Major: Culinary Arts Management
Hometown: Miami, FL
How did you become interested in food?
I spent all my childhood with my grandma in the kitchen. My mother doesn’t know how to cook so I started cooking for her when I was nine years old. My grandma passed away when I was 12 so I took over her kitchen. I really enjoyed it, but it was mostly necessity that drove me to cook.
Who most influenced you?
When I was 16 years old, I met someone who changed my life—Chef Paul Prudhomme. Both my parents are in the medical field, so I figured I’d have to study something related to health care. Little did they know that meeting Chef Prudhomme would make me change my mind! We spoke for about an hour. He signed my book, took pics, told me about his childhood, and his love for food and cooking.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles or challenges to come to the CIA?
I’m from Florida and had never traveled before so I was a little scared to travel to New York and leave my family behind. I also have a Von Willebrand disease, a bleeding disorder that affects your blood’s ability to clot. This can cause heavy, hard-to-stop bleeding after an injury. As a result, my doctor and my family tried to persuade me to change my plans and career goals. Obviously, they weren’t very successful.
Do you have a previous degree/career?
I have a A.A. degree in Culinary Arts from LCB but I was hungry for more education.
Why did you choose the CIA?
I had to convince my family to let me continue my studies. I talked to my instructors at LCB and most of them are graduates from the CIA. I also did my research on the internet and wanted to go to the best culinary school. The CIA had the best programs and instructors so all I had to do was convince my family to let me come to New York.
What do you like best about CIA?
The teachers, the school in general, the library, the environment, the prestige, knowing that I can find inside the walls of my classroom everything I need to succeed in life as a chef.
What are your career goals/plans?
I want to travel the world to experience different cultures and food, but my ultimate goal would be to have my own restaurant in the Brickell area in Miami, near my home.
Any advice for prospective students?
I’m grateful for the experience I got at LCB, but the experience of attending CIA is like no other. It’s knowing that you’re going to the best of the best, that tomorrow your classmates are going to be the chefs of the future and you will make friendships that will last a life time.