Celeb Chef Gets Sober, Strikes Chord

Star chef Sean Brock's battle isn't rare in the hospitality world
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2017 8:03 AM CDT
Celeb Chef Gets Sober, Strikes Chord
Sean Brock, left, from Husk, poses on the red carpet before the 2016 James Beard Awards on May 2, 2016, in Chicago, Ill.   (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

Celebrity chef Sean Brock’s post-work partying benders were so notorious that colleagues began using his surname as slang—to "get Brocked"—for boozing it up after a long shift. But industry stars are applauding the chef’s open dialogue about addiction following a candid New York Times profile on his life after rehab. Hours after an intervention in January, the chef, as famous for his bourbon collection as his haute Southern culinary stylings at his Husk eateries in Nashville and Charleston, SC, was on a plane to Arizona. He spent six weeks in rehab at the Meadows, known for treating the likes of Tiger Woods and Michael Phelps. In therapy he began to unwind the complicated tangle that the autoimmune disease affecting his sight wrought on his life and delve into past traumas that left him emotionally suspended.

“The only emotion I knew was anger,” he told the Times. “I was miserable and angry at the world.” Brock was diagnosed with PTSD, and has since exchanged his stash of high-end bourbon worth thousands for meditation, continued therapy, and healthy eating. Per Grub Street, luminaries in the restaurant world are applauding Brock for his openness on mental health, which he hopes will inspire people in an industry that the Health and Human Services department ranked highest in substance abuse. Food journalist and creator of the site Chefs with Issues Kat Kinsman tweeted, "It matters when Jay-Z mentions his therapist and Sean Brock talks about rehab. It chips away at the stigma, word by word." And chef Matt McCallister told D Magazine that though he doesn’t use the industry as an excuse for his own addictions, it’s a story that “definitely hits home.” (Read more celebrity chef stories.)

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