Northshore Magazine

Northshore November 2019

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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NORTHSHOREMAG.COM 40 NOVEMBER 2019 L I V E + P L AY Evan Hennessey is clinging to a rock wall. His fingers—more familiarly seen using tweezers to place a perfect microgreen on a plate at his acclaimed restaurant Stages at One Washington in Dover, New Hampshire—are dusted with chalk, digging hard into a grip at MetroRock in Newburyport as he concentrates on his next move. Hennessey has been rock climbing for about three years now. He finds it helps him maintain balance in what has always been a very difficult industry. "Climbing takes all your focus and blocks everything out, but you feel great at the end," the chef says. Before he took up climbing, Hennessey wasn't feeling so great. After getting divorced, he saw himself going down a road he didn't want to be on. "It was a physical and mental plummet," Hennessey recalls. "I just wanted to make things go away." Hennessey found himself at a crossroads at the same time a lot of his peers were taking a harder look at life in the restaurant industry. With the job's high stress, long hours, and easy access to unhealthy habits, self-care is more difficult than in many other industries. "What we do for work is hard, mentally and physically," Hennessey says. "Some people release that with alcohol. Bad behavior combined with a difficult lifestyle will spiral and everything will come crashing down." L I V E + P L AY That difficult lifestyle is compounded by the fact that one of the badges of honor of a chef 's life is how hard you can grind, as Pam King can tell you firsthand. She puts in more than 55 hours most weeks as chef de cuisine at BONS winner Paddle Inn in Newburyport. "For a very long time, nobody wanted to talk about needing help," says King. "You just had to suck it up." But as some very high-profile chefs, including trailblazing Southerner Sean Brock and Montreal's David McMillan of Joe Beef, have opened up about their struggles, it's made a larger conversation possible. "My body hurts and I'm only 33," King says. Evan Hennessy has been rock climbing for three years. Pam King takes walks along Newburyport's waterfront.

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