The chef, who is also the man behind Boqueria, woke up on the morning of May 4 “in the worst pain I’ve ever felt.” Immobile for hours, he was admitted to the hospital, where doctors were convinced that the chef had a life-threatening hip infection. A major invasive surgery was called for, which could have left Mullen permanently handicapped. While on the operating table, he was given some last-minute tests, and the surgeon was finally able to determine that the culprit was rheumatoid arthritis. Now Mullen’s back in the kitchen, his condition under control, and working hard to bring Suba up to speed. “I’m sore and beat up, but moving around and working again,” he tells us, adding that Suba has really begun to blossom after a month without his close supervision.