Sept. 17, 2021

Stress? What Stress? Chef Maria Campbell

Stress? What Stress? Chef Maria Campbell

Chef Life Radio

S2 – E2: Stress – What Stress? Chef Maria Campbell

Show notes

Maria Campbell is a chef and co-founder of Cooks Who Care, a Philly-based organization that supports the well-being of people working in all facets of the food & beverage industry. Driven by a desire to create change in the food industry, Maria and her husband, Chef Scott Campbell, started Cooks Who Care as a way to bring people together.

In this episode, Maria describes what keeps her going and why she’s so committed to helping her peers in the food business get ahead. You can help too. Learn what you can do to help Cooks Who Care spread its message and expand the reach of its community.

Timestamps:

0.00 - Introducing the Burnt Chef Project

01.01 - Welcome to Chef Life Radio

04:21 - Introducing chef Mary Campbell

05:28 - Chef Life Radio bumper

06:46 - Interview with Maria Campbell

10:19 - Corona madness

13:26 - You’re going down! The power of the internet

16:34 - Cooks Who Care

22:29 - Hiring industry veterans

24:03 - The new kitchen culture

31:23 - Does love play any part in our new kitchen culture?

34:30 - Takeaways from the conversation with Maria Campbell

35:54 - Chef Life Radio outro

     

Free PDF Download: The New Kitchen Culture: bit.ly/cookswhocare

https://www.cookswhocareinspire.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9wr7qH6UwyhQy2pI-Tn7Qg

ttps://www.instagram.com/cookswhocare/

Link to Member Site: www.chefliferadiocrew.com

Link to the mailing list: www.chefliferadio.com/signup

Maria Campbell, MBA is a Chef-by-trade is an

established educator and a mentor who uses her determination and positivity to

influence all who she works with. Through her role as a Partner and

Productivity Specialist with One Degree Coaching, she provides guided

leadership mastery to businesses of all types, helping them to reach their full

potentials and achieve success. As the Founder and Executive Director of Cooks

Who Care - a collective formed to serve as the Well-Being Concierge for the

Food Industry - she drives much-needed change in the industry she loves,

encouraging others to support the health of underpaid and underserved workers

who run our country's kitchens and serve our meals.

 

 

 

Transcript

Adam Lamb:

Hi, this is Adam hosted chef life radio.

 

Adam Lamb:

Before we get to the show, I wanted to share some important information with you.

 

Adam Lamb:

According to the burn chef project, 84% of professionals in the culinary field

 

Adam Lamb:

report that they have suffered some type of emotional struggle during their career.

 

Adam Lamb:

46% said they didn't feel comfortable speaking to their colleagues,

 

Adam Lamb:

employers, or family about it.

 

Adam Lamb:

If you're currently dealing with some type of mental or emotional

 

Adam Lamb:

challenge, don't suffer in silence.

 

Adam Lamb:

One minute longer.

 

Adam Lamb:

Use this free service 24.

 

Adam Lamb:

In the U S and Canada by texting the word home, H O M E to 7 41 7 4

 

Adam Lamb:

1 or in the UK text the word burnt.

 

Adam Lamb:

Chef B U R N T C H E F to 8 5 2 5 8.

 

Adam Lamb:

And a volunteer will call you back within five minutes with a list of

 

Adam Lamb:

resources that you can use to get help.

 

Adam Lamb:

It's okay.

 

Adam Lamb:

To not be okay.

 

Adam Lamb:

Hey chef, how effectively are you handling the stress of your new working reality?

 

Adam Lamb:

To say that those of us in the craft are experiencing massive change

 

Adam Lamb:

right now would be an understatement.

 

Adam Lamb:

Now don't kick my ass for being captain obvious for a minute, but I think that

 

Adam Lamb:

we can all agree that it doesn't matter whether you're fully employed right

 

Adam Lamb:

now, waiting for a break in the action to rejoin the team or are engaged in

 

Adam Lamb:

re-imagining what you want in your life.

 

Adam Lamb:

Moving.

 

Adam Lamb:

We're all stressed in a way that feels almost overwhelming, whether you're

 

Adam Lamb:

stressing about how you'll cover the line today, or will your vendor show up

 

Adam Lamb:

at all, or how much education you need for that new position, whether you'll be

 

Adam Lamb:

able to afford to keep a roof over your head and food in the fridge this month,

 

Adam Lamb:

or how are you going to make it through the shift with the resources you have?

 

Adam Lamb:

The communal stress is impacting us in ways we're only beginning to understand.

 

Adam Lamb:

Yeah, it's a product of our mind.

 

Adam Lamb:

But our mind can't tell the difference between something that's actually

 

Adam Lamb:

happening right now, or something imagined that may or may not happen.

 

Adam Lamb:

It's then that the brain starts to react in very old ways, producing a powerful

 

Adam Lamb:

cocktail of neurotransmitters, hormones, and proteins, and to stimulate the body.

 

Adam Lamb:

It selectively turns on or turns off genes in order to deal with

 

Adam Lamb:

what it perceives as a crisis.

 

Adam Lamb:

And then guess what we really are fucked mentally, emotionally, and chemical.

 

Adam Lamb:

Now our bodies can handle it for a few minutes, maybe an hour.

 

Adam Lamb:

But what happens if it goes on much longer than that?

 

Adam Lamb:

Don't think this is true.

 

Adam Lamb:

If you're driving right now, ignore this exercise, please.

 

Adam Lamb:

But if you're walking or sitting, pause for a moment and close your eyes,

 

Adam Lamb:

imagine that you're setting up your station and everything is almost set.

 

Adam Lamb:

Everything's going along smooth and groovy.

 

Adam Lamb:

Plenty of MES and plus all in its place.

 

Adam Lamb:

And then you notice that you're missing something.

 

Adam Lamb:

Fuck you think to yourself, you pivot off your station, head down the line.

 

Adam Lamb:

When over your shoulder, you hear

 

Adam Lamb:

What happened to your heart rate?

