Our next interview left us with visions of chocolate delights and fantastic edible creations! Why, you ask? Well, not only is our next interviewee a Chef’s Wife, she is a PASTRY Chef’s Wife! Meet Alicia Craig, a super woman not only able to assume the roles of wife, mother, career woman, stay-at-home mom, and author but that of a practical fashionista as well. Read on to find out which role intimidates her the most, how she oils the family machine, and why her husband takes the cake!!!
CWC: Hello Alicia and welcome to ChefWifeChic.com! From your twitter, it seems that you are interested in writing. What do you write about and are you a published author?
AC: I am not a published author. However, I do enjoy writing and have certainly contemplated the idea of penning a novel. In fact, I have started a couple over the years, but I tend to get too intimidated to complete the stories. Perhaps now that my son is getting a little bit older and starting Kindergarten in the fall, I will find the time (and get up the nerve) to write. I tend to lean towards stories about love, friendship, and the trials and tribulations of young adulthood.
CWC: How cool! I’ll definitely put it on my “to read” list as soon as it is published. Tell us a little bit about your chef.
AC: My chef is the Pastry Chef for a premier luxury hotel and resort company. As with most chefs, he works long hours and there are times when we’ll go days without seeing each other. For instance, he will be traveling to the Virgin Islands for three weeks in April ‘13 to assist another property. Our son and I will miss him while he is gone, but we are also excited that he has this opportunity!
He is so special to me. We have been together for 10 years and we have been through it all! He is such a dedicated partner, husband, father, and chef. I am so proud to be able to say that I am his wife. His career is something that he has always been so passionate about. I remember when we first met, he told me he wanted to do something that didn’t bind him to a desk all day and allowed him to express himself. He found that, for sure! Some of the desserts and showpieces he creates are just stunning. They really are pieces of art. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s all edible.
CWC: Being the wife of a pastry chef, do you do most or all of the food cooking?
AC: My husband actually began his career as a line cook working in restaurants for a few years before discovering, and falling in love with, baking and pastry. He is perfectly capable of whipping up delicious food at home. However, he is rarely home and when he is, he is usually on the floor playing astronaut, transformers, or play kitchen with our 4 year old.
CWC: Awww how sweet! Do you also juggle your own career or do you focus on the family you and your husband have begun?
AC: Well, I have had the pleasure of experiencing both situations. When we decided to start a family I stopped working to focus on that. Once our son was 3 he started a preschool program so I chose to go back to work. I managed to work over a year, but it was a struggle for me. I was working full time and my husband was teaching in addition to running the pastry department at a major university. Our son spent quite a bit of time at preschool and with his grandparents. We were so lucky to have their help, but I missed our little guy! We recently moved, and when we did, I decided to quit my job to stay home with our son. In both situations, I was the one who primarily managed the household. As a working wife and mother, I felt like I was running all the time- moving too fast to experience any of it. Does that make sense? I have an enormous amount of respect for wives and mothers who have figured out how to do it all. Now that I have had the experience of working and managing our household, I find that (after the initial shock of, “Okay what do we do now?”) I am a more organized SAHM, we stick to our routine, and things are going more smoothly than they did a few years ago. How all of this correlates with being married to a professional chef is that I take on the responsibility of ensuring that everything on the home front runs like a well-oiled machine so that my chef can focus on his work and relax is those scarce moments he is able to.
CWC: Sometimes, you have to get down and dirty while oiling the “family machine”. Do you find that this affects your style of dress? Would you call yourself a stylish person?
AC: Hmm. Yes, I love style. I want style. I relish glitz and glam. However, my current lifestyle doesn’t really call for all that much of it. So, for the most part I’ve packed away or traded-in my high-heels for a more practical approach to fashion.
CWC: Sigh. I have as well. I also plan to put more emphasis on how we as Chef Wives and stay-at-home Moms can reclaim our stylish selves while still being practical on http://www.chefwifechic.com. With that being said, how would you describe your daily style?
AC: Right now I’d say it’s more ChefWifeChicMom. I generally wear simple, yet colorful knit tops and sweaters with dark denim jeans and sneakers. If my husband is with us, I tend to fancy things up a bit (if you could call it that) choosing cute flats over sneakers and add a little jewelry.
CWC: Would you say that fashion and style are important to you?
AC: It is. I think personal style says a lot about someone. First impressions are important and fashion is a huge part of that. Our “look” can inform other people that we are strong and confident and that we care about ourselves and we want others to see that without us having to say a word.
CWC: I agree but do you think it would be more of a focus if your husband was in a different career?
AC: No, not really. Maybe if he were home more we would be able to go on special outings together more often. Then I would probably step it up.
