From skater to chef, new passion leads to popular taqueria

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021
From skater to chef, new passion leads to popular taqueria
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When Jonathan Perez hurt his back in a car accident, he had to give up his first passion, skateboarding. Soon after, he found his next calling and became a chef.

BOYLE HEIGHTS, Calif. -- Jonathan Perez started his own taqueria called Macheen in 2016, but he hadn't always planned to be a chef.

"I had a bigger passion, which was skateboarding ... I started skateboarding at a very young age at 8 years old," said Perez. "As I turned 17 years old, I got in a car accident."

When Perez injured his back in the accident, he decided to pursue cooking and went to culinary school.

He started Macheen as a pop up, and now has a permanent residence at Milpa Grille Restaurant in Los Angeles' Boyle Heights neighborhood.

One customer favorite is his breakfast burrito.

"The breakfast burrito is more for [a] breakfast crowd," Perez said.

The popular burritos are wrapped up with a handmade tortilla de harina, a flour tortilla.

"If you wanted to get more of the creative and the more chef-driven stuff would be the lunch version of a taco. That's more elevated taco," Perez said.

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