 

Adam Lamb:

Did your face flush a little, maybe get a little burn around the cheeks

 

Adam Lamb:

or ears as you realize that you just got caught with your apron down, how

 

Adam Lamb:

would you feel if that burn lasted the full shift a week, maybe months?

 

Adam Lamb:

What if it got under your skin to the point where you felt like it

 

Adam Lamb:

was a never ending part of you, what would you do to mitigate the pain?

 

Adam Lamb:

Who could you ask?

 

Adam Lamb:

Could you even bring yourself to tell someone that you were in over your.

 

Adam Lamb:

During the COVID doc down, I managed a team of about a hundred dining associates,

 

Adam Lamb:

and I spent most of that time getting together in small groups with the crew

 

Adam Lamb:

about what was going on, how we could handle it, the challenges that we are

 

Adam Lamb:

going through, how to interact with each other, it was a lot to handle.

 

Adam Lamb:

And I thought I was doing good, but what I didn't account for was the

 

Adam Lamb:

emotional toll it was taking on me.

 

Adam Lamb:

It wasn't till I was almost.

 

Adam Lamb:

But I realized that I needed to get out of the situation if only for several days, so

 

Adam Lamb:

I could get my head and my heart together.

 

Adam Lamb:

So I could be more present for my team.

 

Adam Lamb:

I found out the hard way that it was impossible to give from an empty.

 

Adam Lamb:

And it's tough because we also, we don't know how to ask for help either.

 

Adam Lamb:

So like when we are lonely and we're in those moments, like, you

 

Adam Lamb:

know, I even struggle with that.

 

Adam Lamb:

I'm like, Hey, I've been working a lot.

 

Adam Lamb:

I reached out to a couple people I knew and being like, all I'm doing is

 

Adam Lamb:

working and I just needed to message you.

 

Adam Lamb:

Like, can you help me break the beat?

 

Adam Lamb:

Because I I'm just filling this void.

 

Adam Lamb:

You know, with work and or something.

 

Adam Lamb:

And, but sometimes if we don't make that step and we just cycle the thoughts and

 

Adam Lamb:

the negativity and the uncertainty that causes so much stress, you know, it's

 

Adam Lamb:

hard to be like, who can I reach out to?

 

Adam Lamb:

That's definitely a Campbell of one degree leadership coaching and the founder of

 

Adam Lamb:

Philadelphia's cooks who care in this episode, we're going to speak to her about

 

Adam Lamb:

how she got through the COVID lockdown.

 

Adam Lamb:

And the step she took organizationally to pivot out to

 

Adam Lamb:

those in need in her community.

 

Adam Lamb:

Stay tuned after the break to find out how you can refill your cup consistently

 

Adam Lamb:

so that the stress of reopening reorganizing or re-imagining your

 

Adam Lamb:

operation won't burn you or your team out

 

Adam Lamb:

This is chef life radio assisting culinary professionals to become their best.

 

Adam Lamb:

Personally and professionally, I'm your host, Adam Lamb.

 

Adam Lamb:

And over my 30 year career, as a chef and hospitality professional,

 

Adam Lamb:

I've had some amazing experiences.

 

Adam Lamb:

I have also made some monumental mistakes, but if my mess is my

 

Adam Lamb:

message, then know that no matter where you find yourself right now,

 

Adam Lamb:

you too can become the best version of yourself, regardless of the story.

 

Adam Lamb:

In each episode, you'll hear stories from chefs, living this reality, enjoying their

 

Adam Lamb:

careers and lives like never before also be talking to leaders in the fields of

 

Adam Lamb:

transformational leadership, community, building emotional and operational

 

Adam Lamb:

intelligence, equitable relationships, health, and mental wellness to pass along

 

Adam Lamb:

to you, the skills, tips, and tricks that will support you in your quest

 

Adam Lamb:

of becoming the best that you can be.

 

Adam Lamb:

We chef.

 

Adam Lamb:

Back to the conversation

 

Adam Lamb:

and chef Maria Campbell joins us on the show.

 

Adam Lamb:

Are you doing sister long time?

 

Adam Lamb:

No.

 

Adam Lamb:

See, I'm so good.

 

Adam Lamb:

It's so good to see you and hear you.

 

Adam Lamb:

It's great to see you too.

 

Adam Lamb:

And a very auspicious since we're doing this at mental

 

Adam Lamb:

health awareness month, right.

 

Adam Lamb:

A hundred percent.

 

Adam Lamb:

And so tell me what's been going on.

 

Adam Lamb:

How was your COVID?

 

maria campbell:

Oh my God.

 

maria campbell:

COVID sucked.

 

maria campbell:

And it was terrible.

 

maria campbell:

Um, but just like everybody else anxious, worried, terrified, uh, I mean, geez,

 

maria campbell:

the whole gamut of emotions, uh, but definitely a time for reflection.

 

maria campbell:

And it was like a roller coaster of emotions.

 

Adam Lamb:

Maria Campbell worked for 15 years alongside her.

 

Adam Lamb:

By that time she had seen enough of divorce, opioid use drinking norms,

 

Adam Lamb:

suicide, and elicit affairs.to know that something had to be done the

 

Adam Lamb:

life as she saw, it was unsustainable.

 

Adam Lamb:

Quote, why would others want to join us?

 

Adam Lamb:

Why does it have to be this way inspired by the question, Brianna set out to

 

Adam Lamb:

make a difference in her community of Philadelphia, with nothing more

 

Adam Lamb:

than a desire to see things change.

 

Adam Lamb:

She and her husband started a grassroots organization called cooks who care

 

Adam Lamb:

dedicated to creating a support structure and safety net for people

 

Adam Lamb:

in the industry, doing everything from food drives to wellness events, all

 

Adam Lamb:

meant to shift the current reality of what it means to live with.

 

Adam Lamb:

In the grind, you and your husband are both very, very busy.

 

Adam Lamb:

You have a, an executive and business coaching business.

 

Adam Lamb:

Correct.

 

Adam Lamb:

And, uh,

 

maria campbell:

I run it with ed Doherty, who, I mean, geez.

