How do chefs stay thin?

Me in Chef uniform!

I thought this will be an interesting weekend article for you, my readers. I got this idea from what keywords lead web surfers to my site. And this one really interest me "How do chefs stay thin?".

Have that ever interest you? We've heard of the saying "Never trust a skinny chef". Do you have the idea that all chefs are fat? On the contrary from my personal experience in professional kitchens, most chefs are slim. Not skinny but we are a whole fit lot. Imagine if half of us are fat, you won't be able to fit all 15 of us in the kitchen on a single service.

Want to know how big is a typical restaurant kitchen or rather how much space we chefs can manoeuver in? Just examine the size of the restaurant where you will be seated. The kitchen is about that size and probably larger. More than 50% of that space is filled with kitchen appliances: stoves, ovens, washing area, food storage areas, etc. That doesn't leave us a lot of space for running around when it is a busy night!

Right.. back to how we stay thin. Hm....tough question. I think most of us are thin when we start off as commis and grow in width over the years. But we pretty much stay slim because of the amount of work that we have to do. 17 hours on our feet. Our legs are nice and strong of course. And with the average load we have to move around daily from food storage area to our work tops. Mind you, every single piece of equipment is over 5kg. Yeah that includes the huge stick blenders that are almost 3/4 my height. Phew! It's tough!

And one more factor, that doesn't apply to all chefs but to many like me. We usually don't dine at normal meal times. When everyone is happily dining at 12pm, we are slogging away and postponing our meals till after 3pm. And while it's dinner time, we have finished our breaks before 6pm and get the next one right after the last order at 930pm. You may say .. with all the food in the kitchen, we should be pretty stuffed. Nope, it's wrong to think so. According to Health and Safety Act, we can't eat or drink while we are preparing food.

So I hope that pretty much answered your queries! Have a great weekend! And do post more questions if you are curious about my line of work!


DineometerDeb said...

With all those hours of chefing, when do you have time to blog???

footiam said...

Oh, you are a lucky chef! keep on being slim and peopleb who don't know you will start questioning if your food is any good! But don't give in to such people!

Sangeeta Sinha said...

Sher, you are looking cute in Chef's uniform!! From what I understood from your article, it is the untimely eating habits which keep the chefs thin. You know, why chefs, I know many people who fall in the 'slim' category but when they eat...... if I eat like them, I will cross 100 kg in weight within 10 days. I think staying slim has something to do with the skeletal structure and of course, genes.

piebuko said...

How do chefs stay cute? pretty? gorgeous? when they're sweating in front of a stove the whole day?

eastcoastlife said...

My 16-yr-old son is training at SHATEC to be a chef. Tough. I heartache. :)

SheR. said...

>>Hi Deb. I've stopped being a chef since my accident in Oct 2006. I had to stop for more than a year. Sad but true. Now that I'm fine. I can't wait to get back into the workforce!! :D

>>Oh Footiam. Don't worry. Everyone that I've cooked for, loved my cooking! Even if it's just a simple cheese on toast?!
It's in my genes. I can't grow fat! :P

SheR. said...

>> Hey Sangeeta! You're making me blush :P
Yeah I really think it's the odd mealtimes that's making us slim! Hungry!!1
And yes I said, I don't have fat genes in my family! I once went up to 62kg and my mum was shocked that I was a size 14!!! :P

>>ER.. Piebuko. Imagine working as a chef is like being in love. We make love to our food all the time. That's how we female chefs stay sexy! And most females find male chefs irresistable too!!!!!

>>Yes. ECL. Training as a chef is only the beginning... In SG, a chef has to be commis for at least 5 years to be promoted to CDP. So it's harder...

C K said...

Actually not all chefs are thin. Jamie Oliver seems to be adding inches to his waist over the years... but Gordan Ramsey on the other hand is still going fit.

I was just wondering, do chefs really taste every dish coming out of the kitchen?

Sher! You look... haha.. like the rest say, cute in that uniform!

Haha, look at it this way, not many mums can claim that their sons cook better than them... :)

SheR. said...

Hello CK! Late night commenting? ;)
Thanks for the compliments everyone :P

Jamie Oliver is probably slacking in his work. That's why he's growing...horizontally.

curiousfoodie said...

Mmmmm interesting post. You know when I bake and cook more often, I tend to eat lesser. lol. Perhaps due to all that tasting and being sick of the smell of thick chocolate in my entire kitchen. :D


Jasmine Shanea said...

You look so pretty in your chef outfit! :)

SheR. said...

>>Hi Amelia. I don't know how I managed. But I had to resist all the wonderful flavours in my kitchen. It was tough at first. But now I'm used to it!

Sometimes, I was so hungry. I had to sneak a piece of cookie and run out of the kitchen to munch on something.. ooo..

>>Hello Jasmine! Thanks ;)

SyariH said...

Sher, heh, I asked you this question before. LOL How you stay slim. Now I understand.

A chef's job is not easy I know.I can imagine that it is hard. My late mom was not a chef but she made food to sell for a living when I was small. I remembered she, slept late,1-2 am to prepare for the next morning. In the morning she had to wake up as early as 5 a.m to start cooking. Afternoon, prepare for the evening selling.

I remember her always working! Pity her. God rest her soul.

uncommon said...


Was nice to see a pic of you, kewl: you look very important in your hat:)

I've found that, especially if I've been cooking food for a group: or for a long time preparing and slicing and all that, it gets to presentation time and my appetite has gone.


SheR. said...

>> Hello Syari! Yeah any food business is tough work! But I enjoyed my job so it's probably different!

>>Brendan. You're right about all the preparation making us lose our appetite. Seems like bread making is the only that doesn't kill it. I can't wait to see my breads bake! And eat them! :D