Robert Irvine Says 'Every Day' with Wife of 11 Years Gail Is 'Special' Because He Travels '345 Days a Year'

"We're very unusual as a couple because we don't spend every day together," he tells PEOPLE in this week's issue while promoting Pure Life's Family Summer Challenge

 D Dipasupil/FilmMagic
D Dipasupil/FilmMagic

Robert Irvine is the first to admit he has an "unusual" relationship.

The celebrity chef, 57, spoke with PEOPLE about his 11-year marriage to wife Gail Kim, 46, while promoting Pure Life's Family Summer Challenge, an initiative which encourages families to get outside and try new activities for prizes.

Irvine, who met the retired pro wrestler on Dinner: Impossible, says his work schedule keeps him on the road most of the time.

"I travel 345 days a year," he tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. While a large chunk of that time is spent transforming struggling restaurants on Restaurant: Impossible, 150 days are devoted to helping the military through his nonprofit, the Robert Irvine Foundation.

Irvine and Kim stay connected over FaceTime when they can — but the nature of being in "potentially hazardous situations" aiding service members means they can go long stretches without talking.

"I think it's really important, the communication," he says of their busy schedules. "The communication we give and the clear directions that we have is carried through our marriage. If we don't communicate, it breaks down like a business would. We over-communicate. And she's the better communicator, believe me or not."

A testament to their healthy habits? Irvine says they argue "very little."

"We're very blessed," he adds. "We both have great jobs, great marriage."

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When they reunite at home in Florida, they reconnect by relaxing on the couch.

"We watch TV and we snuggle and we talk about her day, her week, her month," he says. "We're very unusual as a couple because we don't spend every day together. So every day we spend together is special."

The chef credits Kim for making their loving relationship work.

"I couldn't do what I do with such a heavy travel schedule without her blessing. Otherwise, I'd never be married, it would never work," he says. "We are like soul mates. I mean, I couldn't tell you any other female that could put up with my life and my schedule, or any other male that could put up with her schedule."

But Irvine, who planned their "most amazing fairytale wedding" in 2012, says he's the "romantic" of the two.

"It is kind of serendipitous how we met on TV and how we've adapted over the years to each other as individuals," he says. "I'm very blessed — probably the most blessed guy on the planet."

For the Pure Life Family Summer Challenge, which runs from May to August, Irvine is encouraging his fans to bond with their own loved ones and use the hashtag #PureLifeSummerChallenge to document the fun. (Visit @PureLifeUS on social media for more info.)

"We want to get families away from phones and TVs and [start] doing things outdoors," he says, "whether that's riding a bike, playing golf or barbecuing."

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