When Mike Williams mentioned the other day that he was looking for chef, I — quite reasonably, I think — asked him why. He shrugged, said something about wanting to cook a meal for his wife, told me to let him know if I heard from anyone, and that was more or less that. I tweeted about it (thanks, @APStylebook!), got a few responses … and realized that I had no idea if Williams was serious or not — and, if he was serious, what exactly he was looking for.
“Okay, I’m gonna take this a roundabout way and then bring it in,” he told me. “This has NOTHING to do with my wife’s cooking. She said, ‘Oh, they’re gonna think I’m a bad cook.’ I said, ‘Oh, yeah, I didn’t think of that.’ No. Nothing to do with that at ALL.”
With that out of the way, he continued.
“The reason why I’m doing it is, basically, to help my wife,” he said, “and to give her different meal plans, different ideas, stuff like that. It’s basically an opportunity, because for linemen in the NFL, it’s very important that if your wife or significant other is cooking for you when you come home … you can’t cook the same meal every night, because if he gets tired of it, he may stray off and maybe get a burger or a pizza just to appease his appetite.
“So this would just give different options and the ability that we could put different meal plans together. We’re just trying to find a good cook that can give us those kind of options. Also, there are times — like after games on Sundays — where the wife might not want to cook.”
So are you talking about an on-call position, or …?
“We can plan it or have it on-call. It depends on what works best for whoever’s cooking. Maybe we pick days, maybe we do on-call. Who knows? I’m just trying to get a feel of what the choices are. We’re really in the early stages.”
If you get responses, any thoughts on how you’re going to choose people?
“Maybe we can have a white tablecloth, a big table, and all the cooks can–” he stops and laughs, the ridiculousness of all of this hitting him. “We can have a Big Mike Taste Test Competition or something. And it has to be all healthy, of course. That should definitely give a good opportunity to see what kind of ideas a person would put together.”
Any specific things you like, dislike, anything like that?
“I’m allergic to all shellfish — can’t do any shrimp, lobster, or crab. So really, it’d be chicken, fish … I always talk about that bison meat, so if we want to go to a red meat section, you’ve got that bison meat, you’ve got ostrich. I do like a little roughage — the only thing I really ate was broccoli. I never used to really like it, but I’ve gotten used to it.
“My wife does barbecued chicken, stuff like that, and she does those meals very well. No, what we’re trying to do is branch it out. I’d like to try a stew with one of those lean meats — bison, carrots, maybe a little bit of potatoes or green beans. Something very healthy to mix it up, because I don’t do stew or nothing like that. I’m usually a salads-fish-chicken guy.
“Basically, I just want to try this thing out, see what people can do.”
Okay. And how’s everything else going, with the workouts and the quad strain and all of that?
“Everything’s good. Everything’s good. I’m heading to Arizona Friday [to work out there], and everything’s good.”
I told him I was going to let him go without asking his weight this time, and he told me that there would be an official post-departure weigh-in today. A few minutes ago, he stopped me in the hall and told me to guess what he had come in at. He looks notably trimmer than when he was first signed and I described him as looking “absolutely enormous”, but I still guessed wrong three times.
Before he left, he made sure to emphasize one point: “Since the wives thought I was dogging them, saying they don’t cook for us — I want to be sure to be clear: Emma [Dockery] and my wife ARE good cooks.” And with that, he turned and left for Arizona, a trim 365 pounds.
(If you’re a cook who’s interested in exploring this opportunity, email me and I’ll pass it along.)
Tags: Mike Williams, MikeWilliams
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