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Drug Usage and Chefs

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
Is it typical for chefs to use drugs? I'm not talking like Pot... no one including myself cares about pot... im talking hardcore drugs like coke and e and other stuff. I work with a Sous chef and he's awesome in the kitchen he even says he does things during work like oxy's and he's been to rehab for it but he's starting again... im only a lonlely prep chef/pantry rat... should i talk to my uncle (owner/ex chef) about it? I feel like a hippocrit because not only do i use (rarely but and on my own time my owner has in the past so I somewhat feel like a rat...But the difference is i'm not using during work or taking pills to get through the day... Another problem is i'm good friends with sous chef... we've hit off since I started 4 weeks ago and I think he knows i'm training to take his job in about 6 months... I just don't know if me telling my uncle will a> help further my career (what if the next guy is wicked good and i never get a chance to make it up the chain) and b> have good employee relations...
Kitchen Confidential: A must read for anyone who works in the industry! My uncle gave it to me my first night working with him and I haven't put it down since!
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Kitchen Confidential: A must read for anyone who works in the industry! My uncle gave it to me my first night working with him and I haven't put it down since!
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post #2 of 61
L
I personally am having a hard time figuring out if this post is valid. I'm pretty sure I saw something that said you walked out.
Hey, using is using.Dropping a dime on someone(even if he or she is dumb enough to put their business in the street) to advance yourself is stupid.
I have to ask, how old are you?
Actually, I'm going to bow out of this one and let someone else clue you in. Do your uncle a favor and move as far away from him as possible. Sorry, but that is just how I feel. That's coming from an owner who has employed nieces and nephews.
BTW, It's not typical for people to use drugs. The sous may very well be setting you up.
Also. A lot of employers care about pot. The fact is, it is still illegal and as an owner, if some stuoid lugnut comes in stoned and hurts him or herself, I'm liable. That's the reason I said you should get away from unc.
Hey GTG. I'm leaving this up so maybe you can see it before it gets deleted.
If your not serious, good one.:lol: and if you are, it's Sunday, go for a drive and look for a building with the word worship on it and a bunch of cars in front and check it out.

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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post #3 of 61
Hello again,
I just gave you advice about what to do after walking out on
a family restaurant. My advice is don't lend the sous any money.
Apart from that, learn everything you can from him, except, where
to buy heroine. Restaurant people are a rare breed. Some do
hardcore damage to themselves when they are young and eventually
grow out of it, perhaps after the first bypass or heart attack. If you
are looking for something legal and want a buzz, I knew a couple of
waiters that swore there was nothing like a Chardonnay Enema after
a hard night at the restaurant. Anyway it sounds like a joke or that
you are very, very, young. Good luck and Goodbye.
post #4 of 61
I would never take "hardcore drugs like coke and e and other stuff."
That is bad for you and unproductive.
But, I noticed I can fry the perfect egg (you chefs should know what I'm talking about) shooting a bit of heroin in my inner thigh.
post #5 of 61
Drug and alcohol abuse are fairly common in our industry. Most chef's lead the lives off rockstars (without the pay of course). It is a pretty well known fact in our business. Doesn't make it right, but it's there.
I'm a glorified babysitter...........Yippeeee!!!!!!!
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I'm a glorified babysitter...........Yippeeee!!!!!!!
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post #6 of 61
Not condemning or condoning drug use, but yes, it is pretty common in this business. That is not to say that all, or even the majority of chefs and cooks use or abuse drugs and alcohol, but it is pretty common at least more common than in many other industries.
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #7 of 61
No one really cares about drugs unless it affects their employee's performance. If the sous is a great worker despite his problems, what's the issue? You should tell your uncle if you know the sous is neglecting his duties - if you want to tell your uncle to further your career then you're a rat... You don't make it "up the chain" by trickery - you make it there because you're the best for the job.
post #8 of 61
Got a problem with that, heavy drugs in the kitchen.

Look at this way, you've got someone on a highly addictive, very expensive, AND illegal substance. Can't grow coke in a bedroom closet with a couple of heavy watt bulbs can you?... If the user can keep his habit under control, then there's nothing to worry about, right? Yeah, right, never met a user yet who doesn't escalate his usage. The rare one might try to give up the habit, but the majority of the users escalte their habits until the habit controls them. So then what? You need more money for the habit, thats what. Either they deal or they steal, or both. Steal from where?
Now it's my problem too, because it's in my face.

Don't hate the addicts, but I hate their habits and what their habits make them do....