 

maria campbell:

We had a lot of hospitality clients.

 

maria campbell:

So at first.

 

maria campbell:

You know, we were hanging on just trying to keep everything together.

 

maria campbell:

How can we help?

 

maria campbell:

How can we support you?

 

maria campbell:

And not really seeing an end in sight.

 

maria campbell:

We're like, oh, this will just be a couple months.

 

maria campbell:

You know, we can get through this to being like, wow, there is no end in sight.

 

maria campbell:

I don't know when this is going to end too.

 

maria campbell:

We lost probably about two thirds of our clients, uh, just because

 

maria campbell:

of, of the hospitality space.

 

maria campbell:

And we weren't surprised.

 

maria campbell:

You know, to say the least, but the need was so great in our area

 

maria campbell:

for support, because we just didn't want to see all these businesses

 

maria campbell:

fail during this tumultuous time.

 

maria campbell:

So is that when you found yourself kind of like going into high gear with cooks.

 

maria campbell:

Oh a hundred percent.

 

maria campbell:

Um, it w you know, we were like, oh, we're going to be a membership group,

 

maria campbell:

and we're going to do this pre COVID.

 

maria campbell:

And then when COVID hit, it's like, no one can meet.

 

maria campbell:

We can't see anyone.

 

maria campbell:

Uh, I don't know if I'm going to get COVID.

 

maria campbell:

Uh, and I was super anxious about that too, but the.

 

maria campbell:

Cooks who care decided to be?

 

maria campbell:

What can we do?

 

maria campbell:

Let's try to pull as many resources as possible.

 

maria campbell:

I'll tell you the first couple of weeks in it exhausted me.

 

maria campbell:

I had to figure out like, okay, I can't watch the news.

 

maria campbell:

I need to decompress a little bit.

 

maria campbell:

And we're only a couple people, myself, Scott, my husband, who's a co-founder.

 

maria campbell:

I had a one team writer and some volunteers that were like, let me help.

 

maria campbell:

I want to help.

 

maria campbell:

I'm not working right now.

 

maria campbell:

How can I support you?

 

maria campbell:

There were groups that were releasing information daily and

 

maria campbell:

I'm like, we're not that group.

 

maria campbell:

We can't do that.

 

maria campbell:

So, but we can start a Google doc and we can pull together pieces

 

maria campbell:

that people can add themselves.

 

maria campbell:

And if we're a conduit, Let's do that.

 

maria campbell:

It was kind of like a resource pipeline.

 

maria campbell:

Yes.

 

maria campbell:

Yeah.

 

maria campbell:

I remember that you had reached out to me during that time as well.

 

maria campbell:

And I spent the last two years at a retirement community.

 

maria campbell:

So you can imagine that scene when COVID hit.

 

maria campbell:

And our last day of operation, regular operation was March 16th

 

maria campbell:

and we had to pivot on a dime and go to like complete lockdown.

 

maria campbell:

And so not only do you have your crew that.

 

maria campbell:

Freaking out, but then you've got 600 other residents who, you know, a

 

maria campbell:

couple of months later they're like crawling the walls because they've been

 

maria campbell:

locked in these rooms and can't go out.

 

maria campbell:

So it was, uh, it was quite a time for sure.

 

maria campbell:

I just, I couldn't imagine even that, like, we were locked down in our house,

 

maria campbell:

but I had people and you know, I have a pet, you know, and like, I just

 

maria campbell:

thought, gosh, that's so isolating.

 

maria campbell:

And to be older, I just have empathy.

 

maria campbell:

Yeah.

 

maria campbell:

I didn't realize how impactful the loneliness is.

 

maria campbell:

Especially for folks who have memory care issues, you know, folks with

 

maria campbell:

Alzheimer's they rapidly decline in the space of like no stimulation.

 

maria campbell:

So it was pretty intense, but I just want to make sure you and

 

maria campbell:

your family made it through fine.

 

maria campbell:

You guys didn't get sick.

 

maria campbell:

Yeah.

 

maria campbell:

Yeah, we were very fortunate and we just got our second vaccines.

 

maria campbell:

So like a lot of anxiety just shed just from that.

 

maria campbell:

Did you have any doubt about taking the vaccine?

 

maria campbell:

Nah, I'm like shoot it up because it was like, But I want peace of

 

maria campbell:

mind, you know, fortunately as is, I know some of my friends, like, I

 

maria campbell:

don't want to have more children.

 

maria campbell:

I don't have other concerns that could, you know, put like, oh, I'm not so sure.

 

maria campbell:

I'm like, how can I sign up?

 

maria campbell:

Like, please, like, let's do this right.

 

maria campbell:

You want to protect what you have, right.

 

maria campbell:

And so business fell away, almost nothing.

 

maria campbell:

Now you're basically in a ministering to a whole population of folks in Philly who

 

maria campbell:

lost their jobs, or maybe they're working marginally and everything dries up.

 

maria campbell:

And I know that the government came through pretty quickly and, you know, made

 

maria campbell:

sure that people had money in their hands.

 

maria campbell:

But I think for a lot of us in this industry, it's like, you know, we

 

maria campbell:

enjoy doing, like being an action and when there's no action to be found.

 

maria campbell:

You know, I can only speak for myself, but you know, those are

 

maria campbell:

usually the toughest times, right?

 

maria campbell:

You're dancing with the devil on the play on Moonlight, because

 

maria campbell:

there's nothing else going on.

 

maria campbell:

Right.

 

maria campbell:

Exactly.

 

maria campbell:

And it's tough because we also, we don't know how to ask for help either.

 

maria campbell:

So like when we are lonely and we're in those moments, like, you

 

maria campbell:

know, I even struggle with that.

 

maria campbell:

I'm like, Hey, I've been working a lot.

 

maria campbell:

I reached out to a couple of people I knew and being like, all I'm doing is

 

maria campbell:

working and I just needed to message you.

 

maria campbell:

Like, can you help me break the beat?

