A Chef's Story of Hope through Recovery

My story of addiction goes back to age 11, growing up in Kenora, Ontario - a small community 2 hours East of Winnipeg.  After my parents divorced, I found comfort in food, hopelessly eating away my pain and sadness, until I weighed 200lbs.  My father and grandmother were both alcoholics so I started drinking alcohol before I was in my teens. 

At age 12, I smoked marijuana for the first time and started selling it to support my own habit at age 14.  This started the downward spiral for the next 14 years.  Next up was cocaine and crack, getting kicked out of high school, and by age 18, I was a full-blown addict.  Even my first culinary job as a line cook at a pizzeria was just a hideout to sell drugs.  The next 10 years consisted of everything from driving under suspension, stealing a vehicle, numerous fines and time in jail, using heroin, a couple suicide attempts, and trying to hold down jobs while keeping up my habits and selling drugs.  I was going no where and I was going there fast.

At age 26, sitting in jail, I finally started to wonder what I wanted to do with my life.  Fast forward 2 years, I ended up going to the Anchorage Addiction Recovery program at the Salvation Army's Booth Centre in Ottawa.  It was there that my recovery started on February 11, 2008 and my life really began.  

Now as CEO and Executive Chef of my own company, Freshwater Cuisine, I am in my 13th year being clean and sober.  I travel across Canada sharing my story of real life recovery and delivery a message of hope to others.