My culinary vision was deeply influenced by my childhood, growing up on a beautiful organic farm in Venezuela. Early inspiration came from watching my mother picking fresh, colorful ingredients from our garden and masterfully integrating spices and flavors that resulted in delicious meals. To grow up with this intrinsic understanding of where our food comes from and to see it transform from the vine to the dining table was an incredible gift. When our family would vacation on the Caribbean island of Grenada, I have equally powerful memories of going into the village with my mother to select ingredients for our dinners. Fresh fish practically jumping off the back of trucks. Vibrant, luscious fruits and vegetables, and the heady aromas of the fecund tropical island enhanced my love of food and cooking, and it became a love affair between myself and food, and it was apparent that this was the career for me.
During my years of training, I had the great fortune to train under Chef Mentina and Uli in Caracas, and then later to expand my horizons and study around the world under other influential masters like Chef Sergio Mei at the Four Seasons in Milan, both Diamond Five Star Hotels.
I have traveled extensively throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, absorbing the spices, techniques and rich food traditions wherever I go. I have read voraciously about cuisines of many cultures and found ways to integrate this international influence into my own creations.
I find inspiration from many chefs ranging from Julia Child, Hirioyuki Sakai, Tomas Keller and Graham Kerr, who in addition to being a great chef is a notable nutritionist. I have had the opportunity to live in six countries including Singapore, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, the U.S, in the Caribbean and my birthplace Venezuela. All of these chefs, and each of these countries has influenced my journey and my food.
I feel that having a degree in nutrition is something that separates me from other chefs. However, it is my fundamental belief that nutrition and taste are synonymous. That good food should taste good! I have had the great fortune to cook for a broad and varied demographic and pride myself on innovation, hard work, and always keeping the customer satisfied without sacrificing either flavor or well being.
It all boils down to one word - passion. I have an undeniable and ever evolving passion for food, for cooking and for enabling people to understand the value of good food. The benefits of healthy eating are an integral part of my philosophy.