 

maria campbell:

Because I I'm just filling this void.

 

maria campbell:

You know, with work and or something, but sometimes if we don't make that

 

maria campbell:

step and we just cycle the thoughts and the negativity and the uncertainty that

 

maria campbell:

causes so much stress, you know, it's hard to be like, who can I reach out to?

 

maria campbell:

You know, I really got to give it to.

 

maria campbell:

Professionals who stuck it out through so much negativity and pressure, you know,

 

maria campbell:

even now there are guys standing onlines, you know, being overwhelmed with customers

 

maria campbell:

because the perception of the general public is, is that the economy is open.

 

maria campbell:

Everything should work.

 

maria campbell:

And so I think you're the right person ask, like, how do we convince folks that

 

maria campbell:

we're trustworthy again, this last year?

 

maria campbell:

Gosh, we need to rally everyone together.

 

maria campbell:

You are a part of it.

 

maria campbell:

And the singular thing I finally figured out it literally took me three

 

maria campbell:

months after listening to everybody for a couple of months was transparent.

 

maria campbell:

So I was inspired by the fact that social media, right.

 

maria campbell:

Hate it, love it, whatever anybody thinks about it, it has

 

maria campbell:

its use and it does have power.

 

maria campbell:

And what some people were doing was if I was pissed off at my location

 

maria campbell:

and I was mad about everything that was going on and Hey, I'm not

 

maria campbell:

saying everybody's doing it right.

 

maria campbell:

And probably the people who are getting called out, it was just a.

 

maria campbell:

Right.

 

maria campbell:

But what was happening was they would make a page that negatively talked

 

maria campbell:

about that facility and they threw arrows and hatchets and shot at, I

 

maria campbell:

mean, it was like, take any weapon.

 

maria campbell:

You can throw it at this target and we're putting it up there

 

maria campbell:

and we're making a page on, on Instagram and you're going down.

 

maria campbell:

Right now the, the thing is when I saw that, I said, why does that work?

 

maria campbell:

I feel that if people were really upset about something,

 

maria campbell:

I think it's gotta be valid.

 

maria campbell:

And then if there's that many people saying the same thing, like you wouldn't

 

maria campbell:

go that far out of your way, honestly, like, yeah, you can hate on people

 

maria campbell:

and say a comment, but when you like, quote a story, that's like, You know,

 

maria campbell:

heartbreaking when I hear it, when I was reading some of these statements,

 

maria campbell:

I'm like, you wouldn't, I don't even think you could make that story up.

 

maria campbell:

I couldn't make that story up on a piece of paper.

 

maria campbell:

I couldn't.

 

maria campbell:

So, but the thing that made that successful, as far

 

maria campbell:

as, yeah, that's negative.

 

maria campbell:

I'm thinking, how can we use this positive?

 

maria campbell:

How can we use social media and do this and positively enforce this?

 

maria campbell:

And it was transparency.

 

maria campbell:

So we're going to do is we're going to share our platform and we're

 

maria campbell:

going to let people submit three things they're going to be working

 

maria campbell:

on, or maybe they already know.

 

maria campbell:

That's positive and they work hard because what annoyed me about all of

 

maria campbell:

these negative spins and all this stuff, it's like, what about the positive ones?

 

maria campbell:

Plenty of places doing awesome things and busting their ass to

 

maria campbell:

like, make their place amazing.

 

maria campbell:

And so guess what we're doing?

 

maria campbell:

We're we're lumping everyone in to go.

 

maria campbell:

Well, those bad apples are mixed in with the good apples.

 

maria campbell:

Now we're all bad apples because the industry is terrible.

 

maria campbell:

We're not having another voice.

 

maria campbell:

So what we're going to do is we're going to let people submit three things.

 

maria campbell:

Any of the nine problems, which Jeff Maria is speaking about is a campaign

 

maria campbell:

that her company has produced called the new kitchen culture, cooks, who

 

maria campbell:

care promise campaign, and in it, they discuss nine problem patterns and how.

 

maria campbell:

Those problems are one, create a safe harassment, free workplace.

 

maria campbell:

Number two, work life harmony.

 

maria campbell:

Number three, seek support surrounding finances.

 

maria campbell:

Number four, educate consumers.

 

maria campbell:

Number five, focus on mental health.

 

maria campbell:

Number six, give access to healthcare.

 

maria campbell:

Number seven, provide a fair wage.

 

maria campbell:

Number eight, develop wellness programs and number nine

 

maria campbell:

inclusion black lives matter.

 

maria campbell:

They not only state the problem, but they also state some solutions.

 

maria campbell:

We'll have a.

 

maria campbell:

And the show notes, share it with us.

 

maria campbell:

It's up on our website right now, crooks who care.org they could submit

 

maria campbell:

and say, I care about diversity.

 

maria campbell:

I have been paying a fair wage since before the pandemic.

 

maria campbell:

I, I promise and I commit that I'm already doing these things, or I

 

maria campbell:

already offer health insurance, and we want to know who they are and go.

 

maria campbell:

We'll share it.

 

maria campbell:

So I just want to share from, from your webpage, you know,

 

maria campbell:

you're inviting everybody to take action and three specific ways.

 

maria campbell:

And number one is to be open, share your plans, your decision making process,

 

maria campbell:

and your willingness to embrace a new ideas that doesn't necessarily mean.

 

maria campbell:

You let the inmates run the asylum, the stakeholders still get to make the

 

maria campbell:

decision, but you get to be transparent about what's actually going on.

 

maria campbell:

Correct.

 

maria campbell:

It was guess what?

 

maria campbell:

Cause if you're not doing it right, somebody on social media is going

 

maria campbell:

to tell you you're not different.

 

maria campbell:

So I said, I don't want to be the police.

 

maria campbell:

You know, like you could tell me what it is you're doing, but I do want to

 

maria campbell:

offer an opportunity for positivity to have its place in the air.

 

maria campbell:

Especially in our culture for sure.

 

maria campbell:

Uh, number two is lead from where you are create a starting

 

maria campbell:

point for positive growth.

