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How I got Here

  Hello, my name is Eli, I'm 23, and I'm an aspiring chef with

food allergies. I always had an interest in cooking growing

up. My earliest times in the kitchen began around age 4 or 5, with memories of standing on a step stool to help my mom  before I could see over the counter. I really began dreaming about a career as a chef at age 10 when I received the opportunity to work under the head chef and owner of a local specialty food-delivery business.

The CEO of this company was a family friend who began headquartering his business out of our kitchen. Waking up in the break of morning, he'd spend hours daily, preparing dozens of meals for weekly delivery. I watched from afar, and in time, he noticed my interest in his work and invited me to work alongside him and his employees. This assistance soon became paid work, which for my 5th grader self, was very exciting.

     I worked with this chef for about 2 years, after school and on weekends. My main tasks were basic prep work and packaging, which was the perfect introduction for me into the culinary field. I felt inspired to spend more time in the kitchen in my free time, and I soon discovered allergen-free cooking and baking tricks that allowed me to create delicious dishes and treats I never got to enjoy growing up.

    Cooking became a way for me to break away from the bounds that supermarkets and restaurants always had on my diet. My eyes opened to the potential for innovation in allergen-free eating to something more expansive than I had ever conceptualized.

I quickly began to feel less restricted by my allergies, and instead, empowered by them. I was taking control over my diet rather than letting other people control and even bully me over it. My dietary restrictions were a reason to innovate and create, and my dream of becoming a chef grew a profound purpose. I would help redefine allergen-free eating.

  Now, at age 19, I have spent a lot of my free time in the kitchen ever since, using every meal, occasion, and person as a reason to cook and bake. When I'm not in the kitchen, I'm often daydreaming recipes; creating, planning, and drafting them for future trial.

I love seeing beautiful ingredients come together, and there's no greater joy for me than getting in my zone, cooking and baking for the people I love. I'm grateful to have discovered this passion early on, and I'm so excited to make it a more integral part of my life with this recipe blog!

Thank you for simply being here on my website. I appreciate any support I gain for the cooking I do, the recipes I share, and for the path I'm paving for myself as a young chef!

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To view my recipes as soon as they come out, subscribe to my email list down below! You can also check out my instagram @eats.by.eli!

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  I was born and raised in San Diego CA,
I'm half Japanese, and I identify as gender non-conforming using they/them pronounsWhen I was 16, I began my first paid position outside of the culinary realm, which helped me afford specialty kitchen supplies and ingredients that advanced my learning and experimentation in the kitchen. This job has also afforded me the ability to build this website!

   

Who is Eli Besides a Chef?

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     During high school, I also interned at the Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad CA, as well as The Yellow Deli, a beautiful restaurant in Vista, CA. At age 20, I began my first job in a bakery, working firstly as a packager and decorator, and soon advancing to be a baker, working under a highly trained chef and mother who lovingly took me under her wing. It felt empowering to be paid for my work in a professional kitchen, applying my knowledge and pursuing my interests. I learned so much in my time there. 

    While cooking is my main passion, I also create art (@_art.by.eli_), I'm bilingual in American Sign Language, and I have a passionate to pursue ceramics, which is an interest I've recently discovered.

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