Manny Cruz, The Man Behind The Knife

“My knife is my life it holds pain, blood, tears, and recovery.”

So this is where I put my story? Where do I start? Two, three years? How about I go back a little farther than that. Being adopted by a family I've known for my whole life at the age of 15 is something that separates me from a lot of people. I had to switch up my whole life, in the snap of my fingers. Being adopted put a stereotype over my head that I couldn't control , so I thought. Over the years without my mother and my father (who I didn't know anyways) was rough. But I had role models that supported my goals and future. Behind my face throughout those years I suffered with anxiety and depression. I hated people, i didn't like crowds. I didn't like a lot of things. If I didn't feel like I was supposed to be somewhere I'd crawl into a ball and just have a guard up at all times. I suffered with that for years and sometimes to this day I still feel it. 12 weeks ago I met a friend and a group of people that were a little to friendly at first, so I thought. They were called SPIES. I've heard of them before but after hearing their stories face to face and being so open about it all I felt a sense of comfort around these people. Spies gives me a sense of hope to go out and socialize and just to be myself. Before spies I had my job as my cope. I am a chef. It's my life and it's what I do best. My knife is my life it holds pain, blood, tears, and recovery. Hours of slicing, cutting, chopping, turned into days of cutting, to weeks of learning to years of improvement. Spies and being a chef is what helps me everyday overcome many of the problems I still face every day. Who knows where I'd be or who I would be if I didn't meet these great people. They all have helped me with more than they will probably ever realize. Because of them I am recovering from pain and pressure and depression, I am improving in my culinary career and am now a nationally qualified bodybuilder. Spies without y'all I wouldn't have been able to do it. Spies isn't just a company., they're a family when you need one and don't have one.

Peace and love, 
Chef E.F. Cruz aka Chef Flex