Pandemic entrepreneur: Chef cooks up catering business

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HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — CBS 4 continues to show you how entrepreneurs have launched businesses during this pandemic.

One chef went from losing his job in a restaurant, to launching his own catering business.

Abe de Leon is a Valley chef who’s worked in restaurants across the U.S. for years. “In a restaurant, in a kitchen, your coworkers are your family.” His career has been influenced by a love for his culture.

“I grew up loving going to Mexico, and the family gatherings and the barbacoa and all that stuff.”

But like so many in the restaurant business, the pandemic shut down his work, but thankfully, not his passion.

“I was just anxious and wanting to do something. I was used to being on my feet working long hours. The whole world was experiencing something we’ve never seen in our lifetime. It was scary. Can I go out? What’s essential business?”

Now his home kitchen has become his work space.

“This has given me the confidence that I can do it on my own. That I have the mental toughness. I’m delivering the food, cooking, cleaning everything. I’m line cook, chef, delivery driver, everything.”

His small apartment kitchen is now big business for catering, bringing you a personal chef for any occasion.

“Everyone likes it because it’s something different. I would imagine you would be going to a birthday party and, be like, “what’s for dinner? Punch and cookies?” and then clients tell their friends, “no man. I hired this dude and he comes to your house and he cooks for you.”

The best part?

“Being able to be my own boss. Being able to find that I can do it and having the confidence and this renaissance in my life. Being comfortable and happy with myself in the midst of a pandemic.”

You can book him for your next event, or just bring a night out on the town to your own kitchen.

“It’s an experience and I invite anyone to come and break bread with me.”

His prices range starting at around $20 per person for catering events. You can find more information on how to book him at https://www.chefontheborder.com/

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