The chef lifestyle is often associated with super-long hours, incredibly hard work—and lots of drugs and partying. Just read Kitchen Confidential, or Blood, Bones and Butter, or many of the gazillion chef memoirs out there. But no one who doesn't actually work in a restaurant can fully comprehend the unrelenting day-to-day stress and realities of the industry.
Sometimes it can be all too much to take, and the crushing pressure chefs face daily often leads to or exacerbates anxiety, depression, and all kinds of other mental health issues. Although it shouldn't be a stigma to ask for help, chefs often hesitate to talk about their struggles in public. Now, San Francisco chef, restaurateur and Top Chef Masters champ Chris Cosentino has come forward to share his battles with mental health in the kitchen as part of Elevated, a video series on Chefs Feed in which chefs reveal the challenges they've faced and overcomed.
As Cosentino points out, physical kitchen injuries are plentiful and visible in the back of the house—you just "super-glue it and move on." But psychological and emotional struggles aren't always quite as easy to detect as those burns and cuts. They tend to be hidden, and it takes courage to air them out loud. In this ground-breaking video, Cosentino bravely talks about the time when he was "spiraling out of control"—and what he has to say will surprise you.
To hear more about how chefs cope with mental health issues in the kitchen, check out this new blog.
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