St. Matthew’s House to open Lulu’s Kitchen in October

Adella Miesner

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – A place where those in recovery may go to recover, and those who are hungry may go to be fed — St. Matthew’s House is opening Lulu’s Kitchen in October. The kitchen is more than a space where food is made. It helps people in recovery […]

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – A place where those in recovery may go to recover, and those who are hungry may go to be fed — St. Matthew’s House is opening Lulu’s Kitchen in October.

The kitchen is more than a space where food is made. It helps people in recovery from addiction learn important life and work skills, plus it’s run by people who have survived addiction themselves.

Head Chef Sean Dietzel cooks hundreds of meals a day for people in Collier County, and he’s prepping to serve even more in the brand new Fresh Start Cafe, just beyond the doors of his brand new kitchen.

Dietzel said the road to where he stands in the kitchen today was a long one.

“All my life I’ve struggled with alcohol and drugs,” he said.

Five years ago, he found himself in his lowest of lows when he nearly died.

“Something kind of snapped in me and said ‘Hey, this isn’t the way,’” he said.

He turned to St. Matthew’s House and enrolled in its culinary institute for recovering addicts. Cooking has been a part of his life since he was 15 years old. It was in the kitchen where he found renewed purpose.

“It kind of kicked off fireworks in my brain. Reactivated my lust or my love for food,” he said.

He’s sober now and helping others get sober too. His kitchen staff are also graduates of St. Matthew’s addiction program. They call themselves family, and are working together to make the community a better place one toss, chop and plate at a time.

Lulu’s Kitchen and Fresh Start Cafe will celebrate its grand opening on October 21. All of the proceeds made at the cafe go right back to St. Matthew’s mission.

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