industries where families are split up at Christmas, the soldiers, medical workers ( I used to be one), emergency services, I’m grateful for them too, but, right now, I’m thinking about hospitality, it directly impacts on travelers everywhere.

So, Happy Christmas everyone, hope you had a great time, the three of us did, the fourth member of the family is still busting a gut to make other families happy. Doing his best, despite the inevitable complaints.  If people ask me why we want to pack it all in, leave this tropical paradise and travel the world, I think maybe this post gives part of the answer.


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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

5 thoughts on “Let’s Hear It For The Chefs!”

    • I remember writing that post Jennifer, I was in tears, James was carving and serving canapes right outside our window and I’d had to draw the blinds so that the kids wouldn’t see him on Christmas Eve. Sometimes it’s hard being a hef’s Widow, but mostly I love it 🙂

  1. All the more motivation to leave that life behind huh?

  2. I am always grateful whenever I eat out, provided of course that the food is palatable and the staff not surly and rude which happens very rarely. As a stay at home home educating mum I was very much of aware of the amount of work it takes to look after and educate children, manage a home and do all the other things necessary to keep things running smoothly. Having a day off from cooking to eat out was awesome! We worked out that provided we chose the venue wisely eating out wasn’t actually that expensive. It is lovely having someone else cook the dinner and wash the dishes and wait on me! Whenever we’ve stayed at hotels I’ve enjoyed the standard of cleanliness and invisibility of staff: this always makes this type of holiday very special.

    I hope your travels are everything you dream of – which they are bound to be as you’ll have more time to spend together as a whole family!


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