In medieval courts, kings would employ food tasters to ensure their food wouldn’t kill them. In 2015, a Swansea City midfielder is employing a live-in $100,000-a-year personal chef. After a season in which his first-team place came under pressure and his manager described him as lazy, Jonjo Shelvey would like to eat healthily and lose weight.
Holding a job in which you run around for two hours a day, get fed healthy food and have every aspect of your diet and lifestyle scrutinized by professional cooks and coaches presumably ought to be pretty useful in this respect. But Shelvey’s an English Premier League player, so he’s not going to buy a few Lean Cuisine microwave meals or try the sort of protein shakes that get advertised on minor cable television networks at 2 a.m.
The 23-year-old is going to do what prime ministers and presidents do and get his own chef, per an advert spotted by the Mirror for “our client, a top-level sports profesisonal [sic].”
“Working on a rota basis over seven days, you must also have a large repertoire within different cuisines. As Private Chef you will also need experience and knowledge of sports nutrition, healthy, high performance meals, sports nutrition and well-balanced meals to provide a varied diet. You must also have has some previous private chef experience.”
Of course, the successful applicant will also be cooking for Shelvey’s wife and daughter, so it’s presumably also a time- and effort-saving exercise for them as well.
Despite the potential long hours, 60-65,000 pounds per year is a pretty generous salary, considering that it’s not far off what a top London executive chef could expect to earn. And it’s far more than twice the average weekly wage in that part of Wales.
But Premier League players — even young ones at small clubs who aren’t big stars — are our modern-day kings. Their money and celebrity rules. So let Jonjo Shelvey eat cake. Or whatever else he fancies.