This is a three-part podcast: The Heat of the Kitchen: Addiction in the Hospitality Industry. The podcast was created by Marion Kane and produced by Ashley Walters.
French-born celebrity chef Marc Thuet starred in a reality TV series called Conviction Kitchen, wrote a cookbook and was at the helm of many successful restaurants. He now owns Petite Thuet bakeries in downtown Toronto. But for years, this tattooed chef with the spiky blonde hair had a secret that ruled his life – and nearly destroyed it. His drug addiction is something he says will always be waiting in the wings.
John Higgins is a Scottish chef who, despite his rapid rise to fame, has both feet firmly planted on the ground. Now, as director of George Brown College’s Chef School in Toronto, John helps prepare young students for the fine balance that’s crucial to health and success in the high-pressure hospitality industry.
In the early 1980s, British chef Michael Quinn was at the height of his game. A celebrity in his own right, Michael oversaw the kitchen at London’s Ritz Hotel and was internationally renowned. But a few years later, everything vanished. Michael’s struggle with alcoholism eventually cost him his job, his home and his family. Now sober for many years, he is dedicated to raising awareness about addiction and helping others in the hospitality industry via the organization he founded called ArkGlobal. I spoke to him by telephone.