My first introduction to cooking was when I was a little child. I always remembered my mother in the kitchen and me right beside her—watching, smelling and learning from what she was doing. At 17 years old, I joined the Cuban Navy Academy and I thought my future was going to be on a ship. But life is a journey and I was far from finding my real passion. My family moved to Venezuela a few years later and I decided to start studying at Maria-Antoinete Caneme Culinary Academy, to follow my real passion—cooking. I graduated from Maria-Antoinete Caneme in 2010. Shortly after, my family and I opened a small restaurant in Venezuela and as a family business, I was in charge of creating the menu, cooking and curating new dishes for special occasions. I did it all.
In 2013, I moved to the United States where I decided to improve my culinary skills. I enrolled at Le Gordon Blue Culinary Institute in Miami and graduated in 2014. During that period, I worked at different restaurants to fine tune my skills while continuing to expand my knowledge of different cuisines. I learned a lot about Mexican, Peruvian, Japanese and American cuisine. All that experience opened my mind and I was able to put in practice all my knowledge and previous experience in Son Cubano, a Cuban restaurant with an Asian twist. I had the opportunity to learn and work with Chef Douglas Rodriguez, recognized as the inventor of Nuevo Latino Cuisine. I participated in popular festivals like the South Beach Food and Wine (SOBEWFF) and Burgelicious Festival in Coral Gables, just to name a couple. I was also featured in A La Carta, a segment of Acceso Total, on the most watched Latin channel, Telemundo.
The art of cooking is diverse and the landscape is endless—you can go to culinary school for a degree, learn knife skills and gain academic knowledge but I believe that is not enough. The real secret (my secret) is in your heart—to follow your instincts. To be a chef, you recognize the journey will encompass a lot of hard work and sacrifice but you dream that one day it will all come together with the opportunity to open your own restaurant, create your own dishes, fill everyone’s bellies and most importantly, make everyone happy.
With that said, I bring you Cubanidad 1885. ¡Buen Provecho!