Sober Chefs Lead By Example

Sober Chefs Lead By Example

We’ve always been a fan of the Men’s Health magazine and not just because we run a sober living home for men. Its purpose is to inspire guys of all ages to live a better lifestyle, with an emphasis on weight loss, fitness and clean living. The mag also has regular features on recovery and inspiring male figures who have beaten their demons. This month the focus was put on five celebrity chefs, all of whom have successfully conquered their addictions.


You may know icons like Andrew Zimmern, Sean Brock, Gabriel Rucker, Michael Solomonov and Gregory Gourdet from The Food Channel, preparing amazing dishes for millions of viewers. But beyond that they are very active recovery advocates, donating their time and talents to a number of charities that support sobriety. Zimmern is probably the most famous of the bunch and has always been outspoken about his struggles with drugs and alcohol.


For the Men’s Health piece, Zimmern took some time to offer a few sobriety tips in the hopes that readers can learn from his example. He has been clean now for over 27 years, after an extremely rough patch that nearly cost him his life. Zimmern strongly emphasized that his recovery journey is what led to his tremendous professional success.


“If I wasn’t sober I couldn’t have done any of the things I’m known for,” Zimmern told the mag. “I’d definitely be dead. I had a very, very low bottom. I was an alcoholic, a drug addict, a homeless, abandoned-building-squatting thief the last year that I was using. I was 100 percent and completely a taker of things and a user of people.”


After hitting rock bottom, Zimmern said that he found hope through a 12-step program and still regularly attends meetings.


Solomonov, who gained notoriety for founding the famous chain Federal Donuts, suffered from a crack cocaine addiction during his 20’s. He credits a proper recovery program for his sobriety and shared his weekly routine for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


“I try to meditate in the morning. And I work out. I go to the boxing gym or I go for a run,” Solomonov explained. “I also try to go to a recovery meeting once or twice a week. I’ll see a therapist once every other week. I surround myself with people that I genuinely love and I trust, that I can be honest with.”


Each chef discussed their own unique method for staying clean and how these dramatic life changes contributed to their success. It’s an article that’s definitely worth reading and its fundamentals can be applied to addiction survivors within any profession.


Valley Recovery Blog