I’ve never been much of a foodie.

I’m content with my Special K (vanilla almond) in the morning, which I also often enjoy as dinner in front of the TV, or as a quick meal before heading out the door.

That was, until I started dating a chef.Sous chef, technically. But he’d much rather I call him a cook.

When I walk into his restaurant in Seattle I’m greeted with plates of fresh bread and pate. Fois gras. Tenderloin. Duck. Lamb. I might be slipped an Oysters Rockefeller with the words, “here, eat this.”

And I do. I eat it all.

After a few months of dating, I know what “blanching” means. And I’m even starting to like onions.

I love dating someone who spends five, sometimes six days a week cooking — for up to 12 hours a day — and on the morning of his first day off asks me, “Can I cook brunch for you?”

Which also turns into brunch for my roommates. And our neighbor. A few friends and co-workers (on Easter Sunday, he cooked for almost 20 of us). He’s working with our beat-up pans, mediocre knives as we sit around the kitchen, content to smell the mix of sausage and coffee.

And then, when the hearty meal has finally digested and the guests have gone home a few pounds heavier, he turns to me and asks, “Can I cook you dinner tonight?”

Yes. Of course. I’ve already forgotten about the Special K.

Iโ€™m pretty new to dating. Iโ€™m 32 and have only been divorced for a year. But in the past, I’ve tended to date guys like me, who are in similar professions — journalism, public relations, sales. The kind of guys who wear ties to work and spend hours on their BlackBerries. Dating a guy in a somewhat unfamiliar profession (and who is 29 and has never sent an e-mail) is refreshing. I’m not only learning about a new person and about how I function in a post-divorce relationship, but I’ve got a new outlook on a whole different aspect of life.

I enjoy watching him cook. When it’s in my kitchen, I try to help chop things when I can. But he’s so deft with a knife, whereas I’m slow and ungraceful. I usually pull up a chair, swirl my wine, and try to learn a few tips about salting boiling water, roasting red peppers or making the perfect cheesy breakfast potatoes.

Learning something new. Isn’t that what dating is all about?

Lola, 32, Seattle

Advertisements