Santos doesnâ€™t withhold his blunt opinions just because the cameras stop rolling. Learning that one of Aliâ€™s biggest sellers is a General Tsoâ€™s Jerk Chicken, he asks sharply, â€œHow is there General Tso and Jerk?â€ An explanation involving wet marinades and vacuum seals follows. After mulling it over, Santos finally nods and grunts in approval. Ali presses on. â€œI served it at a gay Caribbean wedding. At the tasting, this fashion stylist takes it and heâ€™s like, â€˜This is a scannnndalllll on a stick.â€™â€
Though much of their conversation is peppered with talk about family recipes, Santosâ€™ upcoming first book, and how to deal with troubling food trendsâ€”from the rise in obesity to an increase in people with gluten allergiesâ€” things turn to more standard fare. Like dating.
While both are dismissive of the â€˜chefs as rock starsâ€™ clichÃ©, they arenâ€™t exactly complaining about the perks. Santos, who now has a girlfriend in L.A., explains part of the appeal is in chefsâ€™ â€œcaveman-esqueâ€ aura. â€œWe take care of people, provide sustenance. And we have this crazy lifestyle. Weâ€™re a little nutty. But weâ€™re a little sophisticated, too. Iâ€™ve never used what I do to get a date, but Iâ€™ve been on a lot of dates because of what I do.â€
â€œExactly what he said,â€ Ali agrees. Yet, as the new bachelor confirms, â€œThe thing thatâ€™s tough about this profession is that itâ€™s hard to keep a girlfriend. Forget about dating a 9-to-5er.â€
Still, thereâ€™s a glimmer of hope: â€œOf course a girlâ€™s gonna be more interested than normal when you got a guy that can cook for you all the time and cook awesomely.â€
In other words, for these guys who bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan, cheffinâ€™ ainâ€™t easy, but it sure is fun.