Fine Dining Lovers' investigation into kitchen culture in 2019 discovered that 70% of respondents agreed that working in a kitchen affected their mental wellbeing. Some 74% said they needed more time off, and one of the standout figures of the survey showed that 60% of chefs agreed they had used painkillers to push through a shift.
Chefs are no strangers to pushing their physical and mental limits. But times are slowly changing. Kitchen culture - from the long and anti-social hours and intense working environment, to workplace dynamics and hierarchy - has become a more open conversation in the industry in recent years. And this has become propelled even more so by months of industry and job uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic.
For those seeking a little more self-care this year, there are a number of resources available for chefs and industry professionals, for both mental and physical well-being.
Here are just some of the free or low-cost resources available online:
Mental Health and Well-Being
Chefs with Issues
If you want to connect with like-minded industry professionals check out Chefs with Issues, a website that offers mental health resources and community for hospitality workers. It was started a few years ago by New York writer and food editor Kat Kinsman, who has also written a book: Hi, Anxiety: Life With a Bad Case of Nerves.
There's also a closed Facebook community of a few thousand members offering a safe place to talk through issues with like-minded people and find common ground. facebook.com/groups/chefswithissues