Interview with Paul Hidalgo (@cheatdaychef)

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Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

I learned how to cook because there was a time when I didn’t have much money, so I had to be resourceful and creative with what I had. My friends told me I had a talent, so I wanted to share ideas on how to create food that is both delicious and aesthetically pleasing. Now that I am in a much better place financially, I still continue to share my passion, along with my new fond of traveling. 

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this? 

I think people tend to overlook the simple things in life. My network has since then grown to a scale I would have never imagined, and because of these people, they inspire me even more to learn. Right now I am learning Russian because most of my audience turns out to be from Ukraine and Russia, and that alone is weird enough, but it truly is interesting considering that I really started off with basically not knowing anybody – let alone in my own country. 

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

I think it’s a bad idea to give any sort of advice to anyone who doesn’t truly seek it or is very dishonest with their end goals. I mean, none of the true and genuine heroes we individually respect never came to their position easily, and definitely not with the idea of “not burning out”. It’s gonna happen and you should let it happen. Avoiding the inevitable is a futile plan and so if what is going to happen WILL happen anyway, why not have some fun along the way? 

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? 

I really give my respect and honor to my mother because, even though we had our rough times and not seeing eye to eye, in the end, I remind myself that if my mother, who raised four of her children alone, can survive, and not only survive but THRIVE, and I have her genes, then wow. No matter how bad it gets, I know I have it within myself to keep going forward. 

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

Just between you and me, during this pandemic, I realized there are a lot of people going through what I had to go through alone several years ago. My friends and I are planning a program for this Christmas where we pool our cash in and we have basically an entry form where people can register if they need it, and we can provide them with money for food, clothing, the basic human necessities. But we can’t help everyone but for sure we will be helping families this Christmas. 

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

Growing up I had nobody with me to tell me how to become a man, and what challenges were waiting for me. I have such a handful of heroes, namely Dwayne Johnson, TD Jakes, and Les Brown. There are so many more, but here is a quote that I would like to remember my whole life; “Stop wasting your weapons on what people say because it is not what they say about you that matters, it is what YOU say about you that threatens your destiny. YOU will never be defeated by what they say about you, YOU will be defeated by what you say about YOU”. 

I have so many other quotes. I really love listening to TD Jakes and Les Brown and Dwayne Johnson. But this quote in particular came at a time when I was weeding negative people out of my life. You can’t move forward if you’re surrounded by dead weight, and I really hate being surrounded by dead weight. But I do love moving forward, so there was only one choice – go solo. 

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

My Instagram handle is “Cheatdaychef”.

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