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Seamus Mullen Rheumatoid Arthritis patient

Star Chef Seamus Mullen Sizzles Despite Rheumatoid Arthritis

Award-winning chef, cookbook author, owner of three New York restaurants and overseeing a fourth in London, Seamus Mullen, 40, seems unstoppable. But just a few years ago, he was battling pain from sometimes-debilitating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – a disease that threatened his career and his future.

When Arthritis Today first talked to Seamus in 2010, he was executive chef and partner of a trendy Spanish restaurant in New York City. It was a cloudy spring afternoon, and Seamus was in the kitchen prepping for the evening rush, facing the task of cutting up a 35-­pound lamb.

He mentioned that his hands were hurting that day – the only hint besides a slight limp that the talented, up-and-­coming chef had been diagnosed with RA a few years earlier. It had been a bolt out of the blue – he has no diagnosed family history of the disease – and had turned his world upside down. But it also fueled his determination to continue doing what he loves.

With the precision and patience of a surgeon, he used two knives, a Japanese meat cleaver and a saw to separate the lamb, gently placing each part – the rack, neck, shoulders, and so on – to the side. By midnight, when the restaurant closed, he had worked 12 hours, though too often he worked 15 or more.
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