Marianne Vincent Story

Can you believe it’s almost August already? I know I always talk about how fast time flies, but doesn’t it? It seems like just when I feel I’ve got a handle on one month, another one is popping up around the corner!

This months featured significant other is also in the “I am married to a Food and Wine Best New Chef” group, like Miranda Gaudet is. I am so grateful to be able to share in their celebration as their other half is working hard and traveling while on the Award circuit. As we all know, we significant others deserve a similar award, because when they win, we win too. Because we are their number one fans…. supporting them and understanding all that it takes to become the best in the field, allows them the space to focus on their craft. I personally want to give you all a “You deserve this award” to all the wives, girlfriends, husbands and boyfriends of those chefs who tirelessly work to fuel their passion. We all know it takes a bit of sacrifice, and extreme flexibility to watch as our restaurant men and women thrive. It’s not easy, but I’m sure as Marianne Vincent, wife to Jason Vincent, Executive Chef at Nightwood Restaurant in Chicago, IL and recipient of the 2013 Food and Wine Best New Chef Award, will tell you, the reward is sweet and totally worth it!

Congratulations Marianne.. for the dedication and resilience it takes to support the man you love, to follow his dreams!

m&j mtac

What were your first impressions when you first realized that by being with your restaurant man/woman, that you have become a part of the restaurant world?

Initially it was just really exciting to be part of this world that I really hadn’t been involved in (beyond waitressing at Howard Johnson’s in college, which doesn’t really apply!) At the same time, it can be intimidating at times to be immersed in this world that I don’t know much about, and meet amazing chefs I’ve admired in my life, and not be able to add much to the conversation – it takes time to get used to.  But it’s great to meet people so passionate about the work they do and of course be exposed to so much wonderful food.

When did you know that you had what it took, within the parameters of his/her career, to find success in your relationship?

I don’t think I really thought to far in advance when we met, and I don’t think I really envisioned what it would mean – both the perks and the difficulties. I work too, and I think that luckily I’m someone who values time alone, and who can exist on little sleep, which allows me to have time with him at the end of the day for us to talk and stay connected.   We were both pretty committed to making it work from the beginning, like going on dates at midnight and trying to get through work on 3 hours of sleep, whatever we needed to do.

What is the BEST part of being married to someone in the restaurant industry, BESIDES the food? 

It takes someone with a great work ethic and a lot of creativity, among other things, to really be successful in the business, and I see that in Jason in our life beyond his work at the restaurant.  I also think that running a kitchen really teaches you about teamwork, which is essential to a marriage and really important when you have a child at home too.  Since traveling is research for him, we’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of new places over the years.

How do you handle the holidays knowing he/she is going to be busy at work?

I think this is the biggest challenge for our families, who may not always understand that it’s not a personal choice to not spend the holidays or vacations together.  Also, Jason is Jewish and I’m a first-generation German Lutheran, so negotiating holidays can be complicated anyway.  I know that Jason would like to be able to spend the holidays together but it’s not an option and really never has been in our relationship, so we celebrate when we can.  Sometimes I’ll bring our daughter Sydney in to the restaurant so we can all be together even if he’s working.  We’ll typically celebrate New Year’s eve on the 1st, and I don’t think we’ve ever truly celebrated Valentine’s Day.

How has achieving acclaim and success, within the restaurant industry, changed your relationship?

I don’t think his career has changed our relationship any more than anything else in life has – marriage, having a daughter, growing up – but it has made us really work as a team in order to make it work, and it has made us very close.  I definitely appreciate and protect the time we get alone or as a family.

Find Marianne Vincent on Twitter – @m_w_vincent
Find Jason Vincent on Twitter -@jasonvincent00
Find Jason at Nightwood Restaurant