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Meet Chef Adrian Perez of Complete Eats

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chef Adrian Perez.

Chef Adrian, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started my life in Houston when I transferred here with HEB. I was with the company for 11 years and worked as a manager and Chef in the Cooking Connection. It was my first and only job I had ever applied for outside of our family restaurant, which my father owned and operated for 35 years in Beeville, Texas. He sold the restaurant when I was 20 and reluctantly, I was forced to find a job and a new path.

HEB would put us on these localTV spots to promote products, events & more, and over a ten year period, I built relationships with producers in every city and station I worked in. I decided to leave my comfort zone and career behind for a business of my own. After all, everyone including my father, mother and up to my great-great grandmother, we’re all business owners. I reached a goal of making the Food Network for one of their competition shows during this time. Shortly after that, my life turned upside down. I found myself going through a split from a long-term relationship in which I had nowhere to live, and surfing never worked out, during the personal and emotional stress of a split, my first year of common mistakes and the learning curve. My passion for people and customer service earned a referral to cook for the former late president of the United States, George W Bush and Mrs. Barbera Bush in their home up until Mrs. Bush passed shortly after. It was at my darkest and deepest moment that I found myself in a position of honor. I cried my first day on the way home, one because the feeling of honor was something indescribable compared to just saying the word. Two, out of gratitude for this sign that I was meant to carry-on and do things of great proportions. That experience closed the gap between doubting myself and knowing I DID have what it took to go where I wanted to go. They gave me a sense of infinite self-worth, at a time where every day I felt like a failure because I didn’t know what I was doing.

It was for the kind gesture and invitation from Staci Henderson into the philanthropic world that I felt inclusion in society again, and that is one of the most important human needs, inclusion. She showed me how to help myself by helping others. I now dedicate my philanthropic time to raising up and empowering women as they are the ones who have always opened doors for me, as well as giving me the tools that really matter to succeed in life. Empathy, emotional intelligence and a “see the bigger picture” mentality.

With that, I pulled myself out of homelessness and into hotels for a while, I was still working on television, ironically without a home, and despite there not being a job description for a local news TV chef, I was adamant on carving out my own job and making this my full-time life. I simply working every day towards my goal I have now expanded my presence to over eight cities in Texas & I just marked what is now my 18th news station to have appeared on. I then moved into a little efficiency the size of a shoebox. As of August 2020, I now enjoy picture perfect view of downtown Houston from my high rise penthouse apartment in Montrose. My view serves as a reminder of my climb to the top, done with integrity, love for people, service to others, and a belief in strong customer service and relationships…

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No entrepreneur ever has a smooth road, emotionally, financially, physically and anything in between. There was one year it was my first year in business. It was my actual birthday no less and I was living in my commercial kitchen and out of my car, not able to afford an apartment and struggling to pay my kitchen rent. I checked my balance in my business account and someone had committed fraud and stolen every penny I had worked for and then some. I had an event the next day for 25 LGBT community men. So of course, I did not want to disappoint them! I somehow figured it out scrounged together some pennies to pay for the prime rib Dinner they wanted and spent six hours in front of a hot stove in a house with a broken air condition. Thank baby Jesus, the client tipped us the exact amount I needed to pay my servers. It all worked out in the end.

Complete Eats – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Complete Eats is a private chef service that offers all services on the Culinary spectrum. Starting with private dinners, catering for all occasions, cooking classes, cooking demonstrations, TV & Media sponsored cooking segments, social media content, and fresh made meal prep & delivery.

Complete Eats customer service, ability to connect with people, and a heart for service is what sets us apart. I think it’s dying out in this industry . As human beings we need connection and inclusion with others and if you make it a part of the experience when you’re providing a service that makes it better, end of story. Service to others is a special gift and talent not everyone is born with, but it is the company culture I teach to my staff and to others in general. We don’t nickel and dime everyone for every little thing, we say “yes” with a great attitude and know when it’s in the best interest of the the client to say “no”.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me is having been through hardships and experiencing contrast but still having the mental strength to choose happiness despite the circumstances around you. The ability to choose happiness. It’s loving 100% of what you do from when you wake up in the morning till you go to bed At night, and never having to settle for just a piece of happiness or a just portion of it while enduring the rest.

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Image Credit:
The Food Network Cooks Vs. Cons

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