Pared Pro-file: Elias Cisneros
Two passions of mine have always been eating good food and traveling. I grew up in a small town in California and loved any chance my family and I left to try anything new. The best memories I have growing up have always been my family vacations in Mexico. In Mexico I would try delicious new things and was always curious how people can put together something so amazing. I knew that it was a skill that I wanted to learn, and I decided to go to culinary school to learn the craft.
After high school, I went to Le Cordon Bleu Academy in Sacramento and came back to work in the South Bay and passed through the best restaurants in the area. The best of the best. I was blessed to work at Michelin recommended and Michelin starred restaurants such as Alexander’s Steakhouse, Dio Deka, and Naschmarkt. After a few years working with different cuisines, I decided that I wanted to steer my career towards Mexican Cuisine because it had alway been my passion. The Mexican food scene was not as big in the Bay Area so I went down to San Diego to work. It turned out to be a great decision, I worked at some amazing restaurants with a great community of chefs including restauranteur and cookbook author Isabel Cruz and Season 6 Master Chef winner Claudia Sandoval. San Diego was special, I learned a great deal about Mexican cuisine being so close to Mexico and I became a better chef in my field, but I knew something was missing. I needed to connect and learn to cook Mexican food in Mexico.
The call for authenticity led me to leave my work behind, and in 2015 I began a journey to backpack through Mexico to learn and connect with the cuisine and culture. It was also a much needed vacation. The restaurant and hospitality industry is a tough industry. Working in this field leaves little opportunity for one to take long vacations to explore and decompress. In a strange way I almost felt guilty to have weekends and nights off for as long as I had. However, I was rapidly approaching my thirties and had put in hard work for everyone of those years, I was going to enjoy the rest of my twenties being free. My year long trip to Mexico was a return to my passion. I experienced Mexican cuisine through each connection I made learning the rich history that came from visiting each region. I became a better cook in my field because I had gained genuineness.
After one year and twenty-one Mexican states later I took a look at my finances and realized I needed a job again. I came back to the Bay Area and found a job running a kitchen for a top restaurant in my field, but the travel bug had not gone away. I had tasted freedom and it was a taste that was not going away. I wanted to be back in Mexico, and see more of what was out there. I decided I wanted to travel again. As I began to save money for my next expedition I looked into several ways to make an additional income. I found Pared. Pared was a great opportunity for me to pick up gigs on my free time and allowed me to save up faster than I had originally planned for.
Pared has been an opportunity for me to save money without having to commit to a single employer. I know that I can make as much money as I want and leave and return to pick up work whenever I choose. Pared has given me the freedom to travel and enjoy the world within this industry.
Early 2018 I left for Mexico and spent half a year seeing everything left on my list. When it was time to return I realized that I wanted my adventure to continue. I was happy traveling and becoming a better cook by experiencing the culture and regional cuisines. I did not want to come back and leave another job like the last time so I continued taking on gigs from Pared. Pared has been an opportunity for me to save money without having to commit to a single employer. I know that I can make as much money as I want and leave and return to pick up work whenever I choose. Pared has given me the freedom to travel and enjoy the world within this industry. At the moment I am working and saving to spend half a year in South America next year. I know that when I come back, I can turn on my app and not have to worry about finding a job.
Funny Pared story. I worked a cleaning gig for an American restaurant, and it was the first time at this location. I went out the back to the alley where all the restaurants go to take out there trash. I took out some recycling at the end of the alley and thought it would be helpful to get ahead on breaking down and recycling the restaurant’s cardboard boxes. It was a Monday and they had an enormous pile of boxes from a large delivery order. When I was close to finishing I began noticing all the boxes were for Asian ingredients, I stopped, turned around, and saw several cooks and chefs from the Chinese restaurant next door standing at the door wearing puzzled but grateful looks, and I realized I had been doing all the work of the restaurants neighbor. I clearly needed another cup of coffee.