In her more than 30 years’ experience working in restaurant kitchens, Melinda Dorn noticed that, while food trends came and went in a flash, less-desirable aspects of the business never seemed to change—even when everyone wished they would. The side effects of “More, more, more! Now, now, now!” culture, such as substance misuse, poor mental health and abuse, remain a threat to our industry workers.
That’s why Dorn, along with the passionate team of industry peers who work for Denver nonprofit Culinary Hospitality Outreach and Wellness (CHOW), strive to create a safe place for folks to come share their experience, hear new ideas and create a healthier hospitality community. CHOW hosts weekly discussion groups, restaurant-specific mental health training, social activities and supports folks seeking additional assistance by connecting them with community-based allies.