Everyone has a story to tell. A path that has shaped them into the person they are today. In a recent conversation with one of manjya’s top performing chefs, we learned the story behind the man Chef U-Brian Perullero.
U-Brian remembers being a young boy sitting for hours on end every day with his grandpa as he cooked. It was in the kitchen of the house where he and his family lived with his grandparents in New Jersey. His grandpa taught him the importance of fresh produce, and cooking with seasonal ingredients. While other kids U-Brian’s age were eating grilled cheese and peanut butter sandwiches, U-Brian was learning an appreciation of finer food, although he didn’t realize it at the time. To U-Brian this was just normal, and perhaps the foundation of the incredible Farm to Table artist that Chef U-Brian Perullero is today.
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Life took U-Brian and his family to Miami. It was here where two fateful and life-altering events occurred. The first, he met the love of his life, a Toronto born woman. It was love at first sight, and they were married 5 months later.
The second, U-Brian and his wife were in a serious motor vehicle accident where he suffered from the brunt of the impact, in an attempt to protect his wife. During the seven months while U-Brian was recovering in hospital and rehab, he often passed the time watching The Food Channel. He also had lots of time to ponder his life and his future. The childhood spark lit by U-Brian’s grandpa years ago was reignited, and he knew without a doubt that once he was out of the hospital he needed to pursue his passion, and become a chef.
U-Brian was still in a wheelchair when he started culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Miami. His appetite to become a chef was strong though and soon he graduated to a cane, and then finally nothing. He could work a kitchen like all the other students, without the barriers caused by the accident. U-Brian won his second year of culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. The contest consisted of preparing a 12-course meal for 40 people. U-Brian was victorious over 700 other students and spent a year in Paris as his prize.
While in Paris, U-Brian awoke each day feeling like the luckiest guy in the world. He wondered what new things he would learn, what new flavours and foods he would discover. He worked with a woman who taught him to never say no to a customer. She was the owner of a ‘mom and pop’ café in France, and her advice to U-Brian was ‘just when you feel you are about the say no to a customer request, walk away and ask yourself why you are really saying no’. Her lesson was, ‘chances are you are saying no because you are uncomfortable, but this is when you must say yes. This is when you will grow and thrive and set yourself apart from others’. This is a philosophy U-Brian still incorporates into his work today.
When thinking back on one of his proudest moments as a chef, U-Brian recalls a dinner that he catered for a cancer fundraiser in Miami. He was to plan, prepare and serve dinner to 5000 people in a private Miami mansion. Chef U-Brian handled all aspects of the night from menu creation to hiring staff –consisting of 100 servers, 30 bar tenders, and 80 people in the back of house. He recalls it ran like a ‘smoothly executed military show’. Chef U-Brian and his crew arrived at the mansion at 6 a.m., with 6 U-Haul trucks. They worked non-stop until 9 a.m. the next morning. U-Brian recalls sitting down afterwards with the hosts of the event, the owner of the NBA’s miami Heat and a prince from Dubai. They let him know how impressed and happy they were with the event. As well as the pride U-Brian felt, their gratitude was evident by the huge tip left for the chef.
2015 found U-Brian and his wife moving to Toronto (her hometown) where he began to build his catering business. No job is too big or too small for Chef U-Brian. He prides himself on Farm to Table dining, and enjoys growing seasonal bounty in his father-in-law’s back yard garden.
Chef U-Brian Perullero has become one of manjya’s most active chefs. He appreciates the ease of obtaining clients through manjya’s interactive and easy to use portal. manjya couldn’t be more proud to work with someone of Chef U-Brian’s calibre. He is a true artist and brings all of his life’s experiences to the table.