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I got me a chef, ladies. Eat that.


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Oh you may say wow, that went fast! You may think, gee, it hardly seems like ten minutes have passed since you announced Nate was starting culinary school, or taking on an all-hours internship or giving up every waking moment (short of Sundays – because those are sacred and reserved for the Redskins) to devote his life to a new dream of working the line for $11 an hour.

But to me? This was a long-ass ten months.

This week, Nate graduated.

He has a fancy diploma to show for it, a uniform that’s far less crisp and far less white than the way it started, some new friends who scare me only a little bit, and a photo with Jacques Pepin. Also, excellent tournage skills and three fancypants Manhattan restaurants battling over his future employ.

But as my mom put it, “If all he learned to do was make half the mess in the kitchen he normally makes when he cooks, then it was time and money well spent.”


Though there’s a little more to it than that.

He’s happy. And he’s proud. But he’d never say it. So I’ll say it for him.

56 shards of brilliance… read them below or add one

TM_Erin January 7, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Congrats to Nate, and lucky you! And to the dude on the right, “PERK UP, buddy, you just graduated.” :)


Mir January 7, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Congratulations, Nate!! And kudos to you, Liz, for living through it. Having a sigOth who's a student is a special kind of hell, and not everyone survives the experience. ;)


MDTaz January 7, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Ferran Adrià, move over.


Severine January 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Congratulations! Now you should incite him to write a blog and do a challenge to do Julia Child's recipes in a year… Oh no, thar was done already. Darn!
btw, your girl is ohhhh so cuuuuuute!


Caroline D. January 7, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Congratulations, Nate! And second the notion that you are a lucky woman, Liz. I think I find you especially lucky at the moment since I'm hungry…


Rita Arens January 7, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Congratulations, Nate and Liz.

Way to live the dream — and I mean that. Life is short. Sometimes, you just gotta stop and look around, or you might miss something. :)


Anonymous January 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm

But I've heard that chefs never cook at home…



Mahlers On Safari January 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Yea Nate! I'm happy and proud for him, too.


amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay January 7, 2010 at 2:31 pm

congrats! This is fabulous news! HOW AWESOME>I would be scared to be with a chef though!~ ah the temptation. And he is a hot chef. I met him! xoxo


Amelia Sprout January 7, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Congrats Nate! We're coming to NY some time this year, I expect that we will know where he works so we can all enjoy his schooling, right? ;)


Marinka January 7, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Congratulations to all of you. I'm available for tastings on short notice.


beyond January 7, 2010 at 3:06 pm

this is BIG! congratulations, nate. congratulations to all four of you.


Boston Mamas January 7, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Just awesome. And sometimes the $11/hour jobs are the ones that truly nourish the soul. Yay for Nate and you!


sarah doow January 7, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Congratulations Nate! I'd be happy to join Marinka for tastings. Or perhaps to save on my airfare you could just airmail me delicious things on a weekly basis? Good, that's settled then.


Liz@thisfullhouse January 7, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Well done, Nate and Liz — now, I'm hungry.


Gray Matter January 7, 2010 at 3:34 pm

First, congratulations! Second, you really needed a link on “tournage,” because quite frankly I had to google it and I still don't know what it is.


Isabel Kallman January 7, 2010 at 4:09 pm

YAY Nate! Way to go.


She Likes Purple January 7, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Oh, that's fantastic. Congrats to everyone!


Your escalator operator January 7, 2010 at 5:17 pm



Evan January 7, 2010 at 5:25 pm



Issas Crazy World January 7, 2010 at 5:35 pm

That is just awesome. YAY Nate. And YAY you for surviving it.


julie January 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Of course he has mad tournage skills. It's only fitting for a Redskins fan to be able to shape his vegetables like footballs. ;)


KitchenWidow January 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Just stumbled onto your blog from Sundry. Congrats to you and your husband! My husband recently graduated from FCI's Italian program…I hope that you find it to be as good an investment as we did…even if he only ever cooks at home :) Best of luck!


Lady M January 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Congratulations to the whole family!


Meagan Francis January 7, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Wow. Congrats to him, and I am more than a little jealous of the meals I'm sure you've been eating-and will continue to eat.


Magpie January 7, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Happy congratulations and bon appetite!


mannahattamamma.com January 7, 2010 at 7:28 pm

wow. an adorable little girl and a partner who wears a toque. not bad for a day's work. is it possible that it was just an eensy bit harder to be the person tending the home fires than the person learning tournage, just an eensy beensy bit? CONGRATS!


mrs. q. January 7, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Yee haw! Congrats, Nate! I know a quaint little bed-n-breakfast here in the Massachusetts boonies that would offer you a job. Yeah, not as exciting as fancy-schmancy NYC, but my kids love goat cheese, sushi and sausage. Hmmm???

