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Food for thought

‘Depression wasn’t something I believed in before it hit me,’ admits chef Andrew Clarke. ‘I’d always put it down to people in the West being miserable and not being grateful for what we’ve got. There are a lot of things that get us down; a lot of pressures.’ Clarke – who opened fire and ice-themed restaurant St Leonards in Shoreditch last June alongside Jackson Boxer – is not the first chef to reveal a struggle with his mental health. Last year, celebrated gourmand Anthony Bourdain took his own life, and in a recent worldwide survey by Unilever Food Services, a staggering 63 per cent of chefs reported that they suffered from depression.

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    Our stories

  • Rebecca Lever

    It was 2016 when I began cooking professionally, as a gradual rehabilitation back into working after a period of burn-out from my previous job, followed by a wave of deep depression. Read More

  • Tom Norrington-Davies

    As a fledgling restaurateur I found myself feeling responsible for every little thing that went wrong. Read More

  • Daniel Watkins

    My journey has been a long one and I have found writing this really tough, yet at the same time a breath of fresh air. Trying to condense 15 years of depression is no small feat but I’ve tried to keep this short. Read More

  • Jools Moore

    Mental health week was last month. For me it’s every week, every day, every hour, sometimes the minute I’m in. I live with a brain that’s outta control sometimes. I’ve trained it to be on par….mostly. Read More

  • Doug Sanham

    I had a head chef, who, after I first tried to kill myself really stepped up to help me. He was really supportive. Really drove me. But still I could not speak. I just always said I’m okay. And there are times where I still say ‘I’m okay’... Read More

  • Thomas William Greig

    Dark days can happen!! I moved back up north in 2016 for a year, with the intention of doing something for myself. I was sick of working for people who didn’t give a care about you. Read More

  • Andrew Clarke

    Andrew’s story began with a post to Instagram Little did he know at the time that his story would inspire hundreds of people feeling very similarly and lead to a news article in the Guardian and the foundation of Pilot Light. Read More

  • Lizzey Gregory

    We have to unlearn habits that were taught to us within a chaotic/traumatic upbringing! Read More

We cannot do this alone! Together, we can create a community of like-minded professionals united by a common cause: to shine a light on these issues and act as a beacon of support to those affected by them.

Contact us at info@pilotlightcampaign.co.uk to continue this conversation.