Vancouver? Nah, there's no drugs here....
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #9 of 61
24 year old sous of a brewery/restaurant died last week from a Heroin OD.....
the place closed down Friday so all could go to the funeral. Sat. was farmer's market the atmosphere in the restaurant was morose.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #10 of 61
I have known my fair share of talented cooks and Chef's that succumbed to drugs and alcohol. I was almost one of them. My life is tame now compared to my early years in this business and I am grateful for it. As I said earlier, many people in the industry live like they're rockstars and have that feeling of invincibility. Unfortunately many don't realize until it is too late.
I'm a glorified babysitter...........Yippeeee!!!!!!!
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I'm a glorified babysitter...........Yippeeee!!!!!!!
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post #11 of 61
chefATL, I am right with you!!!! Sounds a lot like my "earlier" days!!!!:smoking:
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #12 of 61
I'm not saying it is good, but it is definately common. However, I don't think there is anything more frustrated than working with someone who dissapears for a half hour and comes back full of wine. In my case, nothing gets done and their work is incredibly poor. However, since it isn't a frequent thing, it is no big deal. If someone was always lit and they worked just as hard, I think the only problem is theirs and it's personal. If it starts to effect the work big time, then they are the *****.
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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post #13 of 61
At one of the restaurants I worked at in the past, I had one cook who would come in stoned out of his mind. I warned him once, next time fired him. I caught flack from some of the other cooks, but made the point of the dangers. He couldn't hold a knife strait and I am suprised he didn't loose a finger. I did my fair share, but kept it out of work. I'm clean now, but I did have those times... What memories... What was I thinking?:crazy:
"A brave man likes to feel the rain on his face." "Yeah, but a wise man knows when to get in out of the rain."
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"A brave man likes to feel the rain on his face." "Yeah, but a wise man knows when to get in out of the rain."
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post #14 of 61

You love Kitchen Confidential???

I'm freakin perplexed. You claim to love Bourdain's book, yet you act naive about drug use in kitchens??

My rational for working in kitchens for a long time was that no one does drug testing, if I was stoned, and no one knew I was stoned I won! (Testing is cheating.) I've worked for innumerable chefs that have been using one form of drugs or another (the most common being the bottle), but finally one day you have to grow up, and that point comes for everyone.

In retrospect, the benefits of drug use were many (particularly organizing prep list under the influence of speed), but the cost is too high. Burnout, fatigue, lack of concentration, and finally a loss of passion for making food. No one can learn from anyone else's mistakes, everyone must walk their own path. So I expect that cycle of error and redemption will continue as long as humanity endures.

Lastly I'd like to tell you about being a rat. You will never, ever, get to the top by waiting for others to make mistakes that you can report to a superior, and you will lose the respect and trust of everyone around you. In any walk of life, a tattle-tale is someone who doesn't have the guts (almost used the other word) to tell the person to their face that they see a problem, and that the problem needs to be addressed.

As my friend Mike Reeves says,"If your talking to me about a problem you have with someone else, you're talking to the wrong ****ing dude."

Do what makes you happy, let everyone else do the same.
If no one will follow you, you can't be the leader.
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If no one will follow you, you can't be the leader.
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post #15 of 61

Drugs??????

Its happens we work long old hours and coffee ain't always enough if you know wat i mean
:beer:
post #16 of 61
To answer your original question is to be narrow minded for the question should include everyone not just chefs. The only drugs that should ever be allowed in any workplace is prescribed drugs used as prescribed and your supervisor should be aware of the fact that an employee is under direction of a physician. Illegal drug users need help If it be pot or heroin or whatever that includes alcohol. Your relationships with fellow workers should be on a professional level that concerns the mission/direction of the establishment. Any unauthorised use of drugs should be brought to the attention of your supervisor relative or not. If you care about yourself and your working enviroment created by co=workers tou will do the right thing and help clean upo the mess/abuse. Your never a rat, You will rise above that negative way of thinking when you participate in a forward and honest direction in your work enviroment.:chef:
http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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post #17 of 61
To answer your original question is to be narrow minded for the question should include everyone not just chefs. The only drugs that should ever be allowed in any workplace is prescribed drugs used as prescribed and your supervisor should be aware of the fact that an employee is under direction of a physician. Illegal drug users need help If it be pot or heroin or whatever that includes alcohol. Your relationships with fellow workers should be on a professional level that concerns the mission/direction of the establishment. Any unauthorised use of drugs should be brought to the attention of your supervisor relative or not. If you care about yourself and your working enviroment created by co-workers tou will do the right thing and help clean upo the mess/abuse. Your never a rat, You will rise above that negative way of thinking when you participate in a forward and honest direction in your work enviroment.:chef:
http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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post #18 of 61
Mods, Delete the double post. Thank You:chef:
http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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post #19 of 61
I've noticed that most people in the culinary business have SOME kind of vice... be it smoking, drinking, some form (or combo) of drugs, etc...

When I move onto opening my place, I won't mind if somebody uses... as long as it doesn't interfere with their work and they don't do it on my time or on the grounds. What they do on their own time is just that... their own business.

