Ex-Ritz chef Michael Quinn warns catering students of alcohol dangers
A top chef has warned East Riding College's catering and hospitality students about the potential dangers of alcohol and drug abuse in the industry.
Michael Quinn, former head chef of London's Ritz Hotel, descended into alcoholism before losing his home, job and family.
He now heads the Ark Foundation, a charity that promotes alcohol awareness to catering students nationwide.
Mr Quinn said: "In the hospitality industry, you are surrounded by alcohol all the time.
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"There is the social aspect to it – the winding down after a service, working irregular hours and working under high pressure – and the culture of drinking is enormous in the UK, with an explosion of binge-drinking and of young women drinking. It is easy to adopt a work hard, play hard mentality.
"It might be that, through its seminars, the Ark Foundation can just plant a seed so that years later someone who heard me speak will think 'he was right' and get some help."
College tutor David Leaf, a former executive chef, said: "Michael's story is one that is seen all too often in the catering and hospitality industry, and he communicated some very important messages to the students."