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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 begin around age 4 or 5, memories of me standing on a little step stool and helping my mom in the kitchen 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. Watching from afar, he must've noticed my interest in his work, because he soon invited me to work alongside him and his employees. This soon became paid work, which for 5th grader me, was all very exciting.

     I worked for this chef for about 2 years, after school and on weekends. My main tasks were simple prep work, mixing, measuring, and packaging, all of which was a perfect intro for me into the culinary arts. I felt inspired to spend more time in the kitchen on my own, and I quickly discovered that I could create allergen-free food alternatives for dishes and baked goods I never got to eat growing up. I was able to

break away from the bounds that supermarkets and

 restaurants had on my diet. With a little innovation, there could be more to allergen-free eating than I had ever known.

I suddenly felt less restricted by my allergies, and instead, empowered by them. They were a reason to innovate and create, and my dream of becoming a chef now had purpose. I would redefine allergen-free eating.

   I've spent my free time in the kitchen ever since, finding every reason to cook and bake. I dream of meals to cook during the day, and at night, I prepare them for my mom and I. I get so much joy from seeing my ingredients come together in the kitchen beautifully as I've envisioned. I've single-handedly cooked many Thanksgiving dinners, and it may just be my favorite holiday. There's no happiness for me like getting into the kitchen, and in my zone, cooking and baking to the beat of my music, to present a beautiful meal to the people I love.

 

  No matter where I've been in life, cooking has been my largest creative outlet and catharsis. All else fails, I can always go into the kitchen and make something delicious. And that makes me happy. I'm grateful to have discovered this passion early on, a gift which I may share with others, 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 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 bi-romantic and gender non-conforming using they/them pronounsWhen I was 16, I got my first job, and it felt really liberating to have money of my own. I began discovering the things could do with my money, from buying kitchen supplies, to enrolling for community college classes, to building this website!

   

Who is Eli Besides a Chef?

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       I've also worked as a baker and packager in the bakery of a local natural grocery store, working under a highly trained chef and mother who lovingly took me under her wing. I learned so much there, and it felt amazing to be paid to work in a professional kitchen, pursuing my passion! I've interned for and worked in local restaurants in and after high school, including a fine dining restaurant at the Hyatt Aviara Resort of Carlsbad CA, as well as my one month internship at the Yellow Deli, a beautiful little restaurant in Vista CA.

  

    While cooking is my main passion, I also make art (IG @_art.by.eli_), I'm bilingual in American Sign Language, and am planning to pursue Psychology and Ceramics further, both of which I discovered a love and interest for at community college.

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