Pared is empowering people who have never been empowered in the industry. It brings it back to a true meritocracy.
Evan grew up in the San Francisco area and like many, stumbled into a career in the restaurant industry. He started off as a server at a Cheesecake Factory where he met the kitchen manager who used to work at the Michelin-starred Cortez. With no experience he was able to get an internship at Cortez as a line cook and the next twelve years of his life would be spent in kitchens around the country. After Cortez, Evan spent a year and a half cooking at Aqua with prominent San Francisco chefs Ron Boyd and Kim Alter. He moved to New York where he cooked at Michelin-starred Public in Soho and three-starred Jean Georges. From New York he moved down to Florida where he was exec chef at Voodka Brasserie and DBA Cafe in Fort Lauderdale. Most recently he returned to San Francisco with his wife and was the executive sous chef at Wayfare Tavern.
After sweating in hot kitchens over the past dozen years, Evan had heard about Pared through the grapevine. He’s seen it all, from running breakfast as line cook in a hotel and putting out 300 omelettes to being in an elite kitchen where everyone spoke French. He took accounting classes to learn how to run a restaurant kitchen P&L and is very aware of the challenges of finding and keeping good cooks. At first he was skeptical about Pared when he signed up, but now he’s a believer and proponent of the platform.
“It’s the first time in 12 years that I’ve ever had the opportunity to be entrepreneurial about my career. I finally get to spend time with my wife who is a kindergarten teacher. I’ve never in my adult life had the freedom to do what I’m doing right now. Pared gives me the ability to network and see what opportunities are out there. ”
Now he’s hosting pop-ups and meeting other talented cooks on Pared gigs that he hopes to work with in the future. “The benefit of the temp-based model is that even if you’re not working at a Michelin-rated restaurant, you might see or learn something valuable that becomes part of your toolset during your many gigs. You never know who you’re going to meet.” He’s even met dishwashers who love washing dishes on Pared, which he never thought would happen. “You’re creating enthusiasm for a job that doesn’t incite enthusiasm!”
On a recent gig with a prominent San Francisco catering company, he found himself brainstorming with the executive chef how to prepare scrambled eggs for 1,200 people. “I never imagined that I would be having a theoretical conversation on cooking eggs with an executive catering chef as a temp worker, but he recognized my experience and skill set.”
I’ve never in my adult life had the freedom to do what I’m doing right now.
Evan now has the flexibility and freedom to pick up gigs and earn income when he wants to, but also to take time off to work on projects like his pop-up event with Feastly which he plans to use Pared to staff for. For young cooks, Evan feels like it’s a great way to cut your teeth in the industry and learn or sharpen skills at the various gigs and restaurants. Although he doesn’t plan on ever working in a traditional kitchen again, he does enjoy picking up the occasional line cook gig for fun. Now that he knows he can count on Pared as a stream of income, he can actually see it being fun to cook on the line again.
“Pared has been the single largest turning point in my career since getting an entremetier job at Aqua in my 20’s. Just like Aqua changed my entire view of what it looks like to be a legit cook, Pared has changed my whole perspective about the value of my skills and what I can do with them.”
Update: Evan has since started his own sushi catering business called Makaseru after being inspired by the caterers he worked with on Pared!
If you have experience working in restaurant kitchens and would like to find flexible, high paying gigs in San Francisco, please check out our website.
If you’re a restaurant operator or a caterer and are tired of being under-staffed all the time, please visit our website.