The dream of "opening a restaurant someday" has achieved jet-pack velocity thanks to Top Chef/Hell’s Kitchen/Anthony Bourdain and similar. However, among the many elements that should be taken into consideration is that you may have to live for a time without medical insurance. This is a big problem when doctors remove a piece of your skull.
That’s what happened to recent culinary school grad Billy Walsh, who got in a Vespa accident a couple of months ago. Brain swelling, a collapsed lung and the aforementioned bit o’ skull followed. After three weeks, he woke up to find that his new job at Craft had been replaced by plans for future surgeries, months of physical recovery and the real possibility of a fiscal wipeout.
There’s no connection between becoming a chef and suffering a major traffic accident (beyond, maybe, the adrenaline potential in their underlying activities). However, it’s a fact that if you’re paying for cooking-school loans while you’re working two jobs (as Walsh was), paying health-insurance premiums is as impractical as buying a pair of Louis Vuitton sneakers.
So today, July 14, is Balshstille Day at the Foundry on Melrose. Anyone with $40 and sympathy for Balsh’s plight is invited to eat, drink and otherwise contribute to the Billy Walsh Foundation, which will go toward defraying his medical expenses. As the Liquid Muse (aka Natalie Bovis-Nelsen, who tipped me to this event — thanks!) said:
I encourage you to please go – especially if you work in this field. Any one of us could wind up in the same situation in the blink of an eye.