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London Chef Gizzi Erskine: My ADHD has been positive... it’s like a superpower!

Gizzi Erskine has said she hopes to inspire people “going through a tough time” and give them the confidence to achieve their goals.

The London cook and author, 38, who in the past has spoken openly about struggling with anxietyADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and depression, told the Standard she wanted to “empower” those who have been in a similar situation.

In March she opened her first London venue, Mare Street Market in Hackney, which when complete will be a restaurant, deli, record shop, florist, podcast studio and a pop-up space for new businesses.

Erskine, who trained at the Prue Leith cookery school, said that her ADHD had almost been like a “superpower” throughout the restaurant opening and got her through what she described as the “biggest challenge” of her life.

She said: “[Opening the space] has been a huge challenge, but probably one of the most satisfying projects I have ever done. It has been massive for me.

"I mean my ADHD has its benefits. A superpower. Without it I probably wouldn’t have been able to cope with everything at once. I’m lucky in a way that it means I am constantly ‘Go go go.’ I don’t sit down. It has been positive for me.”

The presenter of former Channel 4 show Cook Yourself Thin added: “I hope [I will inspire] someone who has experienced a bad time and needs a bit of confidence. It would be great if I could be someone who gives them the confidence to see that anything is possible. 

“Obviously, I have been in bad places before and suffered depression a few years ago. A lot of the time mental health is very negative and I know that these things are difficult for people.

"But sometimes it’s good to see people who have struggled and I hope to empower people that they can achieve and give them some confidence.” 

Erskine was speaking as she was revealed as the face of a new AMEX project called Backed By.

The initiative will see one budding food entrepreneur receive advice and practical support from Erskine and will also work to develop their product, app or idea at Mare Street Market.

Erskine said she wanted to “give something back” to the food industry, especially as she had had a number of “important mentors”.