If they begin to drop the ball because of it though, out they go.
post #20 of 61
Blade, I view your opinion as a time bomb, Drug use off site will affect performance in a negative way. What people do on there own time is nobody's business but there own, But it will effect there work performance sooner or later. For a human being to be at there best is to be sober and balanced in there life. A person will always fall short of there positive goals when under the influence. Ask any serious recovering addict.:chef:
http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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post #21 of 61
wait a minute. Don't most of us work in an establishment that makes most of it's money selling a legal but potent drug. One that's involved in accidents, violence and most of addictions.

But just like alcohol certain drugs can be used and abused. Namely weed, cocaine, some party drugs, occasional acid use etc. Yes they do cause damage, but so does living in a big city or engaging in sports(I had more people miss work for out of work sport injuries than anything else. Yes they can be abused, and should probably be avoided, especially by those with an addictive personality. And yes some drugs should definetly be avoided completely - narcotics, crack, soap operas.


So basically its none of my biz. I would never condone illegal activity, but I can't get into my staff life. As long as no one comes stoned or with a hangover. As long as no illegal activity is done on premise. I give my staff the benefit of the doubt that they can handle their $#!†.
If anything change, if anyone's can't perform to my needs, it's 86 time.
post #22 of 61
Kind of agree with Ma facon. Throughout the years I've seen my share of dealers hanging outside the employee entrance, seen my share of the consequences of not having enough money to buy drugs, seen otherwise intelligent people destroy their lives.
Like I said before, it's been my observation that people on the heavier stuff: coke, heroin, crack, usually go down. They never stay the same, and never, ever up. This is not a very pretty thing to see. It's the rare and strong person-with a lot of outside help-- who can beat this sitution, and go back up.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #23 of 61
fp
you're right. addiction is an illness. I only feel sympathy for someone who is addicted. It takes professional help to cure.
I also think the high rate of use in this industry is not accurate. the perception of use, leads to making it ok to come into high, and it's accepted.
Other industries just don't accept it, therefore most addicts hide it until the crash. This is only my opinion. I just don't really see that much use in the mature kitchens anymore.

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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post #24 of 61
Sure addiction is an illness that is brought upon ones self, No use = no addiction, So use becomes abuse and with abuse comes the consequence of, dying, hospitalization, being crippled physically and/or mentally and not to mention all the people one takes down on the way plus all the other negative effects that go with it. People that call recreational use acceptable are simply enabling future addicts. Even if you use once you are scarred for life [ you'll never forget it right? ] So why cloud a otherwise perfectly good mind/body in the first place? For recreation? How ridiculous. Take up a constructive hobby, Sport, etc... anything to avoid taking drugs. God bless all that need help and to all that help God Bless you.:chef:
http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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post #25 of 61
I don't know many here, but I'm going to open myself up....... I was one of those that alcohol and drugs nearly destroyed. I got my sh*t together, got help and went on to a very successful career as a chef in some of Atlanta's finest restaurants. It can be overcome, but you have to be willing to help yourself.
I'm a glorified babysitter...........Yippeeee!!!!!!!
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I'm a glorified babysitter...........Yippeeee!!!!!!!
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post #26 of 61
chefATL, Good for you, Then you know what I mean right?:chef:
http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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post #27 of 61
Ma Facon, I do agree with a number of your points, but I also disagree with with some.

Do you not drink alcohol at all? Alcohol is a recreational drug and not everyone who drinks turns into an alcoholic. Nicotine is a drug, and so is caffine. All these drugs have consequences to some degree or other. Ok, so some of the illegal drugs are more dangerous than caffine. But nicotine is one of the hardest drugs to quit. I have even heard it said that it is harder to quit than heroine. Plus look at what it does to a body. And alcohol. Look at all the misery this drug causes. The only major difference is that these drugs are legal. And why are they legal and other drugs are not? Not neccessarily because they have been found to be safer. Many drugs were made illegal because of politics. It is no coincidence that when cocaine was made illegal it was at a time when it was a favored drug of African Americans, or that when marijuana was made illegal it was a favored drug of Mexicans. And why are alcohol and nicotine still legal? Because these are big money lobbists. They use their money to keep their drugs legal, convincing the public it is their god-given right to consume these drugs, even though study after study show that they are as dangerous or even more so than many of the "illegal" drugs. I find the line drawn between legal and illegal drugs to be totally arbitrary, based more on politics than on. scientific facts.
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #28 of 61
Drugs are drugs. Put the politics and laws on the side. It is a decision one makes to use or not, It doesn't matter what kind of drug it is, Legal or not.
http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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post #29 of 61
So again, I am assuming, that since you are so vehemently opposed to drugs you do not drink.
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #30 of 61
Water, Pure cherryjuice, pure blueberry juice, Orange/pineapple etc... And I love just about all vegetable juices. I love coffee but I don't like the effects. I will have a glass of fine wine with dinner [ The view taken when I drink this wine is it is a food with my meal not alcohol for a buzz ]. :chef:
http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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