“I’m originally from Trinidad and Tobago, which is a small twin-island state in the Caribbean. Currently, I run a catering company called Meraki Catering (@merakicateringtt) out of Trinidad.

Throughout high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. It wasn’t until my art teacher, Ms. St. Hill, urged me to go to an open house at the Culinary Institute back home that I found what I really wanted to do. I fell in love with the artistic approach they showed with food. I enrolled in culinary school and since 2006, I traveled abroad to learn more about my craft. I was hooked and I haven’t looked back since.

I believe that what keeps me in this industry is the need to satisfy people’s souls. I stay hungry to bring new perspectives to people who haven’t had the chance to travel and be exposed to certain things in the culinary world. Food is always evolving so I don’t ever get bored when it comes to exploring and experimenting. I’m always looking for ways to bridge the gap by pairing existing ingredients with unorthodox techniques and dishes and enriching people with the wonderful experience of discovering something that fills their souls.

Over the years I’ve learned many valuable lessons. The one that sticks with me most is treating everyone with the same level of respect that you’d show for the CEO of the company. You never know who’s going to have to help you on a busy night shift or give you an invaluable piece of advice that can save your ass one day.

If I could share any words of advice for other cooks it would be to travel. Travel, travel, travel!! Get out of your hometown and challenge yourself to experience new things even when you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. Trust your gut. Even if you have to be uncomfortable for a little while, push through and soak everything up. Take a chance on yourself and don’t scare yourself out of taking calculated risks. Don’t get lazy or complacent. And finally, don’t ever stop learning.”