Hey guys, its been a while since I’ve done an interview blog post. It’s now summer 2017 and I’m coming up on my 1 year wedding anniversary. A lot has happened since my wedding blog update. I hired a summer intern and these are some questions she gave me to share with you guys a little bit about myself to keep you all up to date. I hope you enjoy!
Q & A with Chef V
- Why did you decide to become a Chef?
I always wanted to be a chef, but I didn’t want to work in a restaurant because I worked in one since I was 12! I never thought I would be a chef this young. I graduated from college with a B.A. in Psychology and prior to attending grad school, I decided to start chef-ing (is that even a verb?). My husband asked me, “If you had a million dollars in the bank what would you do?” And I said I would go to culinary school, cook, and write books. Then he said, “What are you waiting for?” And just like that I started putting myself out there.
I cooked a lot of free meals to get my name out there, and eventually I started booking weddings, birthdays, showers, and corporate events! In 2011 I decided to start a meal delivery service with my favorite healthy comfort foods. I gathered a small base of clients and I cooked for them each week. Through this meal service, I also made (*cough cough forced) them to drink a green drink before every meal. The results from my clients were amazing! Weight loss, improved energy, clearer skin, improved health issues, and the list goes on! After many testimonials, in November 2012 I stopped cooking food and decided to focus on how to help people incorporate green drinks into their daily lives.
Food is my passion. But, I found myself fulfilling my therapist dreams of helping people through improving their physical health, which also helps mental health.
2. What is your management style?
I am definitely a delegator. I have so many things to accomplish every day, week, and month, so delegating tasks amongst my staff is my savior. It is important for me to train people, but I also like giving them freedom to think on their own and use their best judgment within my guidelines.
3. Who is your biggest role model?
I love Top Chef and I always find a favorite each season! I am inspired by many chefs, but one person who I truly look up to is Bethenny Frankel. She started as a healthy private chef, as did I, and now she is the proud owner of the Skinny Girl brand. Skinny Girl started with a margarita mix and now has an extensive line of alcohol, popcorn, etc. I know Bethenny is a little crazy but that’s why I love her! She makes me feel sane! HaHa! No but really- owning a business is a stressful thing. Now add being a woman with crazy hormones and working with your husband and viola! … It’s tougher then it looks. So I give Bethenny major kudos for running such a successful business and putting herself out there in the media to be scrutinized, as that is sometimes the hardest part.
4. What is your favorite product you sell? Why?
My favorite product is definitely my Green Drink. It’s the easiest way to get your greens everyday, and it actually tastes good! Its raw, unpasteurized, vegan, gluten-free, low calorie, low sugar, and certified organic. You really can’t get much better then that. Oh wait… its delivered!
5. What is your favorite cleanse? Why?
I love the new Brunch Cleanse. It has everything you need for breakfast and lunch, and you have the freedom to make your own dinner. However, sometimes I get so full during the cleanse that I actually use the lunch soup for dinner! (any many of my fellow Brunch Cleansers do too!)
6. How did you end up in San Diego?
I love San Diego. I grew up in Palm Springs, and I wanted to move to the beach my entire life. I went to Cal State San Marcos, in North County San Diego. School was my ticket out here and when I graduated in 2010, I never left! I moved to NYC in 2014 to expand Chef V to the East Coast, which was an awesome adventure, but I was eager to return to San Diego. No matter where I go on this Earth, I am never sad to return to San Diego.
7. Did you ever feel like you were in over your head when you started Chef V?
Not when I started, however as it grew, I have definitely asked myself “What the heck are you doing?!” But there is not manual for life, kids, or starting your own business. There are lots of self-help books which I’ve turned to a lot, and it gives me comfort knowing people actually go through the same things and then write about them. It has helped me get over lots of growing pains!
8. Is it tricky doing business with family?
Absolutely! As you all know I work with my husband. I created Chef V not knowing what the future would hold, but when it started getting bigger then I ever imagined, my CPA and Accountant husband came to the rescue. He ditched his business he was building to help a thriving Chef V. We bump heads all the time, but luckily he has his stuff and I have mine, so there isn’t a ton of crossover. Working together has a lot of benefits too: we are both working toward the same goals, we have two people on the same team, and we both believe in what we are doing!
My sister used to work in the kitchen with me back in 2013, but that didn’t work out too well. She still delivers for me, but I don’t manage deliveries so things have been smooth sailing for years now.
9. Describe yourself in 3 words.
Passionate, Adventurous, Bossy
10. Describe your fashion style in 3 words.
Adventurous, Trendy, Unique
11. Clean or messy?
Okay, I love this one. I am super anal retentive about my kitchen, and do not let anything slide in that realm. However, at home I can be messy, but never dirty. I like things very clean and extremely organized, but I often find my clothes in a pile or papers scattered across my desk and kitchen table. I don’t leave trash or old food out, that just repulses me. But I do have lots of clutter that builds up fast. Nevertheless, as soon as I realize it, I get to organizing!
12. Hidden talent?
I am extremely flexible, so acrobatic stuff is fun for me. I also am great at basketball. I can hold my breath under water for an unbelievably long time, probably why I am a certified scuba diver. I am also double jointed in both pinky fingers and my right thumb. LOL! Not sure if any of those are talents, but that’s all I can think of!
13. Favorite TV show?
Top Chef or Real Housewives (I know so stupid… but so necessary!)
14. Go to snack?
Half an avocado and water from a coconut. L-O-V-E. My dream snack. Avocados provide you with slow and steady energy and don’t raise your insulin levels. I also love pistachios. I’m snacking on them while writing this blog!
