While cooking and creating dishes can be a fulfilling passion for most chefs, it can also be a stressful and high pressure industry. Many culinary chefs, especially students in training and chefs in high end restaurants, end up turning to substance abuse as a way to cope with the pressure that they experience in the kitchen. In an environment surrounded by plenty of alcohol as well as mental and emotional tension, it is not surprising that chefs end up self-medicating on the job.
The food industry has been known to have a party reputation as staff members often share shots and drinks after hours and even sometimes on the clock. Hospitality industry workers actually make up a significant portion of the people receiving addiction treatment in rehab programs. Staying sober or even drinking moderately can be especially challenging in a restaurant environment and chefs are often hit the hardest by addiction.
Chefs and other restaurant employees are working in a place where drinking on the job is normal and often encouraged. They may come into contact with so many people who have addiction issues that they often lose their sense of what typical behavior is. Other drugs are also an issue in the restaurant industry as chefs and staff members may use cocaine or other stimulants to help them get through a long shift.
Although the restaurant industry is associated with a certain lifestyle it is possible for chefs in recovery to find others who are in a similar situation. Having other restaurant employees around who don’t drink or use drugs can be beneficial for those who are trying to commit to being sober. It can be challenging for chefs to cope with stress and temptation in a restaurant environment but with enough support they can make healthier choices.