Anthony Bourdain's death by apparent suicide on June 8 has served as a wake-up call to not only the culinary community but also to society at large. The chef, author, and TV host's sudden passing has inspired everyone from famed chef David Chang to Million Dollar Listing New York alum Luis D. Ortiz to open up about their own struggles with their mental health.
And the important thing is to keep talking about these issues in the wake of Bourdain's death, according to Bravo's Top Chef alum Brother Luck, who opened up about his own experience with depression during an interview with The Feast earlier this month. "Depression is more common than we think, so it's important to talk about it. It's important to get out there and share your emotions of how you're feeling and what's going on and really get that advice, get that friendship, get that encouragement. It's a really sad thing, but it's a common thing," Luck shared at the James Beard House in New York City while prepping for the Juneteenth Celebration on June 18. "When you see people like Homaro Cantu, you see people like Anthony Bourdain, these are real figures in our industry that we've lost because of mental health. As someone who has gone through a lot of that struggle, I definitely understand it."
Luck, who competed in Season 15 of Bravo's Top Chef, explained why those in the culinary industry seem to be particularly affected by this struggle. "Most chefs, including myself, we struggle with it. You're putting yourself out there, you're being vulnerable, you're being judged. That's a lot of pressure to handle," he said. "And being in the kitchen, it's one of those moments where you can break at any moment."
However, it's the other parts of the chef life that Bourdain brought to the masses that Luck said he will always remember. "I think Anthony Bourdain was truly the one that clicked with our generation. This is the guy that would walk into your restaurant, and you would want to buy him a beer. He gave you the guts. He gave you the raw emotion of what it was to be a chef, what it was to be a cook, what it was to work in a restaurant. He made an impact on so many of us. He taught us to not only be great cooks but also be great voices. His literature was absolutely amazing. Anyone that read his work was inspired," Luck recalled. "So I think it's just more than being a chef. You could be a voice, you could be a person of influence, and I think that's truly what it's about."
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
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