 

maria campbell:

And this really speaks to me because, you know, I don't think it matters a

 

maria campbell:

Whit, what it says on your jacket, you know, true leaders, you know, are in

 

maria campbell:

there doing it every day and nobody needs to tell them that they're a leader.

 

maria campbell:

And certainly, you know, it's all energetic.

 

maria campbell:

So, I mean, you somebody's gravitating in the room because.

 

maria campbell:

They're the ones that you pull to, and that's the person

 

maria campbell:

that you want to be next to.

 

maria campbell:

So bleeding.

 

maria campbell:

Doesn't necessarily mean that you have to wear a Toke, it could be

 

maria campbell:

doing anything that you're doing.

 

maria campbell:

Right.

 

maria campbell:

And it's for us, it's not about finger-pointing, it's

 

maria campbell:

about uplifting, right?

 

maria campbell:

It's good.

 

maria campbell:

If you, if you care about it too, and you want to make a commitment to doing

 

maria campbell:

it in a new way, even if it wasn't a way you did, that's what we want.

 

maria campbell:

Right.

 

maria campbell:

Or nothing's going to change, you know, I think it's important.

 

maria campbell:

And lastly, it's do the right thing by sharing your actions or encouraging

 

maria campbell:

others to do the same, like.

 

maria campbell:

Like what, and where are we sharing?

 

maria campbell:

So you're going to share from the nine problems that we've identified that

 

maria campbell:

are across the board, the industry, whether you're taking care of wellness

 

maria campbell:

and wellbeing, which is what this is about today, you're committing towards.

 

maria campbell:

And I've met lots of folks.

 

maria campbell:

And I find it interesting that I hear nothing about these

 

maria campbell:

folks, like on any platform I'm like, oh, so we just met today.

 

maria campbell:

That's great.

 

maria campbell:

No one knows about you.

 

maria campbell:

You're like, this is amazing what you're doing and you're proactively doing it.

 

maria campbell:

Yeah.

 

maria campbell:

We've always thought about this as like a corporate company culture.

 

maria campbell:

And because we have that influence, we've always done this and we don't do

 

maria campbell:

brunch because everyone hates it or, you know, and our team gets burnout.

 

maria campbell:

If we just keep maxing them out.

 

maria campbell:

Does it matter to me about my Sunday, you know?

 

maria campbell:

And I'm like, wow.

 

maria campbell:

Um, I, I've always heard great things about you and people say great

 

maria campbell:

things, but how can we help amplify?

 

maria campbell:

That is what, what I wanted to be able to do.

 

maria campbell:

Using them as test cases.

 

maria campbell:

I mean, we calling them out for doing well.

 

maria campbell:

Yeah.

 

maria campbell:

And we're saying, Hey, let's lead by example.

 

maria campbell:

You're a good example.

 

maria campbell:

Great.

 

maria campbell:

A river twice.

 

maria campbell:

This is a good example.

 

maria campbell:

And wherever it's going to be all over the world, I've, I've talked

 

maria campbell:

to the world travel association.

 

maria campbell:

Like we knew leading by example, we need, we need to pull from inspiration

 

maria campbell:

from places we didn't even knew existed.

 

maria campbell:

I want to be inspired by you and.

 

maria campbell:

And I want to be inspired by someone in Spain, then I want to go, oh,

 

maria campbell:

I don't want the media to tell me who, who I should be praising.

 

maria campbell:

I want to find out for myself.

 

maria campbell:

And it's funny you say that because in my experience, those who are doing the

 

maria campbell:

right thing, where they're at are usually doing it pretty humbly and they're not.

 

maria campbell:

Thing about it and you know, nobody's coming and interviewing them.

 

maria campbell:

I mean, there are a couple of people who get to break through, but generally

 

maria campbell:

speaking, there's so many people out there just, you know, doing

 

maria campbell:

the right thing because that's the way they think it should be done.

 

maria campbell:

And, you know, I say Jose and, and good on all of you because

 

maria campbell:

all of us have had the experience.

 

maria campbell:

Having a vision and an idea of like what it could be and then having

 

maria campbell:

that crushed, but it needs the boot.

 

maria campbell:

So, right.

 

maria campbell:

I'm so happy that you decided to, or that you agreed to be on the show

 

maria campbell:

again, even though it's been many years and I'm so excited to revitalize this

 

maria campbell:

particular show, because I think it's a good time to start talking about.

 

maria campbell:

You know, chefs and culinarians who have been out of work, you know, for the last

 

maria campbell:

year, maybe it's a great time to reassess.

 

maria campbell:

I firmly believe that all of us have skillsets that, you know, while

 

maria campbell:

they're applicable to what we're doing, they also have value in the,

 

maria campbell:

in the, in the wider marketplace.

 

maria campbell:

So if you're really having a hard time and you don't want to go in there and

 

maria campbell:

do that to your body or to your mental state, Don't Winston Churchill once

 

maria campbell:

said a change is almost as good as rest.

 

maria campbell:

And according to the burnt chef project of those professionals who left the

 

maria campbell:

industry in the last 16 months, 31% plan on returning within the next six months.

 

maria campbell:

So sometimes the antidote for burnout is dropping the clutch changing.

 

maria campbell:

And doing something different for awhile.

 

maria campbell:

I've taken three leave of absences in my career.

 

maria campbell:

And each time when I came back to the industry, I was more focused

 

maria campbell:

re-energized and really, really passionate about what I was doing.

 

maria campbell:

There's a blog post by compete magazine that talks about transferring your

 

maria campbell:

restaurant skills outside of the industry.

 

maria campbell:

And at the bottom of the article, they've make a point of saying that they pride

 

maria campbell:

themselves on hiring industry veterans.

 

maria campbell:

The reason being.

 

maria campbell:

We're already schooled on working well under pressure conflict resolution for

 

maria campbell:

team players, we're able to multitask.

 

maria campbell:

We have strong customer service skills, great ability to communicate with others.

