Ah, the kitchen. For some, a place of inspiration, nourishment, and joy. For others, the oft-avoided holding place of an eternal pile of dishes. Whatever your relationship to the kitchen, it cannot be avoided. Food must be cooked, meals must be eaten, and your takeout budget can only stretch so far. 

These realities of life are further complicated when you move in with a partner. Sharing responsibilities– and sharing the space– can be hard to navigate at first. Luckily, Alexian is here to help you traverse these tricky waters. Whether you’ve started a new relationship, just signed a joint-lease, or are #WorkingOnUrself right now, these tips will help you share the kitchen without drama and see cooking as a joyous occasion.

1. Ask the important questions

When you make your weekly chore chart with your boo, consider this: Who actually likes to cook? If one of you is a kitchen wizard and the other is more of a boxed mac n’ cheese chef, divide tasks in a way that reflects this. Maybe the chef-in-residence does most of the cooking, while the other tidies the house and does laundry! If both of you are gourmet pâtissiers, congratulations. Collect $200 and move on to step two. 

2. Yes, chef!

Though cooking a meal together may seem like a total rom com moment, it can turn into a drama quickly if it’s not clear who’s doing what! Take a note from professional kitchens, where everyone has a clear and predetermined role. Assign one person to prep (chopping, shucking, measuring, etc.) and the other to the more active roles of mixing, seasoning, stirring, and frying. The latter is under a bit more pressure, so allow them to give directions. Affirmations of “yes, chef,” are never required, but always appreciated!

3. No backseat cooking!

If you’ve been cooking since childhood and your partner is just now learning, you may be tempted to peer over their shoulder and make suggestions. But cooking can be a vulnerable thing, and your helpful tips may be interpreted as judgments. Instead, give your partner the space and trust to learn on their own. Offer support by suggesting simple, beginner-level recipes, or making them an appetizer and cocktail to enjoy while they grill their first quesadilla. And if your dearest is thisclose to ruining the cast iron, it’s okay to gently course-correct. Just remember to note your appreciation before sharing advice!

4. What about breakfast? 

This article has been mainly dinner-focused, and that’s not even the most important meal of the day! Luckily, this one’s simple. If you and your partner tend to share breakfasts and lunches together, the rules above still apply. If you’re on your own schedules, just remember to clean up right after cooking. Though a plate in the sink may not seem like a big deal, the late luncher’s annoyance may pile up! 

Let us know on social media how you share the kitchen! And if you’re excited to get cooking but not sure where to start, browse the many recipes and serving suggestions we have right here at Alexian Pâté. Bon appétit!