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Tips for the sobriety of 5 professional chefs in recovery



The principle of "chefs are the new rock stars" is falling apart, considering that these guys have to shake off the nightly whiskey shots to wake up in the morning and run a business. And the restaurant business is tough, with low margins, high sales and rising real estate and labor costs. What helps to explain why some of the top names in the industry now declare themselves drug and alcohol free despite the stubborn glorification of Bad Boy boss behavior. The reward for the hard, daily work of recovery? It's often a tremendous success, as is the case with the five chefs who asked MensHealth.com to describe their personal recovery stories ̵

1; and how this affected their lives and work – in their own words (the interviews were edited and compressed).

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			<span class= Getty Images Dave Kotinsky

Andrew Zimmer, host of Bizarre Foods at Andrew Zimmern and other food and travel programs, Media and culinary entrepreneurs, as well as the restaurateurs behind the upcoming Lucky Cricket Chinese restaurant in Minneapolis, are sober for 27 years.

Sobriety is not just about bottling corks to change your life, so you get a sense of I have freedom and purpose and come out of the cycles of the Sha I and trauma, which for many of us were a big part of our history when we used them, it takes work, all that I have is my own story and my own Experience: I did it through a treatment, followed by a 12-step group, and 27 years later, I'm still regular, still doing all the work in this 12-step group, by mi r is expected and I work very hard.

If I were not sober, I would have done nothing of the things for which I am known. I would definitely be dead I had a very, very deep bottom. I was an alcoholic, a drug addict, a homeless, abandoned building-squatting thief in the last year I've used. I was 100 percent and completely a taker of things and a user of humans.

My business and everything I do is based on the principles of my recovery. If these principles have worked miracles in my life, taking me from junkyard to outpatient life and having a chance at happiness, why should not I use them at work?

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Many people look at Bizarre Foods and think, "Oh, it's a show about a fat white guy who goes around the world and eats beetles." That's true. If you can use the show for entertainment and just relax after a working day, it's fantastic. But the reason I developed the show, and the reason I believe it had a lot more endurance, is that I wanted to create an instrument that taught people patience, tolerance and understanding. I wanted to talk about things that unite us as human beings. I did not learn these ideas in the Civics course. I learned her the first year, when I became sober.

The reason why I can be successful and the reason why I can have a smile on my face and most of the time being a caring, kind, compassionate person for things I never thought I would in a million years, but I do it because they make me a better person. If you are a better person, you become a better member of your community, a better father, friend, colleague.

This is a powerful statement about the resurrection of a lost man. And I was lost. Prisons, institutions and death are how we rise [addicts]. So, if we can help people and restore them, restore families, communities, and businesses, and I think my time in the world can not be better used than to be helpful.

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			<span class= Stuart Mullenberg

Gabriel Rucker just celebrated his 5th birthday of sobriety, creating the Portland boss and restaurateur behind Le Pigeon, Little Bird and Canard recently posted an Instagram account, @fitchefpdx, to show how exercise and recovery drive and inspire others.

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My life is better That I was really good before, but I feel like I'm a better person in the healthy and sober area I live now, like me as a husband, father and cook

For me, my path of sobriety is through the use of AA and the 12 steps These things apply to everything in life Today, these are tools that I use when it comes to: "How do I deal with a mechanic who does not tell me what I want to hear, how I go with a fellow Jober who is several times late? How do I deal with deciding where to eat with my wife? "All these things that can lead to tension and stress. T

Here's that and then I do not smoke cigarettes anymore, I do not drink. I wake up early. I'm in the gym at 4am and work out six days a week. I take care of myself. I think about what I eat. My passions have changed, from being fucked and celebrated, to going to bed early, waking up and seeing what kind of circuit I can do.

The workload of staying sober is heavy. As if I'm only going to a meeting for a week now, but I speak with my sponsor every day. I always practice the 12th step, which extends. I have a sponsee that I work with. I also communicate with my wife. There are times when I like, Hey, I could really use a meeting and they will admit that. In the beginning, it was harder because I went from this really selfish habit of being an alcoholic and a drunk to another selfish habit that becomes sober. People do not think about it often. You are so, well, you have done a really good job, sober and good for you!

I do not want to be the showcase for sobriety in my industry. But I realized that I can be a good example. I could be a bad example, I could not be an example or I could be a good example, and I thought that I might as well be a good example.

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			<span class= Getty Images Bravo

Sean Brock announced his sobriety in July 2017. He recently announced his retirement from the Charleston-based restaurant group's solo adventures in his adopted hometown Nashville

The gift I have is the ability to show there's a better way I'm just studying [the founder of the school of individual psychology] Alfred Adler, his theory is that it's about courage, and if you're unhappy, it's your fault, you can change something every day.

I think one of the biggest lessons that I've learned is that every day is a clean slate. It does not matter what you did yesterday. It's what g Erade happens and the fact that you are in control of your luck. It takes courage because you risk so much. A place of fear kept me sick for a long time. The moment I realized that I could change my behavior, my perspective and every day with me, the sky opened to me.

There is a lot of humility. I literally make an estimate of the day at the end of the night and try to inventory what I could have done better and what I did well.

