The Chef's Table is a story about the soul of eating food. It is also a story of experience recovering from mental illness. Ben Boone, a writer in Salem, Massachusetts was diagnosed with schizophrenia the day after graduating from College in Boston. His mother, a restaurant critic and dad a chef, supported him through 9 hospitalizations in nine years with the idea that together as a family they would find some meaning in what had happened that seemed to have no reason. They thought they could at least learn.
Over the course of a decade Ben emerged from schizophrenia. He always remembers coming home from the hospital and being nursed back to health with his dad's cooking.
He thought others too should have time to recover from their struggles through the medium of meals, and that fine restaurants might donate gift certificates to those who might not be as fortunate. He had the idea that the medium of food and times around the table could bring people back to society and a realization that life can be positive and the opportunity to make that happen. The result is his initiative called The Chef's Table, which has received an overwhelming commitment from restaurants throughout Boston and Maine. "This is an opportunity for people to have meals and memories they normally wouldn't have." Ben says.
The success of The Chef's Table, and awarding the fine meals, has inspired articles in The Boston Globe-- and The Christian Science Monitor will be covering a story soon in the upcoming months.
The Chef's Table is a continuation of wanting to help others with mental illness. He wrote a book as well about his experiences with schizophrenia titled "Minority of Mind". The book has gone great and now he speaks across the country on the topic of mental health. "Recovery is not only about getting help, but helping yourself and others." Ben says.
Included is a list of topics Ben speaks nationally about, as well as a link to a page where you can check out some of his radio interviews and presentations. Feel free to contact him directly, if you would like to know about speaking opportunities, or would like to purchase a copy of his book about his personal experiences with mental illness titled, Minority of Mind.
Maura Curley, Editor
Virgin Voice Publications
Mike Huber, like most young folks, thought he was indestructible. Unfortunately he found out differently late on the night of November 16, 2003.
Driving home that night, admittedly after spending the evening partying, he lost control of his vehicle, hitting a light pole and slamming into a bank. Anyway, that’s what he has been told. He has no memory of any of it, and very little of the months to follow.
The family would find out, that as a result of the accident, Mike had suffered a severe brain stem injury that would change life as he knew it. “I remember being in KU Med Center but I don’t remember any details about it,” says Huber who would remain there until February of 2004.
His next step on the road to recovery was a three month stay in a rehabilitation center in Gardner, Kansas. His parents, Mick and Virginia Huber, along with Mike’s daughter, Casey, were weekly visitors to him during that time. They also took him home for weekend stays until technicalities in his insurance coverage no longer made that possible. Frustrations mounted as a result and his parents decided to bring him back to Seneca to continue his recuperation.
In order to bring him home, his mother knew they would have to have help, so she checked into Three Rivers Inc., and what they could offer Mike through the Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver. Within days he was on their services, enabling him to be in his home surrounded by his family.
Audrey Schremmer is the Executive Director of Three Rivers Inc. She considers it a blessing to be surrounded by great team members, her peers around the state and country and of course her four legged friends that come with her to work everyday.
Audrey Schremmer-Philip, Executive Director