Hi!!!! Here is a glimpse of the past 25+ years and what I've been up to lately.
I am an award-winning - some say, culinary innovator, trendsetter, and leader in the Food Service & Culinary Industry. I was honored to be named one of Fast Casual Magazine Movers & Shakers in 2017. I am the Corporate Executive Chef of Travel Centers of America. I am in charge of everything related to our restaurant brands, from recipe and product development to menu engineering, recipe standardizing and costing, kitchen operational efficiency, and representing the Company at trade and promotional events. I also produce and edit training material (videos / quick charts ) and photos for promos and LTO, including voice-overs (English & Spanish), food, and prop styling.
I am the former Corporate Executive Chef and VP of Research and Development (R&D) of Wild Wing Cafe, Backyard Burgers, and Schlotzsky's/ FOCUS Brands. I was also the Senior Corporate Executive Chef for Subway Restaurants. Additionally, I worked for Disney Golf as their Executive Chef and I was the Puerto Rico Ambassador and Executive Chef for the PR delegation at the Epcot Food and Wine Fest 2014 (Disney World, Orlando, FL).
Before moving to the continental USA, and for over 15 years, I was a chef & on-air talent for multiple television shows. Some networks include Telemundo International, Univision Puerto Rico, Fox-Utilisima (Argentina), WIPR (a PBS Station affiliate), and I was the Puerto Rico hostess of Bizarre Foods – Travel Channel. My career has been showcased countless times on TV, in print, and in online publications. Some of these include Cooking Network, Travel Channel, Food & Beverage Magazine, Flavors and the Menu Magazine, 1851Franchaise.com, Fast Casual Magazine, Atlanta Business Journal, Latina Lista, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Atlanta Magazine, Caras Magazine, El Nuevo Dia, Primera Hora and The San Juan Star Newspapers, Imagen Magazine, Vea Magazine, and Buena Vida Magazine.
While all these were happening, I owned CMI Culinary Group, LLC, a culinary & food service consulting firm. Here, I offered a range of services, from Recipe and Product Development, Public Speaker / Brand Ambassador, Food and Prop Stylist, Food Photographer, Culinary Instructor, and Lifestyle & Culinary Reporter. At the same time, I was Executive Chef and Partner at Guava Restaurant in paradisiac Culebra, Puerto Rico. In addition - and because I love to teach- I owned Let's Cook PR, a cooking school where I taught the wonders of the culinary world to adults and children alike, from beginners to culinary professionals.
I am also a best-seller cookbook author, "Gourmet Para Todos Los Días" (Gourmet for Every Day), published in 2007. The book became the #1 cookbook in Puerto Rico (and #2 among all titles) for more than ten straight weeks, a moment in time I will never forget. In addition, in 2020, I wrote "How Angels Become Babies," a children's book about adoption, a topic that is dear to my heart.
I was lucky to have been born into a culturally diverse family from Cuba, Venezuela, Spain, and Puerto Rico, where I was born and spent my childhood. As a result, I am bilingual (English/Spanish) with some knowledge/learning of French, Portuguese, Italian, and Catalan. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, cooking, wines, painting, photography, and now venturing into golf. In addition, I am an avid collector of restaurant menus owing over 700 from around the world and dating as far back as the 1800s. My new venture is a travel and food blog, which I am planning to launch in the next couple of months.
I live in Cleveland, Ohio, with my daughter and my two four-legged sons, Parsley Frederik and Barley Alexander.
AS - Food and Beverage Management
Johnson and Wales University - Providence, RI - USA
BA - Business Administration
Trinity University - Washington, DC - USA
MBA - Marketing
University of Phoenix - Puerto Rico - USA
House of Fusion - Marrakesh - Morocco
Tuscookany - Arezzo - Italy
The Culinary Institute of America - NY - USA
Le Cordon Bleu - Paris - France
l’Atelier des Sens - Paris - France
Sky Kitchen - Cartagena - Colombia
Cook and Taste - Barcelona - Spain
La Conspiración de 1809 Cooking School - Morelia - Mexico
Named one of Fast Casual Magazine's "2018 Movers and Shakers."
Professional Category - First Place Winner, O-town MacDown Competition
Hostess of Bizarre Foods (Travel Channel) - Puerto Rico Episode
Best-seller cookbook author "Gourmet Para Todos Los Días"
Swany Award for employee excellence - FOCUS Brands
TV Chef / Talent (Former) - Telemundo, Univisión, Fox Utilisima & WIPR