Paul Hidalgo (@cheatdaychef)


Food and nourishment are the most important factor for human sustenance and are what we look forward to the most every single day. Eating well can be a blessing and a major source of happiness for a lot of people. Food is important for survival, but the body is not the only thing it nourishes. It has the ability to nourish one’s mind, body, and soul. Just as eating sweets and desserts makes people happy, clean food of good quality and balanced macros can leave one feeling happy and healthy at the same time. People who have a way with food and can cook it to perfection are not just chefs, but they are artists. Food is their medium and the end result is their art. Plates are their canvas and technique is the seasoning. Using raw materials, spices, seasonings, garnishes, and condiments is all a form of art and comes together to become a piece of art. 

Paul Hidalgo is one such artist. To him, making food look beautiful and taste divine comes as easily to him as breathing. He is a master with a knife in his hands and always makes food that is pleasing to the eyes and the taste buds. Not only is he self-taught, but his yearning for growth has never slowed down and he proceeds to improve his skills in the kitchen every single day. On Instagram, Paul goes by the name of CheatdayChef (@cheatdaychef) and believes that food can be clean, healthy, green, and taste mouthwatering at the same time. His passion for cooking and traveling go hand in hand and with his exposure to different tastes, cultures, people, cuisines, ingredients, and techniques, he has been able to encapsulate all the information he has acquired and put it on a plate. 

Paul’s food journey had a rough start. Having lived a period in his life where money was very tight and binging was a luxury, he knew he had to prioritize and budget to survive. Having a controlled lifestyle like that taught him to be resourceful and make the most of what he had. This resourcefulness is what heightened his love for food, and he soon realized he had a talent for cooking. He made use of minimal ingredients and materials and was able to transform it into a filling and satisfying meal. His friends only encouraged him even more to make use of his culinary talent and it inspired him to start his Instagram page where he documents his cooking. 

Thankfully, Paul is in a much better place financially yet he remains humble and down to earth nonetheless. Since pursuing his culinary passions, Paul’s situation has improved substantially. He has managed to expand his network through social media to heights he says he never imagined. Surprisingly, a large majority of the followers he has on his Instagram page, and the engagement he gets on his profile is mostly from people from Ukraine and Russia, so to be able to understand and communicate with them, Paul did something even most amazing. He revealed that he has started learning Russian so he could easily communicate with his Russian audience and to make them feel more welcome. This speaks volumes about his dedication and the extra mile he goes to make the people around him happy. He said he also immensely appreciates their presence because from starting out with nothing, he has been able to reach people all over the world. 


He loves sharing his traveling and cooking on his Instagram feed, and a lot of his cooking shots are saved in his highlights and can be seen as soon as one visits his page. He very recently revealed his face, before which he believed his appearance doesn’t matter because his passion is food and that is what he wants to show his audience. He also shared that his life quote is one by Les Brown that inspires people to not give up and fight and persevere for their goals. If that doesn’t summarize Paul’s journey, we don’t know what does! 

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