I volunteered to work in Korean gourmet food truck pioneer Roi Choi’s food tent at Alex’s Lemonade Children’s Cancer Research Benefit UCLA.

Hi, I’m Paul!

Welcome to my About Me page. I’ve included a few pictures as a small representation, along with some story relating to my experience in the food service industry, home cooking and family.

I’ll start with my lovely. We’ll call her Rachel. In 1995, she agreed to marry me after a short 6 month courtship. Together we have 2 children, Marina and Aaron. Both are now in college. We happily call my hometown Los Angeles our home. Rachel made her way to the USA, with her family in 1992 from Manila, Philippines.

Blog related experience

After 5 or 6 of marriage I realized a woman’s uncanny ability to multi task at home between cooking, cleaning and hurding 2 pre-K kids. (forgive me for being so slow on the uptake) But, the consequences of Rachels multi tasking prowess had a direct effect on my ability to relax on the couch, after work.

boy, empty delivery van
Aaron helped me decide to buy this used Frito Lay delivery van

Her gentle expressions of dissatisfaction grew, over time. So rather then continue to plead my case to keep the status quo, I decided to help out in the kitchen after work and weekends. GOD sometimes works in mysterious ways, because over time, a desire to expand my culinary skills into a profession, got me thinking .

So much so, that I would eventually enroll in and complete a culinary program during the evening hours after work.

This would lead me to befriend a Head Chef named Ted Rodriguez. He was both a restaurant owner and gourmet food truck owner. This was a situation of being in the right place at the right time. He offered me an opportunity to start learning from him, starting the next day.

Fontana Drag Races at Auto Club Motor Speedway

In less than a year I decided to go out on my own, by buying a used Frito Lay delivery van, converting it into a mobile kitchen. This is a standard practice at the entry level of the gourmet food truck business. For the next 5 years, along with my wife and teenage kids, we became entrenched in the “Curbside Cuisine” business or gourmet food truck industry. In order to keep a steady income from my work in commodities exchange facilitation, to pay the mortgage, provide medical insurance for the family, we operated our truck only 2 weeknights and all day Saturday and Sunday.

We all gained a great deal of small business knowledge from the daily operations and the many other truck owners in the network, who were willing to share their experiences and advice. We successfully earned jobs large and small, at celebrity homes, as they celebrated their own kids birthday parties.

But due to the grind of 80+ hours a week, for 5 years, we decided to sell our business to a small food truck investment group in late 2019, relieving my family of the obligation to occupy most of their free time in our truck.

Comedian Bill Bellamy at actor Lorenz Tates Mulholland Hills home
Setting up at the home of an Entertainment Tonight Host kids party in South Pasadena

Blog Goals

The Chef Me Not Blog site keeps me connected to what I care about. I love the food service industry. Even more, I have a new respect for what it means to be labeled a Chef.

I am not a Chef. My 6 years of cooking, prepping, inventory and staff management experience may qualify me to work as a Sous Chef (second in command) in some restaurants. Hence the blog title Chef Me Not.

A goal of Chef Me Not is to encourage more men to get familiar with and help their partner with the cooking duties. Many of our recipes are easy to follow 3 or 4 steps with a minimal amount of ingredients. This is how I found my original interest or calling to cook. I do see a disproportionate number of men willing to cook professionally, still women do most of the cooking at home.

Easy Recipe Chef

Another goal is to serve the “Wanna Be Chef” contingency. This is our largest group of readers. I am a Wanna Be Chef. These “Cuisine Crushers” have moved past “dipping their toes in the proverbial cooking waters”. Be it comfort food, healthy options, Chocolate Truffles or Chicken Marsala w/ mushrooms. We provide happiness to those around us, come meal time, are welcomed in with open arms.

Fun inside the food truck
Rachel, Marina before the crowd arrives

Ultimately, the Chef Me Not blog is more than a recipe site. We bounce ideas off of eachother. The Blog Advice column includes food/family articles, to open a dialogue for anyone respectfully. Article suggestions are welcome here. We will review and/or post others written works to encourage or expand cooking skill sets.

Thank you visiting. Welcome to Chef Me Not.

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