We had the good fortune of connecting with Pablo Nealon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pablo, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
As hard as it is, I try to transform risk into a motivator instead of a deterrent. I think that helped me migrate to the U.S. from Argentina in 1999, it helped me change careers at age 39 from Architecture into the culinary world and later helped me decide to launch my own business as a Personal Chef.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am at the early stages of my business. The pandemic made me take a long hard look at my career path and pushed me to get started on my own. I was working as a corporate Executive Chef which had pulled me away from the kitchen and into the office. That sounded the alarm and motivated me to dive into this new venture. It was not an easy decision. I am very pragmatic but, I am equally creative so I went for it. Getting back to cooking and creating again is helping to balance the challenges. I know this is the right time for me so I welcome the lessons that come along with starting a business.
When customizing a menu, I believe in keeping the creative process very personal and collaborative with my clients. I open communication to create the experience they have in mind and elevate it. I hear often that there is nothing like eating restaurant-quality food in the comfort of your own home! I love cooking in people’s kitchens, talking to them, answering their questions, seeing their reactions while tasting each bite. It is an incredible connection.
Feeding people is the easiest way for a chef to express love. I am currently working on launching a concept that encourages collaboration amongst a host, their guests, and myself. My intention is to generate a space where people can share a meal, share their love for food and for each other. Creating community is something we all need and have been missing for over a year now. I want to help facilitate that with good food and good times.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We live in Longmont and love this town. There are lots of cool places to eat, drink, and tons of stuff to do. It is a pretty cool community and it is evolving rapidly as well.
If my best friend came to visit, Day 1 we would catch up by hopping on the “Brewhop Trolley” and hit up all the amazing local breweries: Left Hand, Wibby, Oskar Blues, to name a few. After a long day of drinking, we would grab a pizza at Rosalee’s pizzeria. This place is incredible and keeps our NYC pizza cravings at bay. Their garlic knots are better than any garlic knots I had during my 17 years living in NY!
Day 2, we would start our day with brunch at Lucile’s Creole Cafe, a Longmont staple. From there we would head over to Heil Valley Ranch for a hike followed by lunch at Georgia Boys, a great BBQ joint.
Day 3 we would go tubing at the Dickens Farm Nature area, which is easily accessible to downtown. That afternoon we would head to Longtucky Spirits to try some of their greatest libations (their whisky is phenomenal) and eat from whichever food truck is camped out for the day.
Day 4 we would take it easy during the day and go for a walk at MacIntosh Lake. The highlight of the day would in the evening, savoring over a leisurely dinner at West Side Tavern. It is one of my favorite spots in Longmont with both a greatly executed menu and cocktail program. Their whiskey selection is also incredible!
Day 5 I would cook up a breakfast feast at home. Then I’d make some sandwiches, pack a cooler with some cold local brews, and go fly-fishing at Rocky Mountain National park.
Day 6 we would walk up and down Main Street and spend some extra time visiting Doug at “Absolute Vinyl” to pick up a few records to add to my vinyl collection, so later that night we would listen and enjoy while sipping on some good Scotch.
Day 7 on our way to the airport, we would grab Thai food at this great new spot, “A Sticky Rice” and bring it over to St. Vrain Cidery to enjoy a couple of flights before saying goodbye.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate my shoutout to Anthony Bourdain’s “Kitchen Confidential” which helped me take a leap of faith, change careers and pursue my true passion and to my amazing wife, my most honest critic, my strongest supporter, and my biggest fan.