One thing I did really helped me: I see a therapist, a consultant specializing in a therapy called Somatic Experience. It is a way to repair unresolved trauma nerves. I was able to treat in an environment when I was in a dream state and was experiencing every restaurant opening I've ever made. I described them and deliberately triggered these neuropathies and drove my nervous system crazy.

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[Before I became sober] I never went to therapy. I was too scared, man. I did not want to go in there and started working around. I did not want to admit my weaknesses. I did not want to start shedding the layers because I knew how hard I had spent all my life trying to hide them.

I open a pretty restaurant in Nashville, where one of the major focuses will be creating a safe place for people's work. There will be a soundproof Mindfulness Room where I hope to share all my daily exercises with a team that says how to stay focused and happy. There will be a classroom. It will be the restaurant where I will retire and work for the next 40 years. I want it to be a place I'm sure.

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			<span class= Getty Images Bravo

Gregory Gourdet, who soberly celebrates 10 years next year, has departure restaurants in Portland, OR, where he lives and in Denver, CO, and starred at Top Chef .

Another part of the story is how people's sobriety changes over the years If you're sober or sober, you're changing so many things in your life: your way of eating, your activities, the time you spend in addition to drinking with other activities, usually about training or doing something for your health – aggressive over all this in the first years of sobriety I ran my first marathon each year in sobriety, I did some ultramillers, but as you get older, you do not feel well about Briety – it's more of a normal part of you, you're not trying so hard to avoid something and it to fill with something else. Well, the restaurants have done pretty well, so I work all the time. I have the feeling that I still have alcoholic and addictive tendencies. Instead of replacing them with hardcore running and dieting, they are now filled with more work. But I'm no less sober than a few years ago.

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Health was a big factor. If you drink and drink all the time, you do not care how physically healthy you are. I think my career was the most important thing I wanted to keep: being a better cook, a better leader in my community, a better teacher for the cooks we work with. I am definitely a workaholic. I could do much less, but I still like to have challenges and I still wish for success, in whatever form. Lately, I've been trying to talk a lot about mental health in the cooking community. I think we are all in a difficult career – restaurants are hard to operate. As cooks, we are in a place where we work around the clock to make everything work. Often we put our mental health aside so the restaurant can run so our chefs get what they need.

My definition of health has changed. I definitely run and train a lot less, but over the last five years I have found so much more interest in my sobriety, from sustainability to food policy. I have a voice in my community and in my country, and many of the political issues are indeed nutrition issues. This was a great platform for me to express myself and learn and feel as if I was doing something about our country and our community.

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			<span class= Getty Images Noam Galai

Michael Solomonov co-founded Cooksolo in Philadelphia with his partner Steve Cook 10 years ago and recovered from cracker addiction and Alcohol abuse after opening the modern Israeli restaurant Zahav, which now includes some fast-paced concepts, including the popular donut and roast chicken chain Federal Donuts.

I try to meditate in the morning – it can be in bed or me wrap up teffilin, which is a jewish tradition, and i train, i go to the boxing gym or run or run in the summer I like surfing, that's a nice way to focus on the gift, every morning I try to find myself again the idea of ​​unity, and I know that sounds very cheesy, but it's trying to ignore unimportant things, and disciplined gratitude, that's the big thing, and then we'll talk about it It's not just that I have something to do with drugs or alcohol, but that I really want to be confident when it comes to what I feel.

This can be at work – not trying to argue with my team around the bush with which I am not satisfied. Resentments are not good at all. Resentments lead to relapse. I try to go to a 12-step meeting once or twice a week. I see a therapist every two weeks. I embrace myself with people whom I really love and whom I trust, with whom I can be honest. This is very helpful.

I can not say anything about it [pre-sobriety]. Everyone uses these terms like functioning alcoholics or drug addicts. That works until it does not work. But now it is much better. Our policies in the restaurants are also better. It's not that people who work here are not shit at all, but there are no shift drinks; The culture of getting to work is not something we accept.

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When I got clean, I did not think I could cook without wanting to get high. Everything is difficult and it has become much easier. I just celebrated 10 years. It's a really big fucking deal. I've been through really hard times, sober and clean, but the only guarantee is that it will only get worse when I leave. I'm not obsessed with getting high or drinking, but when I start to resent or lie, or consider my ego or my uncertainties in my choices, that's not good.

At some point your guard will be down and then maybe it'll start with a drink, but as long as I do not have that first drink, it does not matter. That's the only control you really have. The first drink Then we start the races. I have no control I'm powerless It never went out like a beer and then go to bed. It has never been this way: "You know, I'll pack a bag of crack at 9:00. and then I'll smoke it and go home and go to sleep. "It starts at one and then, seven hours later, the sun rises and you're like," Oh my god, I'm in Camden, New Jersey now with two strangers in my car – what happens to me ?! "

[Now that there’s a community of chefs in recovery] It feels amazing. There is a place we can go to now, a place where we can talk. All of these ideas – as if you could never be in the hospitality industry and sober, or you could never own a restaurant and not drink – we all went through. We are trying to do something good for the world, for our community and our industry, and this is a very important part of any recovery program, to try to give something back and help someone else get through. There are people in our industry who are very successful and talk about weaknesses and things that we as culture have long swept under the carpet. There was no place to talk about this stuff before. And now it is here.


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