Piada Spotlight | Christian Durand
February 25, 2021
Meet Chef Christian! He started working at Piada as a cashier and quickly earned his way up to supervisor through his hard work and determination. He’s a soccer lover and talented Chef who moved to the US from Peru 9 years ago to be closer to his family. When he arrived, he was surprised to find his life in South America was actually fairly similar to life in Ohio.
“The vibe and the people that you see back home in the city aren’t all that different from my experience in Columbus. A lot of the people there know English, and that’s where I started learning it as well. I was also really happy to learn that Columbus had a MLS team. I used to play soccer in high school and college, so having a local MLS team here was important to me.”
The Columbus Crew SC is a major part of Chef Christian’s life. In fact, in 2018, Columbus was the site of a grassroots movement that made sports history: Save the Crew. The owner of The Columbus Crew SC, Columbus' Major League Soccer team, had decided to relocate to Austin, TX. However, Columbus’ soccer fanatics like our very own Chef Christian, rallied to save the team. It’s an amazing story about the power of community, passion, loyalty, and hard work - everything Chef Christian stands for here at Piada Italian Street Food.
“I’ve been a soccer fan since I was a kid. I would go to games all the time with my dad and travel to follow the teams. Today, in my spare time, I love supporting The Crew, tailgating before games and watching them play at the stadium. I actually run a Spanish podcast with a friend called ‘Al Angulo’ which is all about the Columbus Crew! Our goal with the podcast is to help inform Spanish speakers about the team because we found that there wasn’t a lot of information out there.”
When Christian’s not at the stadium or working on his podcast, he’s excelling in his career and making an impact on his teammates. He’s an important part of Piada’s story, and we’re lucky that his personal mission is to better the lives of everyone he’s in contact with.
“I hope that when I meet and train new people, they can see that anyone can accomplish something special and grow their career at Piada. You don’t need to be from the United States or speak perfect English to be successful. As long as you put in hard work and are dedicated, you’ll make it somewhere. I am an example of that and want to be an inspiration for others.”
Chef Christian’s been with Piada for 8 years. His background in hospitality and love for people have set him up for success in the restaurant industry. Through his strong work ethic, he’s established himself as a go-to leader at Piada, coaching and setting an example for so many over the years. When he’s training teams, he believes the “why” is just as important as the “how.”
“I like to set expectations, create a game plan with my team so we don't make mistakes and lead by example. When teaching new skills to Team Members, I make sure to explain the why to them for a deeper understanding and respect for our recipes and processes.”
The key to Christian’s success is his ability to work together and connect with others. Over the course of his Piada journey, Christian has met people from all walks of life. He now considers these individuals friends and mentors who brighten his day and make his work more fulfilling.
“I’ve found so many great people and new friends during my time here, especially great mentors. I’ve spent much of my time at Piada helping other stores and training new Team Members. The team trusts me to do my job which I really appreciate. It takes hard work and dedication, but I’m surrounded by great people in the company that work just as hard as me. We have a really strong support system.”
During his time here, he’s worked with so many different people from so many different places.
“I love learning new things. The United States is so multicultural. I can learn new traditions, ways to think and how to do things from other people. That’s something I’m grateful to have been exposed to at Piada.”
Be sure to listen to Chef Christian’s Columbus Crew SC podcast “Al Angulo”. Available now on all streaming platforms.