We’re all reeling from the loss of such a singular human in the industry, and a friend to many of us. Please text Crisis Text Line at #741741 or call 1-800-273-TALK if you want to talk to someone, and use the resources on this page.
If you need solidarity and conversation without judgment, please join the Chefs With Issues group on Facebook.
Fine humans of the NYC area, I’ve been working on this with some folks and it would be an honor to have you join us on 5/15. We’ll have some experts on hand with the skills to help you help yourself and your coworkers make a better mental health environment.
“The industry can be challenging. We can support chefs, bartenders, servers to fuel the flame and do what they love. Our passion for food shouldn’t come at a cost. Join Kat Kinsman and an industry panel of experts to discuss Creating a Sustainable Environment and Managing Crisis. This event is limited to 40 attendees so please RSVP to email@example.com if you and a guest are interested in attending.”
Depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders and more. They run rampant in the food community, and they’re so rarely discussed, let alone treated. Let’s talk about it.
This is a bit of an experiment after the message boards on chefswithissues.com got spammed and hacked. Great conversations were happening, but it was impossible to moderate. So I’m giving this a shot and trust that people are here because they want to talk openly and honestly, seek help, and help others.
Talk amongst yourselves in the Facebook group, restaurant folks. It’s a closed group and I’m going to try my best to only admit people from the industry. What happens here stays here. If you’re a journalist sticking your head in, hi there. I respectfully ask that you refrain from reporting on any conversations you see happening.
That’s it, really. Connect, chat, be cool to one another. If anyone wants to help moderate requests, just send me a note. Chefs With Issues on Facebook
UPDATE: For folks who have asked, yes, Chefs With Issues is still very active and ongoing. Most of the work is done person to person, or via this very lively Facebook group.
“At the supposed peak of my career, with a James Beard nomination and a string of other awards in hand, I broke. Except this time I couldn’t keep going. My restaurant was failing; in spite of the immense press we received, we remained mostly empty, often cooking for just a handful of people each night. I had been battling a lawsuit brought by a former customer, and I had eaten myself alive with self-doubt. I possessed no coping skills. I had abandoned my friends and family. I’d completely tuned out the advice of teachers and mentors. What played out over the next few months was a cliché: The restaurant closed, I filed for bankruptcy, and I took stock of my life and saw nothing.”—Ari Taymor
Read: I’m a Chef Who Walked Away From a Dream Restaurant. Here’s Why.
[Sean Brock] he has a new mission. Forget cooking shrimp and grits, he said, using a much stronger verb. “Anybody can do that,” he said. “I have this opportunity in front of me. If I can inspire people to take better care of themselves in this industry, that will be my greatest contribution.”
It’s not just about alcohol, he said. It’s about teaching people in the restaurant business how to ask for help.
“Suffering is suffering,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you are addicted to porn on the internet or you’re codependent or you’re addicted to gambling or if you’re addicted to ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta.’ You’re suffering, and that’s what gets us into trouble.”—Kim Severson
Read: Chef Sean Brock Puts Down the Bourbon and Begins a New Quest