‹‹ all press releases

Interview With Celebrity Chef Andrew Zimmern Leads Off Second Season Of “Back From Broken” Podcast

Denver, Feb. 17, 2021 - “Back from Broken,” the podcast about recovery from Colorado Public Radio’s Audio Innovations Studio and CPR News, launches its second season next week with an interview with celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern headlining the first episode. CPR News host Vic Vela returns to interview nine people about their personal journeys of recovery.

“During these trying times, it’s really important to seek uplifting stories of comebacks and survival,” Vela said. “Too many of us are suffering right now, given the realities of the pandemic, our country’s political and racial divides, and the longstanding mental health and addiction crises. If I reach just one person who is struggling, one person who is inspired by our stories to get the help they need, then our work on this podcast will have been worth it.”

In addition to the episode with Zimmern, Season 2 will highlight stories of courage and hope from people struggling with addiction, conversion therapy, agoraphobia and more. One episode is adapted from a September 2020 virtual live event presented by Colorado Public Radio and the American Homefront Project, a nationwide public radio collaboration exploring veterans’ stories. This episode tells the story of veteran John Evans, who served in Iraq, suffered from addiction and PTSD, and ultimately found a path to a better life. 

The first season of “Back from Broken” explored journeys of recovery from addiction, mental health issues and physical ailments, with candid stories from The Lumineers, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Vela himself, and other famous and not-so-famous guests. The season received positive reviews from critics and listeners alike. 

“I can’t even begin to tell you how many people have reached out to me personally to thank me for launching this podcast,” Vela said. “It’s been overwhelming in a wonderful way, hearing from listeners who have heard their own story in someone else’s journey. People have told me ‘Back from Broken’ has helped them understand a loved one’s struggles with addiction or mental health — or their own struggles. That’s how we heal. We heal by talking things out and listening.”

Vela is a Colorado native and the first member of his immediate family to attend college. Now a three-time Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist, he started his career as a sports anchor/reporter for an NBC affiliate in Texas. He also worked for newspapers, including as an investigative crime reporter for the Albuquerque Journal. He has covered government and politics in Colorado, and was a five-year member of the Colorado Capitol Press Corps. 

For 15 years, Vela suffered from a crippling addiction to powder and crack cocaine. He’s been in recovery since 2015. After testing positive for HIV in 2006, the virus has long-been undetectable thanks to his rigorous adherence to antiretroviral therapy.

“Back from Broken” is a show about recovery, a place to regularly showcase courage and what it takes to come back. Everyone knows someone who is struggling with addiction or mental health issues or a physical ailment that has dramatically changed their life. But along with suffering comes redemption and triumph. The stories in “Back from Broken,” though they confront raw and difficult topics, build empathy and inspire hope. 

The second season of “Back from Broken” launches Feb. 26 with nine new episodes released weekly. To listen to the first season of “Back from Broken,” click here.


About Colorado Public Radio

Colorado Public Radio is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization delivering meaningful news, music, and cultural experiences to everyone in Colorado using the power of the human voice in all its forms. Roughly 95 percent of CPR’s funds come from the private support of listeners, businesses and foundations. For more information, visit www.cpr.org.

  • CPR News delivers in-depth, insightful and impartial news and information from around the world, across the nation and throughout Colorado, examining its relevance to our state and connecting it to our community.
  • CPR Classical takes listeners on an in-depth exploration of thoughtfully curated music – with an emphasis on Colorado’s classical community – providing context to a broad range of meaningful and compelling works from past to present.
  • Indie 102.3 takes listeners inside the world of new and independent music – exposing them to up-and-coming artists and highlighting Colorado’s local music scene.
  • Denverite is an online news source dedicated to Denver's curious and concerned.
  • KRCC is a public radio station in Colorado Springs, Colorado, serving Southern Colorado. KRCC is operated by Colorado Public Radio in partnership with Colorado College.