This was a Chef’s life. A cook that brought all people together from all parts of the world. A guy that could relate to the everyday Chef, he was NOT a Food Network celebrity Chef. He lived the long hours on his feet, the low pay, the no benefits, and mental fatigue of the kitchen.
This is a quote that many Chef’s can relate to by Anthony Bourdain, I know I can relate to this. “I understand there’s a guy inside me who wants to lay in bed, smoke weed all day, and watch cartoons and old movies. My whole life is a series of stratagems to avoid, and outwit, that guy”.
Like myself and many other Chef’s we can relate to Anthony Bourdain. He was in the trenches side by side with us. He battled the kitchen environment, the crazy coworkers, the insanity of customers and most importantly himself.
I have battled my demons and the kitchen for forty plus years and it has taken a toll on my life. Drinking, mental health issues, prison due to drinking and driving and broken relationships including my marriage.
We Chefs are a different breed that don’t have a off switch. Addictive behaviors are our coping mechanisms, and our worst enemy. Yet the love of the food and kitchen environment keep us sucked in, we can’t imagine doing anything else, why would we?
Well for me Anthony Bourdain has helped me in many ways in my Chef’s life. But most importantly he has helped me in his death. I can be a tremendous help to fellow Chef’s and cooks in the industry struggling with mental health issues and addiction.
So thank you Anthony Bourdain for all you have given me and for opening my eyes and heart to helping others in the food industry.
So for now I say goodbye to my fellow Chef and brother Jersey Boy.