How old were you when you started cooking?
I started cooking around 16 years old.
How did you know you wanted to become a chef?
I had always taken an interest in cooking, especially since a young age. I don’t think I realized that I wanted to become a chef until I went to culinary school at age 18. However, from that point on, I couldn’t envision myself doing anything else.
What’s your favorite thing to make?
I enjoy basing new dishes off of seasonal availability. For example, harvesting cherries in the peak of their season might inspire me to create something like a smoked cherry gazpacho. It changes often, just like the seasons.
Who are your favorite cooking influences?
My Mother and Grandmothers were certainly the biggest driving forces around cooking while growing up. Coming from a Hispanic background, cooking is a major part of our culture. I’m always looking to improve my craft. I’m inspired by chefs like Jose Andres, Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz, The Voltaggio Brothers…and that’s just to name a few. They were, and still are, major culinary role models to me.
How long have you been working at Olde Homestead Café?
I’ve been with Olde Homestead for several years and am entering my third as Executive Chef.
Tell us about the best part of your job.
I look at cooking as more than just putting food on a plate. It can stimulate every one of your senses, for me it’s one of the ultimate ways of self-expression. Olde Homestead has in many ways become a home away from home, so to speak. I love being in a position where I can give someone a positive culinary experience from both catering weddings to casual dining. I feel like I’m able to provide that everyday at Olde Homestead.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In this line of business, your job takes precedence more often than not. It’s just the nature of the beast. During the off season, I like to spend as much time as possible with family and loved ones, but even then I’m always cooking!