Here at Fairwinds Treatment Center, we know that some of the world's most talented people struggle with addiction, and no one is immune to the risks of substance abuse. As the founder of celebrated New York City eateries Recette and Gander, 31-year-old Jesse Schenker is one of the United States' youngest and most renowned culinary artists. He is also a recovering drug addict. Schenker is sharing his battle with heroin and crack dependency in a new memoir called All or Nothing: One Chef's Appetite for the Extreme.
"There had been a spoon in my back pocket for as long as I could remember, but the spoon's intended use had changed so completely that even I was caught off guard at times," Schenker writes in his new book. "Once I had carried a spoon to cook drugs on the streets of Florida, and now it was there to prepare haute cuisine for Manhattan's foodie elite. This was a transformation I could not have imagined taking place over a span of eight years."
Schenker says his drug abuse started while he was still a teenager growing up in Florida. He describes himself as having an obsessive personality, which he credits with leading him first to addiction but later to professional success as a star chef. Schenker also shares his struggles with extreme anxiety, panic attacks and hypochondria. We at Fairwinds know that these kinds of underlying issues often trigger or worsen addictions and, when undiagnosed and untreated, can sabotage any hope of recovery.
That's why, since founding Fairwinds Treatment Center in 1989, Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef has used his unique dual diagnosis methodology to address patients' addictions along with concurrent conditions like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and/or obsessive compulsive disorder. Dr. El-Yousef and his staff combine clinical treatment and therapeutic counseling to help patients find healing in mind and body, so that they can achieve a lasting recovery.