There is no age limit on figuring out what you want to do in life. Some people don’t know until after college, others know at a very young age. Once you’ve figured out what you want to do it’s time to start working towards getting there. Most people will find that even achieving our dreams costs money. For one person, that realization hit me as hard as it hit him. His name is Alejandro Villegas and we’re going to work hard to help him reach his dreams. Alejandro has a long path to take from culinary school to learning about business but we can be there every step of the way.
Culinary school is just the start for young Alejandro and with a little help from us at Chelas Mexican Grill the path won’t be taken alone.
Being a Chef
To become a chef one must have the drive to work in the kitchen. A kitchen is not a war field but sometimes you feel like it is. However, there is a feeling you get providing delicious food to others that can’t be replicated. It’s a feeling of accomplishment but it also warms the soul. Something you’ve created from nothing has become something that another person loves as much as you loved putting it together. The feeling is absolutely magical. To get to that feeling, one must practice and hone their skills. Years of experience help and that’s why it’s important to start as early as possible.
We find that being a chef is a very rewarding career path but can be a hard one to follow. There are plenty of things that need to get done before you can run your own restaurant. However, we want to make it a little easier for those who want to become a chef.
Chelas Mexican Grill is proud to announce our first ever chef sponsorship.
Through our chef sponsorship program, we will be selecting people who show a passion for food and aspire to become a chef. Chelas Mexican Grill wants to help provide others with the tools they need to make their dream a reality.
We will be hosting our first ever chef sponsorship event on August 31st. The event will take place at Rancho Las Lomas, where guests can enjoy a 5-course meal. Some of the meal will be planned by our very first participant in our chef sponsorship program, Alejandro Villegas.
Becoming a Chef
Becoming a chef is different for everyone. Some have a love for cooking with natural skills in the kitchen that just need a little tuning. Others have no idea how to cook but love the feeling of accomplishment and need a lot of training. Culinary school is important no matter what your skill level is at the start. In culinary school, people learn tricks of the trade and how to make, present, and eat amazing dishes. Maybe you know how to make a good tortilla but with culinary training, you can make amazing tortillas. Most chefs will tell you that they started off at the very bottom, as a dishwasher. Over time, with dedication, they advance and work they way up to head chef. This path is no truer than with Alejandro.
More About Alejandro Villegas
From only 3 years old, Alejandro remembers working in his family’s food truck peeling tomatoes. Since that young age of 3, Alejandro has been working for his goal of becoming a chef. At 8 years old, Alejandro helped his parents with a catering business, feeding anywhere from 50 to 500 people. Then, school gave Alejandro a chance to further his dreams. Through a program called ROP, Alejandro met his first real chef, Chef Bob, his teacher.
Another chef would come and present a demo to the class, Chef Chris Tzorin. Chef Tzorin taught the class how to make and plate dessert and then offered everyone in the class an opportunity to work for him. Alejandro took Chef Chris up on that offer however, there was one issue. Chris asked if Alejandro had a vehicle to get to work on time. Alejandro answered “yes” as to not miss this opportunity. The problem was, Alejandro didn’t have a car. Every morning, at 4 am, Alejandro would wake up to take the bus to work as a dishwasher for Chef Chris. Only when Alejandro showed up 15 minutes late one day did Chris realize Alejandro didn’t have a car. However, given that Alejandro has been so dedicated to working with him, waking up at 4 am to wash dishes, Chef Chris couldn’t write him up.
Now Chris mentors Alejandro as he works at his parent’s restaurant specializing in barbacoa. Barbacoa is a dish that is slowly cooked with seasonings and can be chicken, beef, or even lamb. The meat is often shredded and added to burritos, tacos, and other dishes. Each day, Alejandro wakes up early to prep and cook the barbacoa for his family’s restaurant.
Now it’s time for Alejandro to head to culinary school to further his studies and become a head chef at his own restaurant.