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Chef Mike Solomonov Opens Up About Crack Addiction

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Photo: Bill Addison/

Philadelphia-based chef and restaurateur Mike Solomonov opens up to the New York Times about his long-time drug addiction. Now sober, he admits that while opening his essential restaurant Zahav in 2008, he was "compulsively" smoking crack cocaine. At times he would smoke or snort heroin and heavily drink "Scotch, vodka, triple sec, whatever was within reach."

Solomonov goes on to reveal that he was "the guy who did a little too much" in college and became a dealer to "pay for all the pot he was smoking." There was even a night where took a "fistful" of Xanax to counter the cocaine he had ingested and had to have his stomach pumped. The chef details the various ways he scored drugs, how he kept it hidden from his wife and coworkers, and even opened up about how the death of his brother in 2003 fueled his drug addiction. He tells the New York Times that he chose to share the story now because he is the midst of opening two more restaurants and will soon be featured in a PBS documentary and felt a need to be more honest.

· Grief, Smoke and Salvation [NYT]
· All Mike Solomonov Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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