FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — David Amaya works his way around the kitchen at Louis Bossi’s Ristorante on Las Olas Boulevard in Ft. Lauderdale.READ MORE: Miami-Dade, Broward County Public Schools To Continue Free Summer Food Distribution
Not long ago, he was working his way through recovery after a 25-year crack cocaine addiction. He says Chef Louie Bossi gave him a chance at a new life.
“He opened doors for me and, thanks to him, I’m here,” says Amaya.
You can call it an act of gratitude from chef and restaurateur Louie Bossi, who is, himself, a former addict. He tells CBS4 he once found himself living on the streets after he discovered alcohol as a teenager.
“I caught on very quickly and got addicted very quickly. Within a year I was addicted to heroin,” Bossi says.READ MORE: WalletHub Survey Ranks Florida Second Most 'Fun State'; Miami Nightlife: 'Anything, But Affordable'
After a long struggle with addiction, including an overdose and several arrests, Bossi is now a successful restaurateur with two South Florida restaurants. He credits the Crossroads Club in Delray Beach with helping him in his recovery.
“It’s not a rehab center, it’s just a clubhouse where people go to maintain sobriety,” says Bossi, who met his wife there more than 18 years ago and believes in the importance of a sober space for like-minded people.
Crossroads Club made a big difference in his life and now he’s hoping it’ll be life-changing for others. To help fund services for addicts, he’s combining two things he knows a lot about, recovery and good food, hosting the first ever ‘Taste of Recovery’ food festival Saturday, June 3rd in Delray Beach.
“This is to raise awareness and to give hope to people out there that are addicted. I came from being homeless on the streets to being a successful and productive member of society now. It’s there for everybody,” says Bossi.MORE NEWS: SEE IT: Puppy Back With Owner After Dognapping At West Miami-Dade Animal Clinic Caught On Cam
‘Taste of Recovery’ is from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. Saturday at the Old Square Pavilion in Delray Beach. For ticket info, visit https://www.tasteofrecovery.com/