Dapur Mariae revolves around family ideals and we take pride in the fact that our customers become part of our family. However, I’m fairly certain most people would be of the opinion that working with your spouse or partner is a recipe for total disaster. Probably right up there with the saying ‘don’t work with kids or animals’! The honest truth is that it can be very challenging spending 24 hours a day together, whether it be in or out of the kitchen. Safe to say the latter could even be potentially dangerous when pressure is mounting, opinions are divided and extremely sharp Sabatier knives are close at hand!
What makes it especially difficult for me is the need to always be right even when I’m wrong (I’m sure I’m not the only one) and adopting the age old ‘my way or the highway’ mantra. It’s been a slow process but I’ve had to learn to let go and accept that Gerrard is a trained chef and as such sometimes he really is right, (dammit!). A classic example is my initial reluctance in accepting that the workload could be shared if I taught him how to prep for certain dishes and observed the cooking process. I really can’t offer any explanation to this mindset other than I harboured a disbelief that someone else could do it as well as I did. As I soon learnt, all he needed was some patience on my part and for me to let go of the control I was so vehemently holding onto.
The truth is Gerrard has imparted a wealth of knowledge to me and from being just a home cook I’ve learnt valuable skills such as the importance of prep, replacing panic with troubleshooting, costings, menu planning and also that crying over a burst curry puff is totally unnecessary! I have reciprocated by sharing all the secrets from my mother’s kitchen, and the tips and tricks she imparted on me. As in any good relationship it’s all about supporting each other and helping each other to grow, which I think has massively helped us in building our business.
So between us we’ve built a robust and functional little kitchen in our home that has turfed out countless meals and jars of sauce that have slowly become known and loved by our local community, and at this point I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported us throughout. Please don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s all love between the pots and pans, as there are days when I could still poke a satay stick in his eye, and he could easily put hot coals on my forehead! That said, we have found a happy place in the kitchen where we both have our allocated tasks and we soldier on with our passion and our mission to spread the Malaysian love.
If you have your own story about working with a spouse/partner, or any questions for us make sure to share them below!
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