 

maria campbell:

I was once offered an opportunity to work in the online education space for

 

maria campbell:

my project management skills and in the end product as a product, as a product.

 

maria campbell:

It's how we assemble all the pieces together on a daily basis.

 

maria campbell:

And aggregate our assets and leverage it out to a plate of

 

maria campbell:

chicken or an online program.

 

maria campbell:

All the same attributes apply.

 

maria campbell:

So consider what you do on a given day.

 

maria campbell:

You probably have a lot of other skills that you're not even absolutely clear

 

maria campbell:

about that are marketable to other.

 

maria campbell:

The new kitchen culture is what we're saying.

 

maria campbell:

Like we can reset to where we can be proud that this is us, right.

 

maria campbell:

I, I remember when you came up here in Philadelphia and we were doing a

 

maria campbell:

break on through event at a restaurant and you were one of our featured

 

maria campbell:

speakers and you stepped up and just grabbed everyone's attention.

 

maria campbell:

It was like, I've watched all the men in the room like raised their heads.

 

maria campbell:

Like who's talking like with complete, like, whoa, why

 

maria campbell:

you needed to listen to this.

 

maria campbell:

And you, you have such a humble way of sharing your first, your story.

 

maria campbell:

You put it out there.

 

maria campbell:

It doesn't matter how often, how little you put yourself out there.

 

maria campbell:

And.

 

maria campbell:

I love that about you and how you engage in your own unique way.

 

maria campbell:

I'm so happy.

 

maria campbell:

You're starting this up.

 

maria campbell:

Thank you.

 

maria campbell:

Thank you so very much, you know, I don't feel very old.

 

maria campbell:

You know, there are mornings when I wake up, when I feel, you know,

 

maria campbell:

probably my age, but generally speaking, when I tell people how old I am,

 

maria campbell:

they're like, get the fuck outta here.

 

maria campbell:

But, uh, but I got to say that I am starting to embrace this aspect of

 

maria campbell:

elderhood elderhood in community.

 

maria campbell:

There is a, a guy in Canada who, uh, has written a book, uh, several books and

 

maria campbell:

he, he says he was in the death trade.

 

maria campbell:

So he was in hospice for a long time.

 

maria campbell:

And so he's got this, uh, idea about, you know, it's wonderful to

 

maria campbell:

have to aggregate resources for.

 

maria campbell:

Behind a gate because they deserve that type of care in their elder years.

 

maria campbell:

But there's, but that we're missing something because they're not

 

maria campbell:

necessarily out in the community engaged with, you know, everyone else.

 

maria campbell:

And I, and I want to say that, um, one of the beautiful things I noticed about

 

maria campbell:

you is that, uh, neither of our ages mattered, you know, it was a, it was

 

maria campbell:

a rousing conversation from the start.

 

maria campbell:

So as I start to build this podcast back up, I've joined a bunch of chef groups

 

maria campbell:

again, and I was like, Like somebody slapped me in the side of a face with

 

maria campbell:

a wet fish, because probably for the last 10, 12, 14 days scrolling through

 

maria campbell:

the feed, there's at least one picture of, you know, a chef doing his thing.

 

maria campbell:

And the, and the caption underneath says, ah, we lost another one too early.

 

maria campbell:

Can I get a herd or a wee chef?

 

maria campbell:

And so this is still happening.

 

maria campbell:

So in some way, I'm not saying I failed, cause I'm not going to gonna carry it.

 

maria campbell:

But, um, Yeah, we got to get much better at this.

 

maria campbell:

So, so how do we, yeah, I think there are some really great organizations.

 

maria campbell:

I know that we're referring to kind of like either whether it's the crisis

 

maria campbell:

line or I've got your back, which I love makes the, like the lineup a conversation

 

maria campbell:

to be like, how are you doing really?

 

maria campbell:

Let's take a temperature and you can see many of them rare.

 

maria campbell:

Mamma crispy, you know, whatever it is like helping people have a

 

maria campbell:

dialogue about difficult conversations.

 

maria campbell:

I think we have a lot to learn with that.

 

maria campbell:

I know that I'm not nine to five in, Canada's doing a lot

 

maria campbell:

of work right now and just got a huge grant to record the impact.

 

maria campbell:

And it does include the U S of like, how are we doing.

 

maria campbell:

And I I've really urged people to go, you know what?

 

maria campbell:

I've heard so many stories.

 

maria campbell:

We have to start telling people.

 

maria campbell:

We have to, to show that like, record this, we have to have this conversation.

 

maria campbell:

We have to have people fill out that survey.

 

maria campbell:

We have to have people speak up.

 

maria campbell:

And, and then to make a difference because you know what, hang,

 

maria campbell:

hang the new, uh, flyer.

 

maria campbell:

That's not the OSHA.

 

maria campbell:

And like what I have to be tipped, you know, today or whatever, the minimum

 

maria campbell:

wage, you know, stuff that you gotta like hang up, like it should be like,

 

maria campbell:

yeah, it should be like, you know, here's how you prevent a suicide.

 

maria campbell:

You know, and like, how do we notice our team members aren't doing well and are

 

maria campbell:

we building a culture that allows the freedom for us to do that, to have in our

 

maria campbell:

lineup to be like, how are you doing your personal stuff actually belongs here.

 

maria campbell:

You know, because you're, you're here all the time and you can't

 

maria campbell:

check it at the door, right?

 

maria campbell:

Yeah.

 

maria campbell:

It's like the biggest lie we ever told ourselves.

 

maria campbell:

It's like, we leave our personal lives at the door and it doesn't affect us at work.

 

maria campbell:

And that's just like, that's not, that's not true.

 

maria campbell:

And so during COVID, it was like, you know, for those who, who

 

maria campbell:

stood tall and frosty and were in service to any other group, doesn't

 

maria campbell:

have to necessarily be seniors.

 

maria campbell:

But you know, the garbage man and the bus drivers, people who worked in the

 

maria campbell:

gas stations, you know, all these people.

