Payton Pelaez photo

Chef Payton Pelaez

Food Network & Chez Pay Catering


What is your profession?

I am a 13 year old teen chef entrepreneur with my own catering company: Chez Pay.I have been in business for 4 years.

What is the best part about having people eating your dishes?

When people discover that healthy food can be creative, tasty and satisfying. One of my favorite things was when a man walked up to me and said, “I don’t know how you did it, but you’ve gotten men to eat salad all the time!”

What do you love most about your job??

I like the freedom and creativity I have when I’m coming up with the ideas to please my customers.

Why are you interested in cooking/food/education? 

It gives young kids the chance to discover their passion for cooking.

What first made you interested in food?

Living on a farm in France for a summer when I was 8 years old let me to discover the delicious food that they have there, and made me want to cook it at home. I especially liked baking. The first thing I baked when I came home from France were French Macarons. They came out with perfect feet!

What is the connection between the work you do professionally and the advising work you do for Sprouts?

Sprouts has helped me become who I am today from a culinary standpoint. When I teach kids at Sprouts, I show them what happens when you follow your dreams and work hard. I show them what kid chefs are capable of doing.

Why do you think the work that Sprouts is doing is important?

Teaching kids what real food is all about is important to stop the spread of the obesity epidemic. We need to educate more young people about how important real food is.

Why is it important for kids to learn how to cook for themselves?

When you cook for yourself as a kid, you get freedom.  You’re not dependant on other people or processed food.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned from working with Sprouts?

When I was a student at Sprouts, they really showed me what I could become and I became it.

What was one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had as a Sprouts fan?

Teaching other kids light up around food.

Is there anything else that you would like Sprouts fans and foodies to know about you?

I started running my own business when I was 9 years old, I was on Season 1 of the Kid’s Baking Championship on the Food Network, and I gave a TedxTalk called “Staying True to Yourself.’  Great Things Happen When You Stay True To Yourself | Payton Pelaez | TEDxYouth@Ross