I’m asking this knowing fully well that as chefs we’re predisposed to giving, always ready to lend a helping hand to someone who needs it: how good are you at saying no, chef? It’s highly likely that your answer to that question influences what your work-life balance looks like currently.
I’m not going to tell you what you should say no to: whether it’s declining that extra shift, so you can visit your sister and her newborn. Or walking away from a promising collaboration because it doesn’t align fully with your style of cooking, or an invitation to a party when you need to rest. Because only you know what’s right for you.
The truth is that you don’t need to oblige everyone who makes an offer or demand. A good approach is to never respond to requests straight away, but to take some time to think about it. And let that person know that you’ll get back to them with an answer within a certain time.
Which is why #BetterCheflife is centred on getting clear on your vision. Because the question shouldn’t really be about what you say no to, but whether you’re saying yes to yourself, chef.