I always wanted to be a pastry chef, so maybe I'll get the nerve someday to do what you did…

And congrats, Liz, to you on surviving. After watching my sister live through two years of her husband's MBA program, I don't know how you super-mom/wives do it.


Robin January 7, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Congrats! What a great accomplishment. I just wish that guy to the right could be as excited. :)


Aimee Greeblemonkey January 7, 2010 at 10:40 pm

that is awesome. on so many levels. have I ever mentioned how much we eat out? now I will just come there.


Amber January 8, 2010 at 12:48 am

Congratulations to Nate! And to you, for making it out in one piece. I hope that he cooks many delicious meals for you as recompense.


Amy Jo January 8, 2010 at 12:54 am

Congrats! Can't wait to eat at his restaurant!


Confused January 8, 2010 at 3:02 am

Hurray! I hope that things get only better (and tastier) for your family from here on out!

Congrats to all of you on making it through as a family unit!


GIRL'S GONE CHILD January 8, 2010 at 3:10 am

Congrats, Nate! HOORAY!!!! xo!


Mama Cas January 8, 2010 at 3:37 am

Yay! Congratulations! What a relief to have that done, right?


Elaine A. January 8, 2010 at 4:51 am

Congrats to him! Cheers!


Sarah January 8, 2010 at 4:56 am

Awesome! Widowhood is on break. Nothing better than a moment that makes your heart swell!


PeetsMom January 8, 2010 at 6:38 am

been so long since I've been here! But BRAVO and Congratulations!! Tremendous!!


Jen Singer January 8, 2010 at 2:03 pm

You. Will. Never. Have. To. Cook. Again.

You lucky, lucky bastard.


caramama January 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Congrats, Nate! At least something good is happening during playoff season, because the Redskins sure aren't! (Unless you count getting a new coach, which I guess I do but how many new coaches have we had over the years and still the team is not really improving…)

And way to go, Liz, for getting through those long months!


2Wired2Tired January 8, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Congrats to him! How exciting. I hope he treats you to some of the fancy food he's learned to make and does clean up the kitchen as well as you hope!


Fairly Odd Mother January 8, 2010 at 3:02 pm

I am so happy he found his calling and went after it. And, I love that last photo, with the evil side-glance from the other chef. It's like in Scooby Doo when the bad guy says, “I would've gotten away with it if it wasn't for those meddling kids”.

Now, what type of salt should I get him as a graduation present?


Mom101 January 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Thank you all so much for the kind words and good wishes.

Nate's pretending not to be reading this…but I totally know he is.


Lisse January 8, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Very cool. Congratulations!


Motherhood Uncensored January 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm

I can't wait to come visit and eat all the food no one in your house will eat.



Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com January 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Congratulations to the whole family! (For the graduation, for more family time, for a little less mess in the kitchen, for a chef's hat to play with, you know, all of the above!)


Lynette January 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Congrats to both of you! I hope you celebrate by having him make you something really nice!


Jaelithe January 8, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Oh, congratulations Nate-who-is-pretending-not-to-read-this!

(And kudos also to you Liz, for surviving the 10 months. I hope the pastries will eventually make up for it.)


Kami Lewis Levin January 9, 2010 at 12:29 am

How incredibly brave of you both. No one should have to settle for anything less than a job they love. Yes, I know how unrealistic that is. This year, I love mine, and the personal fulfillment it's brought me has permeated every aspect of my life. So, cook it up, Nate. Cook. It. Up.


Marcela January 9, 2010 at 1:14 am

What great news – congratulations!!


nil zed January 9, 2010 at 5:30 am

HA! Nice work Nate!

Now, everyone will tell you that you must eat well at home, what with your spouse being a chef.

Join MY husband in responding: Not really. She's never home for dinner, I do the cooking at home…


Unplanned Cooking January 9, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Congrats to Nate! I hope he's not too tired at the end of the day to cook for YOU ;).


MommyNamedApril January 9, 2010 at 10:40 pm



abby January 9, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Congrats to you for making it through.

but mostly, CONGRATULATIONS to Nate for following his dream. what a brave human!


the new girl January 10, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Congrats to Nate and to you all. That's a great picture with Thalia.



Julie @ The Mom Slant January 13, 2010 at 2:12 am

That picture is wonderful. And your mom is hilarious.

Congrats Nate. Next time I visit, I hope you'll cook.


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