CWC: Would you say that your role as the wife of a man with a professional career affects your clothing choices? How has your husband’s success changed your wardrobe?
AC: I’m not sure whether his career effects my clothing choices or not, actually. We have been together since I was 19, so over the last decade my style was sure to develop into a more mature look no matter the cause. I do feel honored and special to be the wife of a talented chef though, and I feel like that translates into my overall style. I want people to understand that I respect my husband and that I am proud of him. I would say that I do try to pick clothes that illustrate those feelings.
CWC: Well said! Do you attend many professional events with your significant other? If so, what type are the most frequent and how do you dress for them?
AC: Unfortunately, no. Not yet. However, I have some ideas of what I would wear on a professional evening out with my chef. I’ll include some pictures so you can see.
CWC: Describe your wedding for our readers. I’ll bet it was beautiful!
AC: I absolutely loved our wedding! We had an intimate ceremony with 26 of our closest friends and family on the beach in South Florida. Because we wanted to keep the occasion personal, we asked one of our friends to officiate. My father walked me down the aisle to “Wishin’ and Hopin’” by Dusty Springfield. Even though we were on the beach, we chose to dress formal. Our groomsmen may have preferred light shirts and shorts, being that it was noon in June, but they were gracious enough to hide their pain (haha) and it was perfect.
Our colors were lavender and silver. I wore an ivory silk taffeta dress with a sweetheart neckline, drop waist, full skirt, lace up back, wrist length lace gloves and ballet slippers. For jewelry I kept it simple with a pearl bracelet and necklace. My husband wore a black cutaway tuxedo jacket, a grey vest and black/grey striped ascot, charcoal pinstripe pants, and square toed Kenneth Cole shoes.
My bridesmaids (my 2 sisters and a friend) wore sleeveless, full length, dresses that were lavender. The groomsmen (all close friends) wore the same type of tuxedo as my husband.
At the time I had 2 nieces and they were flower girls. They already had a couple pretty white dresses they’d purchased for another wedding recently so that’s what they wore.
My sisters and I made our bouquets and the boutonnieres the night before the ceremony. My husband made our cake, and was still setting it up moments before I walked down the aisle.
CWC: Cool! I love that he actually made your wedding cake! That must’ve made it even more special. Speaking of the hubby, how would you describe his style?
AC: When he’s not in his chef whites he can be found wearing straight leg, relaxed fit, dark denim jeans, and a button up shirt (sometimes with a tie) beneath a sweater or cardigan. He tends to go for shirts and ties that have an interesting pattern or bright color. Depending on what we’re doing he may wear simple sneakers, square toe dress shoes, or Dr. Martens. He also wears glasses and favors thicker rims colored blue or green. Overall style- think David Beckham.
CWC: Nice! Do you do the shopping for his wardrobe?
AC: Nope. He enjoys shopping and creating his style.
CWC: Uh oh! We have a hubby who likes to shop! I must go and grab my husband so he can take a lesson. HaHaHa! Do you ever pick out his outfits?
AC: Well, I am usually with him when he is shopping and I do tell him what I think. He has good taste though, and he has created some great looks!
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CWC: Tell us about your favorite go-to attire for the rare date night with the hubby?
AC: Oh so rare it is! Because we don’t get to be “just us” very often, I like to make those times really special. I enjoy looking ultra-feminine so I choose dresses, stockings, and high-heels. I complete my look with a chunky bracelet and maybe a set of pearls. I really like 50’s/60’s mod style- which is funny because most of my favorite music comes from that time period also. I think I was born in the wrong time period.
CWC: I love the retro look as well! Great taste! Do you find that you dress better when you know your significant other is going to be home?
AC: Yes, well when he is going to be home for the day I do.
CWC: Is there a particular type of clothing that he likes to see you in?
AC: Dresses/skirts and high-heels
CWC: Sounds like a leg man! HaHaHa! Do you have any styling tips or beauty secrets to share with your fellow Chef Wives?
AC: No, I don’t have any secrets. My favorite thing is being able to dress up (or down) an outfit just by changing your shoes and jewelry.
CWC: Great tips! Shoes and jewelry can instantly upgrade an outfit from casual to dressy. I love to throw on a blazer to add instant class to an outfit as well! In closing, tell us what being “Chef Wife Chic” means to you.
AC: Chef Wife Chic to me is style that instills confidence in ourselves and shows to others that we are beautiful, proud, strong, and capable women in our own right standing by our husbands through it all.
CWC: I love it! Thank you, Alicia, for a great interview! We at ChefWifeChic.com wish you and your husband all the success in the world.
For more of Alicia, follow her on twitter: @PastryChefsWife.
Here’s a few more sets created by Alicia Craig to show her sense of style! Click the images!!