A chef whose drug addiction led him to make an attempt on his own life has urged others in the industry to reflect on whether they need help, saying the kitchen environment can “normalise” substance abuse.
Tom Pymer, 22, was working in Oxfordshire when he sought help from charity Turning Point, who he says were “phenomenal”. He had started working in kitchens full-time as an apprentice at the age of 16.
Now two years clean and working as a junior sous chef at the Magdalen Arms in Oxford, Pymer told The Caterer: “I wasn’t introduced [to drugs] through kitchens, but when I started working as a chef it was amplified. It wasn’t just cocaine, it was every single drug under the sun and I found I couldn’t say no to it all. My problem built up slowly over the first three or four years of my career. It was a normal thing to do – the kitchen normalises it.
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