15. Healthiest habit?
Green Drink first thing every AM.
16. What’s in your purse now?
My wallet, a compact with a mirror, BeautyCounter plumping mist & SPF 50 stick, Jane Iredale chap stick, my cell phone, keys, and business cards.
17. What’s your favorite workout?
Hot Yoga! I love yoga because it’s so calming and beneficial. I sweat more then any other workout I have ever done. I also love hiking and riding my bike.
18. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I have never been to France or Spain, so I am hoping to travel to both next year! I love taking cooking classes wherever I travel and these places are at the top of my list.
19. Do you meal plan?
Yes, typically every Monday or Tuesday depending on my schedule. I like to make a bunch of mason jar salads for lunch. Then for dinner I usually make a large healthy casserole-type dish like quinoa enchiladas or a gluten-free pasta dish that Brandon & I can eat all week long.
20. What is your go-to meal when entertaining?
Although it depends on how many people and what the occasion is, the quinoa enchiladas area always a hit. I also love to do taco bars because they are so fun and allow people to eat what they want.
21. What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
We just got new electric bikes and I know what you’re thinking: “Electric bikes? What’s the point?” But really they are so fun and still require you to do some pedaling. There’s a full motor option, pedal & motor, or no motor. The motor part really come in hand because we live up a large hill! Our beach cruisers were not making it fun or easy to get home, so we stopped riding. We use to ride every weekend and some week days around the San Diego Bay and throughout Pacific Beach, but when we moved it was too hard to get back up our hill. However, with our new electric bikes, we are now able to enjoying the summer and ride all over town.
22. When your at a grocery store, what is the first thing you put in your cart?
Veggies like cucumbers, zucchini, cabbage, and any thing else I don’t have growing in my garden. I grow my own kale, spinach, arugula, and other lettuces in my tower garden. My Tower Garden is the best thing I ever invested in. I grow fresh veggies and herbs right in my back yard with water and no soil. I just use these for my personal use, not for my business.
23. Night Out. What is your favorite restaurant and favorite thing on the menu?
My favorite restaurant is True Food. They have the yummiest food and surprisingly delicious cocktails made with fresh pressed juices. For a night out, I love to go somewhere near the water with a nice view. My husband and I usually share a salad and an entrée, usually fish. I also love sushi!
24. How do you keep up with all the new food trends & trendy diets?
I’m not into trendy diets per say. I believe in balance and longevity: What can you do every day for your health? For me, one Green Drink first thing in the morning (every morning) enables me to be my best self, feel healthy, and gives me freedom. However, I do love Pinterest and Instagram. I follow tons of foodies and bloggers that are always posting the coolest/ strangest things. I’m very visual so I love seeing images.
25. How do you stay healthy on vacation?
I try to stick to a schedule. I have fresh fruit, a salad, or a healthy smoothie in the AM. I actually always lose weight when I travel because I have a better schedule and more freedom compared to when I am at home.
26. What is a day in the life of Chef V?
Of course not everyday is Groundhog’s Day in my life, so days vary. I do lots of events in the week and on the weekends. I am part of numerous networking groups, charities, etc. Basically, my days are all over the place!
Average Day for Chef V
-Wake up around 6 or 7am.
-Take my dog potty
-workout- either yoga, barre, bike or hike
-Have 16 oz. Green Drink
-Feed my dog- I give him 1 organic scrambled egg and some organic dry food.
-Shower, get ready for the day. Check my schedule and attack!
-In the week go to work at my kitchen, check in on things, taste products, collect money from register, deposit money, check in at the office.
– If I am in California I check the NYC Cameras and daily reports to see what’s going on there. If I am in NYC I do the same for Cali.
-Lunch ~12 or 1pm. My go-to is one of my homemade mason jar salad or salad bar at Whole Foods or Sprouts. I love to do a Mexican style salad or just spinach, strawberries, goat cheese or cottage cheese, and some sunflower seeds or walnuts. I usually eat a salad daily or once a week I have sushi.
-Check emails- I don’t like to do this first thing in the AM as it usually drains my day and prohibits productivity so I do it after lunch.
-Usually go to the grocery store a couple of times a week to get any thing I need to make dinner.
– I get home between 3-4pm every day and take my dog for a little walk.
-I usually schedule any appointments I have for 3-5pm and get all personal stuff done during that time.
- I come home and cook probably 3-5 nights a week. Usually most stuff is already prepped I just need to reheat or cook lightly. But I do love cooking.
- My husband comes home form the office around 5-6pm every day and we sit and have a few moments together on our patio.
- I get to cooking and he turns on PTI (Pardon the Interruption, a sports show)
- By the time dinner is ready we either go out on the patio and eat unless we have a good show to watch like House of Cards, Homeland, Billions, or something we both agree we like.
- Lately we have been doing sunset bike cruises on our electric bikes. It’s so fun and cool to watch the sunset at the top of Torrey Pines.
- My husband goes to bed around 8pm and I use to but I would constantly wake up at 3am ready to go with no where to go so I try to stay up until 9 or 10pm.
- At night I check social media and try not to check it too much during the day but try to post during the day. This can be a real time sucker. So at night it’s good to wind down and just kind of ‘work’ on social during that time.
- I do my BeautyCounter regime each night which is charcoal face soap, rejuvenating serum, rejuvenating lotion mixed with one of their delicious face oils, I like the plumping and the hydrating ones. I dab a little rejuvenating eye cream and brush my teeth. I am obsessed with flossing! It actually improves your cholesterol too!
- Then I take CocoNut out one last time to potty and we jump in to snuggle with my husband and go to bed.