On Food & Cooking
I think since I was a kid my life has centered around food. Not because I wanted it to, not because I ate a lot or I had a eating disorder or even because I liked food. When I was growing up I was always super sick, I always had the shits and even when I was five my skin was so bad. I went to all these different doctors, I even had a stomach surgery, who couldn't figure out why I was always so sick. Eventually a doctor suggested I cut out meat and right away I felt way better. Years later another doctor suggested that I cut out animal byproducts all together and all that gross shit I had been dealing with forever completely vanished. I'm still not totally sure what the issue was because I refused to continue getting tested. Once the problem was solved I didn't see the point in lingering on it.
I was ten when I went vegetarian and fourteen when I went vegan so I've been cooking since then. Actually I started helping my parents out in the kitchen when I was probably five, they taught me how to use a knife and and boil water and all that simple stuff. My mom is Filipina and my dad is Puertro Rican so both of them come from these cultures with really rich food history and cuisine so I grew up in a house full of those flavors. Neither of them are amazing chefs by any stretch of the imagination but they can both cook and they taught me how to cook. So when my diet changed and my family's didn't I was prepared to learn to feed myself. These assholes were not at all interested in eating what I was eating and honestly I can't really blame them.
I learned real quick I hated salads and I still do so I had to learn to actually cook. I used to borrow so many cooking books from the library, I watched a lot of Food Network growing up. It was hard to find things geared towards a plant based diet at the time, now it's super cool and trendy and it's way easier for these baby vegans to eat some good food, but when I was fifteen trying to make a hearty dinner for myself it was hard to find recipes. Basically my whole cooking style was about developing recipes that tasted as good as stuff I remember eating. I wanted to replicate the tastes that my family was eating, I didn't want a whole separate meal as much as I wanted to eat something similar to what they were eating. Of course I miss all that food and I like trying things, maybe four or five times a year I'll break my diet and go to In-N-Out or get some nachos and then spend the next week shitting out my brains but for the most part I'm really content with my diet.
I got really fucking good at it. I got obsessed with it.
When I was in high school I did tech school part time and I did the culinary program. Culinary school is really hard when you can't eat a lot of the food but I loved it enough that I stuck through it for those two years and then when I graduated I went to actually culinary school. After graduation I found a job as a line chef at this trendy new vegan restaurant and I did that for a few years before I came to Ashwick, met my love Molly, and we opened the food truck. My end goal is for the truck to become an actual restaurant, a real brick and mortar spot that takes reservations.
Cooking is all I've ever really wanted to do.
On Drugs & Alcohol
They say that working in a restaurant teaches you far more about cooking than going to culinary school. That's probably right. But the main thing I learned from working in a restaurant was that drugs and alcohol are so much fun!
When you work in a restaurant, especially a trendy upscale downtown cool restaurant you work these long hard hours and it's late and your sleep schedule is all off. One thing about chefs, but especially male chefs because they are the worst, is that we think the restaurant business is somehow rebellious and drugs are the most rebellious thing. Chefs party and they party hard. I worked in the restaurant for three years and from the third month I was drinking every night, I was smoking weed most mornings, I was doing coke towards the ends of my shifts, we would party and take shrooms and LSD. I am a mess of a human being on my own without anything going on so me on drugs was horrific. I really do not remember a lot of those years.
I would wake up and wake and bake every single day then eat breakfast, run some chores, work out, then go to the restaurant for the night, go to a bar after and go home with some guy or some girl and stumble back into my apartment when the sun was raising. I was having so much fun.
Until I wasn't.
I think around the one year mark I was really fucking myself up. I got two DUIs and I'm lucky they were only DUIs and not much much worse, I woke up in a hospital a few times, I got my stomach pumped for the first time, I got arrested a few times, I blacked out once and got into a fight which I lost horribly. Those are just the things that I remember. And that was just year one, I worked there for another two years before I finally had to leave.
