Chef Wife Life: Trials and Tribulations

It’s been a very long while since I last updated, I’ve just been focused on living in the moment and being fully present raising my son and trying not to go on a downward spiral with what’s going on in Hong Kong and the world. Well, a chef’s wife raising a young kid doesn’t make for interesting content.


Happy International Women’s Day! I wish women were celebrated every single day and didn’t need a specific day/excuse for this. This is a long overdue post that I didn’t have time to finish, much less edit, before the horrors of Russian invasion of Ukraine.

If you have spare change and want to donate or help, donate to International Rescue Committee who are helping displaced refugees all around the world, especially Ukrainians at this moment. We donate monthly to Feeding Hong Kong, a charity we have been supporting since we arrived in Hong Kong.

illustration by @Yingcheee

It’s been a whirlwind week as the husband and his team confirmed the restaurant’s *** Michelin stars in the 4th consecutive year in January. Time has flown by and it’s been a very difficult two years for everyone in the F&B industry across the globe since the onset of Covid19. Thinking of everyone struggling, suffering and just trying to survive everyday.

Just like how cancer weeded out fair weather friends, my new status as a stay at home mum weeds out the “friends by interest”. I’m a nobody homebody until they find out who my husband is and their tone and manner completely changes and suddenly I exist in the room.

I am accustomed to such behaviour and while it used to bother me when I was younger, I’m really grateful for this “sieve” that automatically filters out the type of people I am grateful to let in and have in my life.

I have no time or energy left at the end of the day for drama as I full time mum all day and then I work on freelance edits by night. I make a fraction of what I used to when I had a semblance of a career and I pretty much have little to nothing left of my former identity or self – and that’s finally OK with me.

I’m still trying to find foothold in this department, but that’s no longer a nagging issue to resolve as I am somewhat enjoying this Motherhood journey which is full of challenges and surprises as I have learnt and evolved as a person, and in so many ways learning to reparent myself to show up as a better parent. I highly recommend Dr Becky’s Good Inside podcasts and to follow her on IG. Posts on all the parenting books I’ve read/am reading in the pipeline.

It’s definitely one of the hardest things I’ve done. I’m a creature of habit and not a big fan of change but with a child, it’s changes all the damn time at every new phase, growth spurt and what not.

These days, my day to day priorities are finding easy to make healthy recipes for the family (it’s hard when your spouse makes gourmet baby meals), while trying to raise my son in the most respectful and environmentally-friendly way possible, while managing the household budgets.

The joy of feeding noodles to my toddler

For all the chef wives out there, I see you. I never quite understood the labels of chef widow and solo parenting until I became a Mother myself and did not have any help from family or hired help (thanks Covid!) for the first 8 months. It’s all a blur, but hey, we survived and are better for it.

The failings of the patriarchy continues to perpetuate itself because all the invisible load and labour that women bear isn’t recognised. Female chefs are being increasingly celebrated which is a wonderful thing and if they have a stay at home dad spouse the man gets medals for his sacrifice, but the efforts of the women are never recognised the same way.

Even though this has been perpetuated for centuries, it is still my hope that this will shift in my son’s generation or the next, without all these gender stereotypes. I am deeply aware that the responsibility lies with us parents, especially for us raising sons.

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