My husband and I are rabid Top Chef fans. After watching several seasons and the current season of Top Chef Masters, I can’t help but think I might have a chance of winning this thing.
I know I’m only a decent cook. But I know I’d be unstoppable if I had their culinary training. Why? Because I’m a work at home mom. The challenges they go through is nothing compared to what I have to go through in real life.
Here are 10 reasons why I think work at home moms (with amazing culinary skills) could win Top Chef:
1. We always multi-task. It’s not even an option for us anymore. Multi-task or everything falls apart. We call the days we don’t need to multi-task “vacations”.
2. We’re always on the clock. Almost every contestant on Top Chef would say, “If only I had enough time..yada, yada, yada”. Have you ever made breakfast, a packed lunch and got a toddler ready for school in under 10 minutes? All they had to do was cook. We WAHMs deal with cooking, temper tantrums, unmade beds and incomplete homework everyday. I wonder if they can add that as the next challenge?
3. We can function sleep-deprived for months at a time. There’s a reason why you’re not supposed to handle heavy machinery or small children when drowsy or sleep deprived. And that’s the reason why a lot of contestants start to break down during “Restaurant Wars” or “Wedding Wars”. It’s hard for anyone to function at full capacity when you’ve had no sleep. But that’s what parents are expected to do in the first few months of a child’s life; you’re expected to work, take care of the house and an infant with less than 2 hours of sleep. And you do this everyday for several months, sustained only by the knowledge that someday you child will soon sleep through the night.
4. We cook on the fly all the time. It’s funny how Top Chef contestants would just fall apart when they’re suddenly asked to cook without certain ingredients or utensils (want to see grown chefs’ cry, tell them they can’t use a knife). We WAHMs do that all the time. We make do of whatever is in the fridge (or whatever is left in the fridge) and whatever is within reach (yeah, I can use a butter knife for prep) to come up with something edible. It’s hard to be rattled by something as insignificant as a missing ingredient when you have start making dinner in 15 minutes while having a conference call with a client.
5. We’re good with leftovers. A lot of Top Chef contestants often turn up their noses on leftovers. We WAHMs often do our best cooking with leftovers and our families love it.
6. We have no problems with junk food. I understand why chefs don’t like junk food and as a mom, I try to limit my daughter’s exposure to it. But junk food is inevitable and like most moms, I have made my peace with it. I have no problems cooking fries, chicken nuggets, pizza and burgers. And when you’re working mom, sometimes it’s the only option available. In fact, I would prefer they eat the slightly healthier junk food I make at home than the processed stuff sold everywhere.
7. We face the worse food critics everyday. Most Top Chef contestants don’t like cooking for kids because they’re so hard to please (or to be politically correct, they have unsophisticated palates). They are. Imagine doing that everyday, making sure everything you made tastes great and still healthy.
8. We know how to deal with giant egos. The enormous egos that come with the amazing talent on Top Chef make for great TV. Unfortunately, that ego sometimes also distracts the contestants from the goal of the show, which is make good food. We WAHMs have to deal with egos of all different shapes and sizes everyday (clients, children, our own, etc). But we don’t let it get in the way of our work because if do, we’ll never get anything done.
9. We always, always have something on the plate when time is up. The cardinal sin of Top Chef is having an empty plate and a lot of talented chefs have left the show because of this. We moms, as a rule, always make sure there’s food on the table. WAHM’s always come up with back up plans just in case you don’t have time to cook because you had to finish a project.
10. We know how to cook using a microwave, hot plate, camp stove and pressure cookers. I always found it funny whenever they set challenges away from the Top Chef Kitchen. The chefs seems so lost without their professional grade ovens and stoves. Most moms, in general, can cook on anything that generates heat. And for us WAHMs, the easier the cooking appliance to use, the more we love it. And that is how I learned how to make awesome microwave scrambled eggs.