In the end my family forced me to leave, specifically my brother. I never really had a great relationship with J'onn and I still don't, we might be twins but we did not get along. I wish I could say that we didn't get along because we were too similar but we're not at all similar and we just always fucking hated each other. We're always picking fights and there's been times we didn't talk for months for very dumb reasons. But I guess in the end we're still siblings and we still care about each other.
I was twenty three when my brother had to break down the door to my bathroom because I had OD'd. The only reason he even came by was because I had taken some of his clothes without permission, I didn't steal them like a crack head or anything like I took them to wear them, but he was angry at me so he came over to yell at me. We got into an argument and half way through I said I had to go piss and I went and shot up because at that point I was trying heroin, and when I didn't come out because I had passed out and hit my head on the counter on the way down and was laying in a pool of blood, he broke down the door to get to me. At the time our parents were away on vacation and he promised not to tell them if I went to rehab so I went to rehab. For the first time.
I got out and I went back to the restaurant and and within a week I was using again. I got arrested really soon after for drug use and they put me back in rehab. This time when I got out I quit the restaurant and got a job at a catering company. A couple months later I started dating a chef, I OD'd again and I was in rehab again. Third times the charm.
I have family here in Ashwick and I thought that I needed a change of pace from LA. I thought if I went to a small town I'd get bored and I'd do drugs out of necessity and while Ashwick isn't some huge city it's still a city with lots of things to do. I have been sober, totally and completely sober, for two years now, almost three. Not to say that there's less drug use here because I know a lot of people are doing the most but for me the change of pace really helped. Also I think being in the truck helped. I still work nights but I'm not partying, at most I'm working with one other person and I have so much clean up afterwards and I have a dog now that I just want to go home and get in my bed after work. It's different and it's so much better for me. I'm so much better.
On Sex & Romance
I lost my virginity when I was 13 and I never stopped, I never slowed down, I went full speed into exploring my sexuality. It's just the best feeling. Right after really good cocaine sex is the best! When I was 19 I learned that most likely I couldn't have kids, which was fine because kids are gross and I hate them, so I didn't have that fear of getting pregnant like most people have. If I know someone is clean then fuck protection. I just love it and I don't understand why people are weird about it. It's so good. Nutting is amazing. It's just the best and I think the world would be a lot nicer if people were doing it more often.
I love sex but I also really do like romance. I know it doesn't really seem like it because of how much sex I have with relative strangers but I do love being a relationship. I love feeling cared for, I love caring for someone. Just like how I learned that I just love sex, all kinds of fun all the time, I learned that I don't really have a type. I have given my love to every different kind of person you can think of and I wouldn't have it any other way. I've never had any sort of preference or a line I'm not willing to cross, people are so unique and everyone loves in their own way and I just want to experience as much of it as possible.
None of my relationships have ever lasted for more than a year because I get bored or my sights turn to someone else and I'm sure I've broken hearts, I've had my heart broke, but also I've never really hurt anyone. All things considered, even at my absolute lowest, I've never cheated on someone or hit them or lied to them about anything that wasn't drugs. I know that I am awful and really mean but I've made sure to never really hurt anyone, I don't anyone who's ever given themselves to me to think of me negatively, I don't want them to carry some emotional scar because of me. I like to think that I have good friendships with all of my exes, I try really hard at that.
When I was deep into drugs I was mostly in committed relationships, pretty much always with other chefs. There was three major people in my life and at some point I was in a poly relationship with two of them. I was having a lot of sex when I fucking up my life but when I got sober it somehow amped up.
I think it maybe replaced my additions. Not totally. I do so many different things to distract myself. I work out all the time, I run every day, I have thrown myself into my business so seriously, I travel as much as I can and experience as much as I can, I am so obsessed with building my personal brand on Instagram, I blog about the truck every week, I really want to start a podcast. But I am having way more sex than I was before, I get fucked like every other day at least. Since I turned 30 I've been trying to not sleep with someone I met an hour previously but it's really hard, sometimes I just meet the hottest and most interesting people and I can't help it. I think being busy and fucking have turned into my addictions and I don't care because I used to do heroin and that's the worst shit to be addicted to!