For me a restaurant kitchen is full of life and fun. When I walk into a kitchen I see smiles, passion, and some of the most creative and kind people I have ever known. That light that I tend to see when I walk into the kitchen is not always there for those working in the kitchen. The restaurant industry is not an easy one. Chefs work long hours, addiction runs rampant, greedy, jealous, and parasitic people flock to the brightness of those behind the counter, the pay is never what it should be, and the hard work never stops no matter how big you get. The life of a Chef is not easy and anyone who says different has never worked in a restaurant.
Last night that darkness claimed the lived of a chef that we know, a chef that our pastry chef worked under for many years, a chef who even held a dinner at Trentina before it opened. When the Chef found out about Hamaro Cantu's suicide, his face turned solemn and he muttered under his breath "that could have been me."
Tears welled up in my eyes. I knew what he meant. Even though we have been silently struggling over these past 3 years, never in my life would I have imagined the Chef even thinking about crossing over to that dark side. In my eyes he is so strong. Able to weather through any storm. Able to take pain beyond any pain you could possibly imagine. Able to live with the betrayal. Not like me at all. I have always been the weak one. The broken one. Not him.
I pray Chef Cantu's wife and family can find solace somewhere in this tragedy.