Today is a special day for our industry – Bourdain Day.
Anthony Bourdain, the chef whose writing brought to life the chaos and grime, but also the pride and beauty, of restaurants, passed away just over a year ago. Tragically, he became one of too many in our industry to die too young after a lifetime struggle with substance abuse and mental health issues. His friends, chefs Éric Ripert and José Andrés, have proposed today as Bourdain Day: the day of his birth, not of his death.
In honor of this day, we will be sharing resources to help you and your staff manage your mental health and provide ideas for how to carry on Bourdain’s legacy yourself. Please follow along with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as we reflect and celebrate. Feel free to comment with any thoughts on Bourdain, mental health, and ways to improve our industry as a whole.
1. Check on Yourself
Ask yourself how you've been feeling lately. Try taking this mental health self-check quiz. Schedule some self-care time.
2. Check on a Friend
Has anyone you know been withdrawing from social activity? Have they had unusual mood swings? Who at your restaurant seems to be “burnt out”? Try sending an extra text message to check in, and check out the #FairKitchens Mental Health Guide. In this guide, psychologist Dr. Errol Rodriguez advises how to identify and support mental health in your team.
3. Go to a restaurant you’ve never heard of, order something you’ve never eaten, and leave a nice tip.
4. Book a trip to somewhere you’ve never been. It can be on the other side of the planet or even just a town over. Tread unfamiliar ground and make connections with strangers. Learn about another culture and listen to their stories.
"Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind." - Anthony Bourdain
5. Listen to this Spotify playlist of songs Bourdain said he loved.
6. Know that there’s help out there - whether you turn to a friend, family member, or other resources.
- #FairKitchens - a program designed to improve restaurant industry culture
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- Heard, a support group specifically for Central Texas area hospitality workers with substance abuse issues.