How do you feel that you impact the Latino community with your job?
As a small business owner, one who left a plush 9-to-6 career in law to pursue my dreams, my passion can serve as inspiration to not be afraid to dream. I come from the cliché "humble beginnings" in Cuba, where my parents scraped every single penny to have milk in my bottle. They came here, defied all odds, and offered me an amazing opportunity to chase and become anything I wanted to be. I like telling my story in a very transparent and organic way so that my community can see the possibilities of doing the same. Also, for young Latinas, setting an example is key. They need more positive role models doing wonderful and important work to know they can have a voice, too.
What advice would you give to other Latinas who want to become professional chefs?
Cook everyday. It's so important to be in the kitchen to learn the basics. Work at restaurant to see what a line looks like. I'd recommend going to culinary school if you want a solid, long-term career as a restaurant chef. You'll learn things in culinary school that will enhance everything about your skill as a chef. And read a lot. Reading has helped me a lot in my growth as a chef. I apply what I learn in the kitchen when I'm practicing and developing.
What gives you the most pride about being a Latina?
Our diverse culture. We are 21 countries of different history, traditions, and food, yet we all have a common bond. Being Latina means being resilient, thick-skinned but gentle and always beautiful. I really live the best of both worlds.
Do you have an Inspiring Latina story to share? Email us at InspiringLatinas@Latina.com!