I've seen sex addiction up close in many of its gross manifestations.
A classic pairing. With cocaine. And alcohol.
It's devastating. It levels. With collateral damage.
I heard this from a cook who was present.
A chef in one of Toronto's finest restaurants kicked the pastry chefs out of their area during dessert service on a busy weekend night to fuck a customer.
Sense of urgency.
Maybe this was hot for one or two people.
I bet the air was feral. Wonder if the female chefs in the kitchen felt nervous. I've known that.
Imagine the pastry chefs returning to the space after — the smell of sex hanging in the air.
The cooks exchanging glances when the executive chef comes back on line. Straightening his apron.
The unspoken messages. Being transmitted. By the "leader."
The problem with turning a restaurant into your nightclub is people work there. They don't get a say.
Celebrity chef culture complicates it.
Blind public adoration and ego-stroking. Leads the weak astray.
Imagine working for a beloved male chef.
Watching a trail of young women. At every event. Some unaware of the power dynamic.
Sex addiction is bleak up close. There's the palpable fear of having to grow up and grow old. The boyish good looks receding.
Imagine the emptiness of waking. Still lonely.
The women who see the wound. The hatred for their kind.
Infidelity in restaurants. The serial adulterer. The sex addict family man.
You can't imagine how many restaurants come to mind.
One of the problems with working all the time is staff turn up in a bed. Kept nearby.
Because chefs and owners never get out. Like humans.
The world beyond the kitchen door — where they're not the big shot. The great unknown.
Those relationships seldom work out. Someone else comes along.
The staff talking in whispers. Calling it out is complicated when it's the boss.
Blurred boundaries become part of a restaurant's DNA.
Addicts and codependents gravitate to your establishment. Like attracts like.
Good humans take a pass. They get out.
A young man once told me he'd exchange sex for a passing grade.
All those years, I worked to grow my French knowledge. To work at the top.
My hard-earned credentials. Between us. Inconsequential.
There for the taking.
Women practice the same desperate grasping. I've listened to them brag about the number of conquests.
I can't label anyone an addict. But compulsive behaviour is a hallmark.
We've talked a lot about substance abuse in restaurants. While stepping over an elephant.
Sex addiction doesn't care about who you get it on with, how many cookbooks you've sold, the lists you top, what New York journalist you text with, who your publicist is.
That's why you want a mix of humans in your restaurants. Lots of eyes to spot dangers. To recognize a predator who made it past an interview. Or who owns the business.
You want a professional environment with cooks who know about consent and labour laws.
So no one acts out sexual impulses with impunity. Behaves like everything around is their possession.
I draw conclusions when I see an all-male kitchen crew. The same goes for restaurant groups with a token woman.
I can see your commitment to a healthy culture.
Diversity is hard. Often because of your reputation.
I've been around.