 

maria campbell:

Suffer, because I think we're all walking around with some form of PTSD,

 

maria campbell:

you know, I, I, you know, I broke somewhere around February and, uh, and

 

maria campbell:

then I just had to leave and go down to Florida for a week and do a meditation

 

maria campbell:

retreat because, you know, not only was I being present for myself, but I

 

maria campbell:

wasn't being present for my managers.

 

maria campbell:

And it's like, and then when I came back, I'm like, okay, I get, I

 

maria campbell:

wasn't here with you, but I'm back.

 

maria campbell:

And I'm on.

 

maria campbell:

And then I just had to sit in the fire and just listen to them

 

maria campbell:

bitch and moan and complain.

 

maria campbell:

And, you know, because it was all coming from pain, you know, they

 

maria campbell:

felt like they had been abandoned.

 

maria campbell:

And I couldn't negate that by saying that their feelings didn't matter.

 

maria campbell:

And so it was a weird space for me to be in, but I felt really secure in that,

 

maria campbell:

you know, Just let it roll off, man.

 

maria campbell:

Just let it roll off.

 

maria campbell:

It's got nothing to do with you.

 

maria campbell:

It got nothing to do with you.

 

maria campbell:

So, so having the courage to have those difficult conversations means

 

maria campbell:

that you have to take yourself out of it and be present to someone else.

 

maria campbell:

Yeah.

 

maria campbell:

And so important that you recognized that.

 

maria campbell:

Right?

 

maria campbell:

Because I think that the biggest key are two things.

 

maria campbell:

One is awareness.

 

maria campbell:

If, if we lack awareness, we can't do anything.

 

maria campbell:

You know, we can't ask for help.

 

maria campbell:

We can't call the crisis line.

 

maria campbell:

If we can't notice ourselves, when we're not doing well, it's going to be hard.

 

maria campbell:

Right.

 

maria campbell:

And the other piece is what you did.

 

maria campbell:

You gave yourself permission.

 

maria campbell:

To do that.

 

maria campbell:

I think we don't, I just wrote an article about this when somebody

 

maria campbell:

asks me like, oh, Hey, like, can you give like top five mental breaks

 

maria campbell:

that people could take best served?

 

maria campbell:

Uh, podcast asked me to, I thought, okay, so I wrote down five things,

 

maria campbell:

but then I thought, you know, if I don't give myself permission,

 

maria campbell:

I'm not going to do any of these.

 

maria campbell:

I want to read any of it.

 

maria campbell:

I'll just be like, I don't deserve, or I'm too busy or I can't, you

 

maria campbell:

know, I could fill all the words in.

 

maria campbell:

Oh, yes, ma'am but I thought, you know, I need to say that first.

 

maria campbell:

And then if you just make a small.

 

maria campbell:

You know, if I took five, take five, you don't take all.

 

maria campbell:

I don't take breaks.

 

maria campbell:

Okay.

 

maria campbell:

Well, good for you, a mom saying if you gave your permission to take five,

 

maria campbell:

you know, everybody needs that, you know, it's actually, it's good for you.

 

maria campbell:

It's like eating an orange or an apple and you're just like, I got.

 

maria campbell:

Re refocus my energy.

 

maria campbell:

And even if it's doing nothing, you know, just looking up at the sky or just getting

 

maria campbell:

the air on ya, you know, like do that.

 

maria campbell:

And so do you think that love has any part in our new kitchen culture?

 

maria campbell:

A hundred percent.

 

maria campbell:

I love that question.

 

maria campbell:

Yeah, it does.

 

maria campbell:

Right.

 

maria campbell:

And I think that people who are open like yourself and it takes

 

maria campbell:

a certain kind of composure to be like, I'm putting myself out there

 

maria campbell:

and I'm going to hear your feedback.

 

maria campbell:

Whether I like, I like it or not, it might not be something I want to hear, but.

 

maria campbell:

If we're okay with hearing people's perspectives and we're okay to hear

 

maria campbell:

that, like, Hey, they're not having a great day and it's not your fault.

 

maria campbell:

It's like, we don't have to take the ownership of it.

 

maria campbell:

It could just be like, that sucks.

 

maria campbell:

Right.

 

maria campbell:

Being empathetic.

 

maria campbell:

That's it?

 

maria campbell:

Yeah.

 

maria campbell:

And.

 

maria campbell:

Alongside each other, right?

 

maria campbell:

Like we've gone through so many processes of grief that I feel we can

 

maria campbell:

be compassionate for people and not have to go through the same exact experience.

 

maria campbell:

We don't have to go through the same life experiences in order to connect.

 

maria campbell:

We just have to be able to sit alongside each other and go, I see you.

 

maria campbell:

Well, that is so powerful because it's so typically in work environments, people are

 

maria campbell:

sitting across from one another, right.

 

maria campbell:

Which can sometimes be confrontational.

 

maria campbell:

And one of the tricks I learned from a relationship coach that my wife

 

maria campbell:

and I were working with pre COVID was, you know, when there's stuff

 

maria campbell:

to talk about, you sit side by side.

 

maria campbell:

And I always wondered why when we were driving that kind of like, like you're

 

maria campbell:

in motion, moving forward, sitting side by side and all of a sudden

 

maria campbell:

there's nothing we can't talk about.

 

maria campbell:

And so that side-by-side thing I think is really powerful because you can

 

maria campbell:

feel like I can feel you sitting next to me in a way that's supportive.

 

maria campbell:

That's beautiful.

 

maria campbell:

I always get, the Scott always says to me, everywhere we go, some

 

maria campbell:

I'll talk to a random stranger and all of a sudden they're sharing

 

maria campbell:

their personal stuff with me.

 

maria campbell:

And he's like, do you know them?

 

maria campbell:

I'm like, no, I just met them.

 

maria campbell:

And I, I have no idea, but I'm open and not.

 

maria campbell:

To a make eye contact with people, which some people don't do, but there's

 

maria campbell:

something about just like being open.

 

maria campbell:

Like I firmly believe that I'm supposed to be in any place, any

 

maria campbell:

given place that I'm supposed to.

