DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - From heroin addict to renowned chef, one South Florida restauranteur is now giving back to an organization that led to his success.
Ask Louie Bossi for the steps he follows at his Italian restaurants and he quickly lists the best ingredients, an undying passion and simplicity.
“Let the food speak for itself,” he said is the true Italian way.
But Bossi follows a different set of 12 steps in his personal life.
“I took the express train,” Bossi said about his rapid turn toward heroin as an 18-year-old in New York.
A powerful addiction cost him houses, jobs and control over then next 20 years.
“Spiritually you lose a sense of where you are and who you are and it’s very difficult to get back once you cross that line,” he admitted.
Bossi has been sober for more than nine years due in large part to the Crossroads Club in Delray Beach. It isn’t a sober house, or treatment facility. It’s simply a building that offers space for 12-step groups to meet and help former addicts maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“Whether it’s overeating or gambling or cocaine or alcohol, we’ve got a spot for them,” explained Tony A, one of the charter members, and a former alcoholic himself.
The 35-year-old organization relies mostly on donations to serve the 900 people it sees every day.
Bossi is now a board member and believed the best way for him to make an impact is from the kitchen.
More than 20 restaurants will join him Saturday at the “Taste of Recovery” food festival to raise money for Crossroads.
“Taking control of the situation and being able to give back, that’s what I want to do, that’s what makes me happy,” Bossi explained.
A ticket the festival is $40. You can buy them online, or at the gate. The ticket gives you unlimited access to food and drinks. No alcohol will be served at the event. It takes place Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. at Old School Square in downtown Delray Beach.
Click here for more information and a list of all the participating restaurants.