Anthony Bourdain’s ever insightful "Kitchen Confidential" book outlines all the good, and bad aspects of working in the restaurant industry. However, one of the more provocative statements is found in the second chapter: simply “Food is sex” — it’s a phrase that resonates within every single chef.

If you were to breakdown every element that went into a gourmet dish, the underlying constant is passion. Passion is what turns food into art, and in its rawest form passion is what’s used to elevate any of life’s mundane into the extraordinary.

This is also applicable in making love. Passionless sex is animalistic, and not really in a good way. The raw emotion, it’s one of the aspects that truly does separate humans from our primate cousins. Though it’s hardly the only correlation between food and sex.

The kitchen staff from Freshcraft, a restaurant on 15th and Blake St. in Denver, Colorado, knows this all too well.

“What makes a good lover?” asks Kishan White, former executive chef. “Strength, attentiveness, stamina — and that goes with chefs too. We work 14-15 hours, it coincides. When you wanna be a good lover, you wanna be attentive, you wanna be understanding of how she needs you to be, how to not be selfish.”

All these aspects, attentiveness, understanding and selflessness are imperative in successful kitchens — attentiveness especially. On any given day in a commercial kitchen, there are at least half-a-dozen prep items, all working at the same time. Any decent chef needs to keep a watchful eye on all these projects in case whoever put them on forgets it.

And this is just the beginning of a staffer’s shift.

There is a specific type of perpetual awareness that every restaurant demands from its head chef and those that support them, and this attribute has a way of bleeding into other aspects of life.

“As a chef we learn to pay attention to details and be more detailed orientated to where, you know, we pay attention more; alright like she likes it when I kiss here or kiss there or touch here or squeeze there you know what I’m saying,” adds White.

However, attentiveness and passion aren’t the only skills chefs learn from the job. Dinner service, as an example, is typically hectic, and all this stress induces a good amount of violence. This is something that John McCoy, the sushi chef at Stout Street Social can personally attest to.

Asked what being a chef has done for his love life, McCoy says the raw aggression he experiences at work has added a rougher, more enjoyable element to his and his partner’s sex life. (If you’re ever curious as to how tempers flare during service, watch literally anything with Gordon Ramsey in it.)

But there are downsides to the lifestyle. Both McCoy and White say the usual 12-hour days, six days a week schedule makes it difficult to answer a late-night call

Yet on the other day? That’s when they’re off and all yours. If a chef’s workload disappoints you, then remember the words of Jason Forgey, the owner of Freshcraft: “(Sex and food), they’re both good. Even when they’re bad”

[cover photo Christiann Koepke via Unsplash]