It’s OK to not be OK.

Morning lovely people.

As you may or may not be aware, it is mental health awareness week and I felt a very strong urge to write a little bit about my mental health. Sometimes it’s not OK. Sometimes it’s a bloody mess and guess what.. That’s OK.

A smile can hide a thousand thoughts and life gets in the way of happiness or stability sometimes.

Work stress, family stress anything can throw a spanner in your mental health and sometimes you don’t need anything at all to set it off, you just wake up one day and feel like that’s it!

I struggled in kitchens with these feelings because unfortunately I feel that (like many other industries) there is this toxic masculine approach to feelings. It’s not OK to show your stressed or upset. If you cry your done! Have you ever seen a man cry in a professional kitchen? I bet not and if you have I bet no one talked about it again. Have you ever seen a women cry? Was she called a emotional girl? I bet.. I’ve seen it and I’ve had it said to me. The fact of the matter is that.. That is bullshit!

Life is messy. High end, stressful, long hour jobs like being a chef.. Are messy. You are doing amazing.

It’s OK to be OK.

Take some time, breathe some fresh air, talk to people about how you feel, no matter how embarrassed or wierd you think it is and if you have no one to talk to you can send me a message and I will listen!!

Take this opportunity to change an industry with openness and love and compassion.

Take this opportunity to change the way we look at mental health. We wouldn’t expect people to run around with broken legs so why expect it from someone with damaged mental health.

Love to everyone inside the hospitality industry suffering in silence and big love to everyone outside of it feeling the same.

Never suffer alone. Its OK to not be OK.

Big love Jade x

Blogger, Lover of Food.

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Let’s talk about sex..ism, baby!

Successful, female chef.

It’s not dirty talk. It’s real talk coming up right now.

I spent my three or four years or however long it was in kitchens being called things like darling, love, dear, babe and even sugar tits.

Being called naggy or bossy if I had an opinion on something. Working doubly hard for half the amount of respect..

I’m not a raging feminist I don’t understand why feminists need men to burn for what they’ve done, that’s kinda crazy. I just want people to be seen as equal, I don’t think it’s fair that because women are seen as more likely to have family or develop other distractions that get in the way of work. But it’s true.. I support my family, as you all may know and i would opt to do fewer, longer days to accommodate for that. I would work 3/4 14 hour days – that’s up to 59 hours! In three days! But I was looked at as a part timer, a little girl who couldn’t hack doing “real chef hours”

When I first started training, I met and fell for a chef in a higher position than me. If I had known that it is acceptable for people to make the ludicrous comments they made about me in that time.. I would never have done it! I was a younger less experienced chef, dating an more experience higher positioned chef. I was also being recognised for my abilities at the same time. Unconnected. No one else saw it that way.. “extra practise at home? Did (no name) Teach you how to handle meat” “we all know what you did for that mark”

Guess who was called a slut. Not him. Me. I was 20..and it knocked my confidence, it made me doubt myself and my ability as a chef, it haltered my progression!

I look around my profession and there is a very small amount of women. That’s no shock.. I see female head chefs and I wonder how much they had to sacrifice to get there… How much extra they gave, how hard they had to work to get to where they are now! I have known women who have had to move all around the country, working harder to get more information to be taught things that people don’t want to teach anymore. (but that’s a point for another day)

The first time I moved up in a kitchen, some one made a joke about who I had given a blowjob to, to get this step up.

Now don’t get me wrong, not all male chefs are like that.. Some of the men I have worked with have been inspirational. Some have them have helped me grow and learn and progress without prejudice.

I guess the moral of this story is to be more like them. Be a good guy! If your in a kitchen with a woman, be the guy who jokes with her not at her expense.

If a woman’s place is in the kitchen.. Than let us be in the kitchen!!

Hey if you have any kitchen related stories, get in touch! I’d love to hear them!

 Jade 
Blogger, Lover of Food.