Chef Brother Luck has been cooking for over 25 years, starting his first BOH job when he was 14 years old. Since then he has worked behind many kitchens and appeared in various food TV shows. Today, Chef Bother Luck owns two restaurant concepts in Colorado Springs, CO where he calls home. His biggest initiative bringing mental health awareness behind his kitchens.
We got the chance to talk to Chef Brother Luck about his culinary journey, his latest memoir, and how he perceives the concept of LUCK.
CR: You released your debut book “No Luck’s Given” this past September 2022. What was your intention behind writing this memoir?
BL: My whole focus behind writing this book “No Luck’s Given” was I personally didn’t feel like I had earned the right to be on the level that I was in. There’s a lot of insecurity that many of us feel especially when we are in these circles or chef events, and you just don’t feel like you belong there. I felt like in order for somebody to really embrace me or accept me you need to get to know me. The only way to know me is from letting me tell you my story.
That’s where the intention to write this book started, I wanted [everyone] to get a better glance at who I am starting from where I began, how I got into this industry, the people that helped me there, the people that inspired me and mentored me. But, also the negative things that inspired me and made me who I am. To then becoming an entrepreneur, restaurant owner, and ending up in TV.
But, also the struggles. We have this perception of what the world views us as because of social media, but in reality thats only a glimpse of who we actually are. I wanted people to know that it’s okay to NOT BE OKAY.
CR: You’ve been in professional kitchens since you were a teen, and a big advocate for mental illness in the kitchens. How have you been successful in bringing advocacy forward in your kitchens?
BL: We talk a lot about things that weren’t talked about 20 years ago, even 10 years ago. To have the discussions with some of my younger staff now as a business owner is a trip, because I’m no longer the young chef in the kitchen. We are having discussions on things that I never would’ve talked to my chefs about when I was that age.
I have learned that as a business owner, as an independent owner I have the power to create my own culture.
One of the things that we introduced a couple of years ago was was Sober Week. We take a week where I say “look I made the decision as the owner as the chef, to not party. I am going to be so sober this week for y’all – that’s my commitment. You don’t have to do it, but I am going to host a series of activities every morning to discourage you from going out at night.”
We’ve done yoga in the restaurant, held a kickball tournament restaurant vs restauarnt, we’ve gone out and fed people that need it, a Crossfit class, etc. We do all these crazy things, and what is unique about that is not only does it get a lot of the staff talking about sobriety and healthier lifestyle choices, but it also has started to spread to other restaurants. Other restaurant have now started doing this, so we do it every year.
We want everyone to take those 7 days to just clear their minds. I think that’s the perfect example of something that we’ve implemented to focus on mental health, to build dialog, and to build discussions.
Watch the rest of the interview below:
About The Author:
Chef Brother Luck is a James Beard nominee, a fan favorite on culinary competitions shows like Top Chef, Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay and a passionate restaurant owner in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Brother most recently appeared on The Rachael Ray Show, the Today Show and was featured in Food and Wine Magazine. When he isn’t wowing taste buds and pushing culinary boundaries, you can find Brother on stage inspiring large audiences across the country. He thrives on mentorship and creating a safe place for mental health discussions and he is excited to share his personal journey through his highly reviewed memoir, “No Lucks Given: Life is hard but there is hope.”
To purchase your own copy of “No Lucks Given: Life is hard but there is hope” — Click Here