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Keep those questions rolling in, Heart Attack readers. Answering your questions makes me feel like Ann Landers—but without the notorious body odor issues. So, without further ado, let’s get back to the Heart Attack Mail Call.


“I’m a chef and love going to work every day. However, sometimes I just get burned out from cooking so much that I don’t want to cook when I’m at home. My girlfriend is a great cook, but she never wants to cook for me because she thinks that I’m going to gawk at her food and not enjoy it, that my cooking is ‘so much better.’ I’ve assured her that I thoroughly enjoy it when she cooks for [me] and I’m tired of eating in restaurants since I already spend so much time in my own. Thanks in advance.” – Alex


Alex,
Thanks for writing. You’ve got a tough dilemma here. Did you know that Michael Jordan’s favorite activity when he was still playing was watching his wife participate in dunk contests? That’s actually not true, but the sentiment is there – professionals don’t like to be professional when they’re off the clock. They’d much rather sit back and watch somebody else do the hard work that usually falls to them during the work day. Chefs are a perfect example of this. While your girlfriend may not be a restaurant-quality chef, just the fact that she’s (wo)manning the stoves is enough to put a smile underneath your inevitable chef-stache (come on, admit it, you never shave on your days off). So how do you get her to believe that her cooking makes you a happy chef?

Start by cooking together. It may mean you have to handle a mandoline on your day off, but it could be the gateway towards convincing her that she can hold her own in the kitchen. Give her the protein to work with while you handle side dishes. Make her the star and set her up to be a huge success. Once she sees that she can pull it off without you, you’re home free and everybody wins. You won’t have to cook on your days off and she’ll get the feeling of accomplishment that comes with pleasing a professional chef through food.

If she still doesn’t believe that you want her cooking for you, then I think there may be larger issues at play. Maybe it’s time to call in an expert for some culinary couples counseling. I bet Paula Deen could help, as long as you can get past the butter stains she’d leave on your couch.

Good luck,

Jason


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