Tomato Golf and Ultimate Fighting: How Chefs Unwind After Service

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Curtis Stone finds UFC relaxing.

We all have our ways of recovering after a long day of work. Cracking open a cold beer, scrolling mindlessly through Instagram, coloring.

Chefs have their routines too. Here's how they relax after service:

Fight Night

“On Saturdays, the whole team sticks around for a beer, and we'll talk about our week. But during the week, I'll go home and I watch UFC for an hour. It does take a minute to unwind, so TV, a beer and maybe a late-night taco are part of my post-service routine.” —Curtis Stone (Gwen, Los Angeles)

Margarita and Mingling

“If I am in the mood for a drink, I’ll keep it light and refreshing. This summer has been really hot, which means our kitchen has been really hot and I’m going for a good margarita. Then, I’m usually socializing with guests and friends after a grueling service or finishing up all my ordering and paperwork for the next day before we start all over again.” —Ryan Bartlow (Quality Eats, New York City)

Extreme Tomato Sports

“In the little golf I’ve played, I know a great swing, when you can’t feel the contact between the ball and the club, and it’s a great stress reliever. Tomato golf is that and then some. At the end of a long service, we go outside with a basket of rotten tomatoes and loose gaskets or mower bones from the lawnmower repair shop nearby for makeshift golf tees. Everyone gets a swing—some with good form, others not so much, but tomato golf is forgiving and success is measured only in splatter distance.” —Aaron Vandemark (Panciuto, Hillsborough, North Carolina)

XOXO

"Nothing brings me more joy than coming home, knowing both of my young daughters are asleep in their beds and sneaking in for a goodnight kiss.” ­—William Bradley (Addison, San Diego)

Turmeric Time

"This summer, I've revolutionized my health, and it’s been a journey. In the past, a post-service ritual for me used to be a plate of meat, a piece of cake and a little Fernet Branca, but my new tradition is turmeric water. The properties in turmeric support cognitive function and mood, among other benefits. It sure beats a cocktail." —Matt Jennings (Townsman, Boston)

Hitting the Road

"It may not sound like much, but my favorite after-service tradition is the drive home from the restaurant. Whether I'm driving with the windows up and no music because I just need the peace and quiet, or I have all the windows down and the music up in nice weather, it's a nice way to reflect on the day, think about what needs to be done for tomorrow and enjoy a few minutes to myself." —Jenn Louis (Lincoln, Portland, Oregon)

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