Q: When did you first get involved with Chef’s Roll?
I met the co-founders of Chef’s Roll at a culinary festival back in 2013. I was volunteering for Chefs Chad White and Aaron Sanchez and Chef’s Roll was just starting out. They struck me as very genuine dudes. I created a profile on the website which I thought was genius and helpful for a broke cook like me. Since then we’ve done many events together over the years like the first “Chef’s Plate” competition. Yeah, I lost. You learn a lot in losing. One of my favorite events I did with Chef’s Roll was a whiskey dinner. It was one of the first times I got to cook and showcase my food for all of the San Diego culinary community. Fast forward to now and I run the Chef’s Roll Test Kitchen and share my food with millions of people via the huge social platform Chef’s Roll has. It is definitely a dream job.
Q: What does your typical day look like?
COFFEE first, then I check my emails and my whiteboard and construct my day by generating a list of things to do in order of priority. A lot of ingredient acquisition and cooking then ensues, followed by a lot of video editing.
Q: What kind of equipment do you have in the Test Kitchen?
Almost everything you can think of. Definitely more than I have had in commercial kitchens. I used a home use food saver when I ran a kitchen and now I have 4 different vacuum sealers!
Q: Which is your favorite piece?
Most definitely the Polyscience Control Freak.
Q: How did you learn to capture what you do on film?
Sam Wells, cinematographer and VP of Chef’s Roll Media, trained me and gave me the ins and outs. But it took A LOT of hard work, practice and repetition – as do all things.
Q: Tell us about the show you competed on, Man vs Master.
There is a certain nostalgia involved with being featured on television. It’s awesome that it is now on Hulu. I’m featured in episode 4! Man vs Master has you compete against two other chefs. During this time a Master Chef will judge your food and pick one of the 3 to compete against for a chance to win a mentorship with that Master Chef. I came off as nervous and I was! But, during the cooking process I felt comfortable. I was actually talking a lot of “friendly trash” but they didn’t include it in the final cut. As I slowly advanced to each round I began to gain more confidence. It was an experience of a lifetime! The mentorship I received from Chef Waxman was a learning experience I will take with me everywhere I go. A true MASTER! He instilled in me some knowledge that I am blessed to have in my pocket. He has brought up the likes of Bobby Flay, Tom Colicchio, Nancy Silverton and many more. That is a good list to be on!
Q: Tell us about your rapping?
Hip Hop/Rap music always resonated with me since I was a kid. I felt like some musicians were telling my stories and hardships. My older brother rapped, so naturally I became interested in it. I no longer am interested in making it a career, but have fun incorporating it into my videos sometimes.
Q: Anyone posting on social media always has some haters – how do you deal with that?
At first I would laugh and bicker back, especially knowing that it helps “the algorithm” – so essentially haters work for me. Thank you haters, sincerely! Now however, I brush it off and ignore it because I’m way too busy to engage and I like to be the bigger “chef”.
I would like to note that even if someone is hating, I do analyze what specific thing they point out or have an issue with and have agreed to a few actually like “hmmm, I could have done that better”. But ultimately, their attitude doesn’t warrant my approval of their opinion.
Q: Which Chef that is active on Instagram do you respect the most for the content they are putting out?
Man, there are so many. I’ll name drop a few. @Mateo.Zielonka @ChefChrisCoombs @chefjasonhoward @mr.streete @cheffrants @jasonlicker @davinwaite @jayknibb @gourmetchefjay @sasa_vojnovic @joeysultanas @penelopewong