The Friendship Paradox

The most common reaction when you tell someone that you are moving in with your friend is, “are you sure that is a good idea?” It’s a safe question. Enjoying finite amounts of time with someone does not guarantee that you will co-habit effectively. Differing opinions, annoying habits, chronic snoring, all of that stuff that you never noticed before is out on the table once you are roommates.

The same can be said of working with your friends. Not to be confused with making friends at work, that is entirely different from seeking out employment with people in your social circle. Therein lies the same danger as living with a friend: too much time together can make your friendship stale, or worse.

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Alicia and I circa 2009 when we first began working together.

I got my first job in a retail store because of a friend. We hardly ever worked together, and when we did there was little time for socializing, so that friendship was safe. It would have been safe even if we had shared an office I am sure, but that isn’t the point. My second job, the same thing happened. Alicia had been my friend for almost three years. She had recently begun working at a brand new restaurant in Steveston, about a ten minute walk from where I lived. After she was promoted from dishwasher to line cook, she brought me in for an interview, and I got the job.

This time was different than the first in many ways. Since we both worked in the kitchen we were in close quarters for many hours a day, several days a week. Of course there were moments that we wanted to wring each others’ necks but I don’t think we ever ended a shift mad at one another.

Alicia left that job shortly before I left for traveling. At that point she was very disenchanted with the life of a cook. Whereas I was heading out to work in the industry in an entirely new country, something that would take my interest in cooking from “hey it’s fun” to “wow food is delicious and sexy and I love this.” I knew that our friendship would continue, but I wasn’t sure we would ever work together again.

Little did I know that not only would we work together again, but live together as well. After six months of suffering through our long-distance relationship, my boyfriend Duncan moved to Vancouver from Scotland to be with me. We needed a place to live, Alicia’s parents had an extra room in a big house. A month or so after I moved in, Christie and I had started the Kitchen Party Cafe and scored our first contract.

To do this Christie had to leave her other cafe, selling her share back to her partner. This left Alicia there, alone. Unfortunately as soon as Christie was gone, the other partner turned on Alicia and began making her life miserable. She left the kitchen for the second time. Christie and I offered her some hours with us, but she was over it all and went on to do bartending instead.

So there we were, three chefs living in a house with one massive kitchen and four guinea pig roommates to sample our experiments. Not to mention the never-ended parade of visitors that accompany the summer months. It could have gone up in flames, our friendships could have ended. There were tense moments, angry words that were never said. That is life. We got up, got on with it, and are still going.

For seven weeks Christie and I worked seven days a week, two shifts a day. We were smiling and dancing the entire time. We never got into a serious argument. Alicia was at home, doing her own thing, but was always there if we needed her.

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Alicia and I, Fall 2015 right before we both went our separate ways and left for traveling.

The KPC went on a bit of hiatus while Christie went back to school and Alicia and I each did some traveling. It was strange to go from living and working with two of my best friends to speaking to them maybe once a week. Strange but delightful because we are the kinds of friends who could go a decade without a word between us, and yet I know that the next time we saw each other it would be as if not a day had passed.

Now, for the first time in a long time, all three of us back in Vancouver, ready and prepared to take on the Kitchen Party Cafe. Combined we have almost 40 years of experience in the culinary world. I have worked in kitchens in three countries, Christie has both her Red Seal and her Bachelor of Business, Alicia has been a cook, server, and bartender both at home and in Central America. We know how blessed we are to be friends, sisters, and partners.

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Myself, Alicia and Christie. The Kitchen Party Cooks!

Let some of the love into your home, hire us for an event in the Greater Vancouver Area today! Take the stress out of the kitchen. Dress in your best and mingle with your guests. Let us cater so you can party!

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