Society & Culture
Chef Jonathan Chapin on Food, Downfalls, and Comebacks
Renoites is the weekly podcast for Northern Nevada. Listen free wherever you get podcasts and please consider supporting the show at patreon.com/renoites to help it become financially sustainable!
Restaurant work has long had a... certain reputation. The professionalism you see in the front of house isn't always matched by the drugs, sex and rock n' roll environment frequently found in the kitchen.
Reno chef Jonathan Chapin knows it well, having began his food career in one of the few work environments tolerant of tattoos and partying, but then getting sober and growing his career and honing his skills. Torn between the kitchen and Reno's punk rock music scene, Chapin also owned and managed music venues and booked local and national acts.
After 14 years of sobriety and shortly before the COVID pandemic, Chapin lost it all. Through drugs, alcohol, depression, and jail, he burned most of the bridges and was forced to rebuild his life and career in recent years.
In that time, he got sober once again and began a series of fundraiser dinners for local non-profits, launched his brand Reno Recipes, become the host of a weekly cooking segment on KOLO's Morning Break, and established himself as a fixture on Reno's ever-growing food scene.
On this episode of Renoites, Conor and chef Chapin talk about the path his life has taken to bring him to where he is now, the importance of fostering talent in young chefs, creating a kitchen environment with less shouting and egos than you see on TV, the deal he made with the universe after a suicide attempt, and much more.
If you or somebody you know needs help, there are people you can call. Call 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline or Crisis Support Services of Nevada at 775-784-8090
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