If you don't understand it or what it binds you to, you better spend the $200 to have a lawyer look it over. Especially if its a 12-page contract.
On the non-compete, many operators may not hire you without a non-compete, but that's no reason to sacrifice the job over it. Their main worry is that you go next door and take their recipes (or the recipes you created for them while they paid you) with you. Whether you are working for someone else or yourself, I think its perfectly reasonable for an owner to want to protect themselves from having to compete against you directly. That means, it's reasonable for them to say you can't work as a restaurant chef in a 5-mile vicinity, or for the same style of restaurant in the same part of town, or that you can't recruit from their restaurant or use their recipes at a restaurant that might be geographically close enough to be a competitor of theirs. I don't think it's okay (and in some states its not even legal) for them to have you sign an agreement saying you won't work as a chef at all.
You may also check with a knowledgeable attorney to see if non-competes are even enforceable in your area. Just because something is in an agreement doesn't make it legally binding. It has to jive with the state's own laws too.