 

maria campbell:

And I don't know what's going to happen.

 

maria campbell:

And then when something does I'm I just let it be.

 

maria campbell:

And I'm like, okay, Hey, nice to meet you.

 

maria campbell:

Oh, you, your, your sister just passed away.

 

maria campbell:

I mean, I don't even know how these people, anybody tells

 

maria campbell:

me the most random thing.

 

maria campbell:

And then I take it.

 

maria campbell:

For a second.

 

maria campbell:

Like, I think there's, there's power in that, like just being alongside someone in

 

maria campbell:

their sadness or their, whatever you can, you can just be with somebody like that's.

 

maria campbell:

I think that's all, anybody really needs.

 

maria campbell:

Sometimes it's like, they don't need advice.

 

maria campbell:

They don't want to know how to change their problem.

 

maria campbell:

They just, they just want to be heard on the cooks, who care

 

maria campbell:

website towards the bottom of the.

 

maria campbell:

There's a really powerful paragraph that states we introduce new

 

maria campbell:

healthy habits to the food and beverage industry, which comprise of

 

maria campbell:

employees and independent employers in four categories, food fitness.

 

maria campbell:

And stress-relief or them, it all comes down to one word health or the lack of it.

 

maria campbell:

Speaking to chef Maria, I come away hopeful for our craft and fraternity

 

maria campbell:

because of professionals like her and her team of volunteers doing

 

maria campbell:

what they can, where they can as often as they can, or no other

 

maria campbell:

better reason than they see the need.

 

maria campbell:

I don't know about you, but my takeaways from the conversation.

 

maria campbell:

Number one it's okay to not be.

 

maria campbell:

Okay.

 

maria campbell:

Number two, be transparent.

 

maria campbell:

Always number three, give yourself permission to be ex mad, sad, whatever.

 

maria campbell:

It's when we cover the shit up, that the problem with start number

 

maria campbell:

four, take as long as you need in order to refocus your energy.

 

maria campbell:

Number five, be in service to someone else.

 

maria campbell:

And number six, finally let the.

 

maria campbell:

You can find out more about chef Maria Campbell at Facebook ducks.

 

maria campbell:

Forward slash cooks who care or cooks who care inspire.com.

 

maria campbell:

Please check out the show notes.

 

maria campbell:

We've got plenty of links to her website, some free PDFs to download.

 

maria campbell:

That's our show.

 

maria campbell:

Thanks for listening.

 

maria campbell:

time for a shameless plug.

 

maria campbell:

If you're looking for an answer to the questions you're asking, sign

 

maria campbell:

up for our monthly newsletter.

 

maria campbell:

At chef life, radio.com forward slash sign up or click on the link in the podcast

 

maria campbell:

player and get a free ebook, three ideas for less chef stress as our way of saying

 

maria campbell:

thanks for stepping into the circle.

 

maria campbell:

This episode is made possible by listeners like you, by sharing the show and

 

maria campbell:

spreading the news contributors include the chef life radio member crew, like

 

maria campbell:

Kristin Costa, Michael Farber, Alyssa.

 

maria campbell:

And David Sparacino to learn more about becoming part of the crew

 

maria campbell:

and having your voice matter.

 

maria campbell:

Go to chef life, radio crew.com and step in cousin here at chef life radio.

 

maria campbell:

We believe that working in a kitchen should be demanding.

 

maria campbell:

It just shouldn't have to be demeaning.

 

maria campbell:

It should be hard.

 

maria campbell:

Just doesn't have to be.

 

maria campbell:

We believe that it's possible to have more solidarity and less suck it up.

 

maria campbell:

Sunshine, more compassion, less cutthroat island.

 

maria campbell:

We believe in more partnership and less put up or shut up more family and less.

 

maria campbell:

Fuck you.

 

maria campbell:

Stand tall and frosty brothers and sisters, but consider for.

 

maria campbell:

Where all the blood, sweat, and effort you put into what

 

maria campbell:

you do at the end of the day.

 

maria campbell:

Just some stuff on a plate.

 

maria campbell:

None of it really matters.

 

maria campbell:

It doesn't define you as a person or make you any more

 

maria campbell:

special or less than anyone else.

 

maria campbell:

It's just a dance that we're engaged in.

 

maria campbell:

So we might as well laugh and enjoy every bit of it or didn't,

 

maria campbell:

you know, that the purpose of your life should be, do enjoy it.

 

maria campbell:

I plugged it.

 

maria campbell:

Love it.

 

maria campbell:

I am humble.

 

maria campbell:

Lori at box?

 

maria campbell:

No, I don't live on now.

 

maria campbell:

Reach out to the show@facebook.com forward slash chef life.

 

maria campbell:

Radio Twitter at chef life, radio Instagram at chef life radio.

 

maria campbell:

Visit the website@chefliferadio.com.

 

maria campbell:

Subscribe to the podcast at any of the major podcasts directories.

 

maria campbell:

Please take a moment and give us a.

 

maria campbell:

And write a review.

 

maria campbell:

It really does help spread the news.

 

maria campbell:

Thanks for listening until the next episode.

 

maria campbell:

Be well and do good.

 

maria campbell:

This episode was produced by me, Adam Lamb edited and co-produced by Thomas

 

maria campbell:

Steffenson for food works media.

 

maria campbell:

It was recorded in a basement bunker studio in Bartow, North Carolina.

 

 

Chef Maria Campbell

Chef, Executive Coach & Community Organizer

Maria Campbell, MBA is a Chef-by-trade, an established educator and a mentor who uses her determination and positivity to influence all who she works with. Through her role as a Partner and Productivity Specialist with One Degree Coaching, she provides guided leadership mastery to businesses of all types, helping them to reach their full potentials and achieve success. As the Founder and Executive Director of Cooks Who Care - a collective formed to serve as the Well-Being Concierge for the Food Industry - she drives much-needed change in the industry she loves, encouraging others to support the health of underpaid and underserved workers who run our country's kitchens and serve our meals.