1) Was being a Chef always your career goal? In my early years I was a Research Coordinator at Columbia University, later I moved into the pharmaceutical field but I never felt complete unless I was in the kitchen therefore it was not just a goal to become a chef but more like a necessity for my soul.
2) How did you get Started? I come form a family of cooks, I opened Mimi’s Fusion of Flavors because there was a demand for my service and little by little I was known by my gourmet Latin style, One day my friend producer Carmen Carbonell alert me about Sabado Gigante concurso from Olive Garden in which my wonderful facebook family voted for me and I won a scholarship to a cooking school of my choice plus a trip to Tuscany, Italy.
3) You’ve been on TV, what shows have you been on? Which was your favorite? Sabado Gigante, Despierta America, Al Despertar,
Opción NY. My favorite show was Sabado Gigante, seeing Don Francisco was surreal after seeing him almost by force every Saturday at home for 3 hours because there was no way we as kids could change the channel and back in those days there was no iphones or ipads so yes we had to watch Sabado Gigante.
4) What awards have you won? Did you win the cook abroad with Olive Garden? Tell me about that. The award that has touched my heart was the “Most Likely To Succeed” from the Institute Culinary of Education, I also won the contest with Olive Garden and Sabado Gigante in which a trip to Italy was part of the experience. Of course I have to mentioned that I gained few pounds in that week in which the Master Chef of Olive Garden taught me their secrets, Italy’s history by region and of course their culture and how simple is better when it comes down to food.
5) What is your favorite dish to prepare? What is the dish from your menu that you recommend? My favorite dish are the ones I remember cooking since little, the ones that awakens my memories….that is the beauty of cooking so I love to make Chivo Encendio, Moro with black beans covered with plantain leaves, Pasteles en Hojas are my favorite for the holidays, Linda is hard just to mention a dish my dear!!
6) Whats your cooking style? Is it Spanish? Are there any culinary fusions in your cooking? My cooking style of course is Caribbean, it’s in my blood, I was born in la Hispaniola-Santo Domingo and came to the States at the age of 13. I became a professional chef in NYC therefore I have may influence like any other chef we learn about the French, Italian, Asian cuisine which I use with my Latin flavors.
7) What’s the best part of your job? What has been the highlight of your career? oh wow the best part of my job is to meet so many people with different backgrounds, social class, ethnicity and at the same time they all have one thing in common, food. I don’t think I have a highlight in my career, I have the unique privilege to use my voice for things that are important in the Latino community, food is my passion community service is what I love doing and hopefully one day I can impact just one live..that would be the highlight of my career.
8) What’s your Message of Inspiration to others? God has giving us gifts or talents for a purpose, right now you have in your hands enough to bless someone else. Do it, inspire, go out there and smile, bless the day and your community, put some fire in our children’s heart, remind them how important it’s to get ready now, make them dream BIG, your efforts today will impact tomorrow.