We had the good fortune of connecting with Chef Perla and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Chef Perla, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Heart-centered connection. I truly believe the factor behind me getting to the point where I could leave my day job (after 5 years building my side hustle, Elevation Eating) to pursue my catering business full time was attributed to my ability to connect with people from a heart-centered place. That has led to deep relationships, friendships, aligned community and loyal clients. I would not be here today without the power of authentic, heart-centered connection. The people in my life whom I have connected with over the years are hands down the reason why I’m successful. The ability to cultivate connection with people… not business-to-customer, but human-to-human. The support of community and magic of connection is powerful beyond measure. The process of materializing the vision you have for your life starts with the self, but it unfolds through interacting with people. When we can connect with each other from a heart-centered place, especially when doing business–when our awareness isn’t solely focused on what I can GET out of this transaction, but what can I GIVE and how can we all mutually benefit? Thats the key. HEART-CENTERED connection, through business and beyond. Cultivating that has led to my success, 100%.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a plant-based chef and food artist. My edible creations are as beautiful as they are delicious (and nourishing af). I thoughtfully design my menus with wellness in mind and believe the energy of the food you eat translates into the energy of your life. This sets me apart.

Elevation Eating is my catering business and I specialize in vegetarian and vegan cuisine. I created this biz to inspire others how powerful eating more plants can be and to promote sustainable living through food. I feel in my heart that plant-based foods are tools for self-created health, social change and global sustainability.

After completing a plant-based culinary program years ago I started meal prepping healthy foods for friends and family, it quickly started getting real that I could cook for people as a living. I wanted to make my passions my paycheck, elevate health and inspire positive change in our world. The first time I thought I could maybe be a business owner and blaze my own path… my stomach dropped like when you’re on a roller coaster ride with that visceral fear in your gut. This physical response made me realize there’s something to this idea–I needed to follow the fear to overcome it.

The process of leaning into fear to move beyond it is ongoing. The path to get where I am today included A LOT of research, cultivating self-awareness and clearing out my energetic bullshit/limiting beliefs, cultivating connection with others and a lot of hustle working a full time job while working on my dreams on the side. 7 years later after having that original thought, I finally left my day job to pursue my dreams full time. Now I’m devoted to creating food that focuses on high-quality, local, organic ingredients that support a healthier community and planet. Healthy food should be a basic human right and accessible for EVERYONE. I’m passionate about changing the status quo of the current food systems in order to elevate human health.

Your food choices create a ripple effect that reach out into the world, making a tremendous impact, for better or worse. Every bite you take is an opportunity to nourish yourself, liberate communities and heal our planet. My mission is to inspire you to eat like you give a damn.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Some of my fav spots and things to do when my friends & fam visit SD!–

Morning stop at @communalcoffee
+ Place an order for Juice therapy via @morelifeliquid to have fresh juices for the trip 🙂

Brunch in the garden at the MAKE cafe @sdmakeprojects

Make an appointment to get nails done at vegan eco salon @vertesalon & the most relaxing acupuncture/sound healing session with @naluhealingarts

Shop at @home.ec.store @shopgoodco @paruteabar and get flowers at @native_poppy

Lunch and hard booch at @enclavefam inside @juneshineco

Visit City Farmers Nursery @cityfarmersnsy to pick up some new plant babes and visit the animals

Make sure to hit the Saturday Farmers drive-thru via Jareds Real Food Saturday pick up in Lakeside @jaredsrealfood

Go to alllll the yoga classes with @theyogabus @modrnmedicin & @yogachurchsd

+ Take a Krav Maga self-defense class with @arifit_ari

Pick up snacks @paleotreats and vegan pastries @splitbakehouse

Dinner at plumeria @plumeriavegetarian

Night cap and a good time @awarewolf_sd

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Life is truly communal in nature and not meant to be a solitary experience. I’m grateful for being supported by incredible humans and the opportunity to have found aligned community in San Diego when I moved here 5 years ago. To have connected with these women was legit divine intervention. Finding them at pivotal points in my entrepreneurial journey has shaped my reality/biz into what it is today. Deep gratitude for them and their gifts, check them out to be elevated!

Shannan Scott / @shannanscott: intentional brand strategist

Nic Roc / @youbelongheresd: collaborative work & community space for creatives

Cassie Templeman / @peanut_press: epic graphic designer and maker

Dana / @justlago: multi-talented wedding professional, holistic makeup artist & yoga teacher

Sucha Kumar / @suchakumar: creator of @liveblissed retreats and movement fusion programs

Website: www.elevationeating.com

Instagram: @elevationeating

Image Credits
@studio.luniste @ookielookbluu @stacykeck

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.