Sam Burns has always had a passion for cooking. But during college, his passion quickly faltered when he began abusing drugs.

His family quickly intervened and sent the New Jersey native to The Cove Center for Recovery to seek treatment. As a Cove client, he is now recovering and rediscovering his cooking talents.“I always use cooking as a destresser,” Sam said. “Instead of using drugs to cope, I make my favorite meals.”

With excitement for his rediscovered love for cooking, Sam decided to share a few of his favorite dishes with his fellow recovering addicts at The Cove. After his successful cooking demonstration at The Cove, Sam was asked to share his culinary talent with the youth at Inspirations For Youth and Families, the sister facility to the Cove that treats teens.

Watch Sam Teach Recovering Teens How to Cook “Bacon Mac and Cheese”


Cove Educational Director Values Addict’s Cooking Talent

“Sam has been able to reactivate his passion for cooking while at the Cove,” Denise Achee, the educational director for The Cove, said. “It’s great that he can share this passion with our teens and inspire them.”

Although a little nervous at first, the 20-year-old worked past his anxiety and had another successful demonstration. Sam cooked his favorite “Bacon Mac and Cheese” and gave a step-by-step tutorial on how to make the simple but delicious meal.

“I have a huge fear of public speaking…but being able to stand up in front of all those people and cook for them, I felt appreciated. It felt really good.” he said.

The teens loved the bacon-infused mac and cheese so much, they went back for more. Many of the boys at Inspirations also expressed their gratitude for Sam’s cooking.

“I like putting a smile on people’s faces,” he said.

After treatment, Sam plans on on going back to college to earn an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts.

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