Young, good looking, charismatic and talented do not begin to describe 25-year-old Chef James Tahhan. The rising star of the culinary world is the host of the Telemundo morning show "Get Up" or "Levantate" in Spanish. After he auditioned for the show Tahhan was chosen as the head chef for the program and Telemundo made it a regular part of their programming. Tahhan captivates his audiences with his delicious recipes and his magnetic personality. Latin Times caught up with James Tahhan and he spoke about his inspirations and why becoming a chef was his life's passion.

Tahhan said food was always a big part of his life and the experiences of enjoying good food is what helped place him on the path to become a chef. "Since I was a little kid I was a big eater," Tahhan said. "I was always eating and I love to eat and to experience good food." An early inspiration for the Venezuelan born chef was a friend of his father who came from Galicia, Spain. "He was a total inspiration," Tahhan told Latin Times. "He was the one who somehow opened my palate to different flavors."

Once Tahhan was opened up to these different culinary flavors he said he wanted to learn how all of these elements and combinations could come together and create a delicious dish. "That was one of the reasons why I decided to become a chef. I said I want to cook I want to know how all of this is done and do it even better." Tahhan sees food as more than a paycheck, to him it is a symbol for how we live our lives and how we can make our lives richer simply by enjoying what we eat.

"I always looked at food like something that helps us develop and not destroys us," Tahhan said. The young chef said he wants to use his position as a celebrity chef to educate the public about what they are eating and how they can make meals that are nutritious as well as satisfying. "I also wanted do food that is more nutritious then it was fattening...People are eating and they don't know what they are eating so me being in television gives me the opportunity to teach them how to cook something in a proper way. You know, add flavor but not calories."

While speaking with Latin Time James Tahhan said he had been blessed in his career and lucky to have had everything fall into place for him. Any obstacles he faces as an aspiring Latino chef he looked to as learning experiences and said because of everything he faced he is more appreciative of what he now has. "We came to this country with nothing in our pockets and had to start everything from scratch and only with one thing, hope and a dream of doing what we wanted to do. I think that was more than an obstacle, it teaches you."

"Because once you have it you understand all the things that you have to pass through to get there. You appreciate much more what you have now that you didn't have before," Tahhan said.

Part of being a chef is getting to eat all of the delicious food you get to prepare. Tahhan said his favorite dish is paella. "I love Paella, paella is one of my favorite dishes because I like everything that happens in one whole pan. All the flavors concentrated it's like a party. You know the food becomes friends with each other and stuff like that and that happens with the rice, the saffron then you put in the seafood and the seafood gives it a tremendous amount of flavor. I think paella is one of the most brilliant dishes in the world."

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