CJaeckle Portrait- 2

“I love Popeyes Chicken. I LOVE it! I don’t know if that’s deep and dark, because it’s actually delicious. [Laughs] But like…  I am… Yes. I… love Popeyes Chicken!

“It’s delicious! Like I really – my girlfriend bought me Popeyes Chicken with a candle in it for my birthday this year. I love Popeyes Chicken!

“What else have I got? Another one is I decided I wanted to be a cook while I was making Ortega or Old El Paso pre-packaged tacos!

“I remember the moment. The actual moment that I was like ‘I think I can do this for a living.’ I was home in my parents’ house, I was in high school, I was 16 or something. Super stoned. Super stoned. So I’m sitting in my house – I had taco shells toasting in the oven, crisping them up, you know? I got the ground meat searing in the pan, you know, like the caramelization in the pan. And I pull them out, and I put the MSG-bomb flavor pack in the pan, right? And I smell the cumin blooming and the spices and I was just sort of ‘You know what? I think I could do this!’ Like literally, that was just sort of what I told myself. And I went to my guidance counselor at my high school the next day, and I was like ‘Hey man, I think I want to cook!’ and he’s like, ‘You’re an idiot. But if you really want to do this, you should go to vocational school.’

Interview and Photos: Elle Smith