Sergio Quintero

I come from a small town called La Ceja, near Medellin. My parents worked long hours while I was growing up, so I had to start caring for my younger sister when I was only seven. That’s when my mother taught me how to cook traditional Colombian dishes as she started selling them from home with the idea of saving money to buy her own house. During my teens, I was more focused on becoming a musician. I had taken different courses and started to make some money, but food was always surrounding me. Even during events, I saw how important food was in all those weddings and celebrations. These experiences sparked my interest in culinary arts, and ever since then, I’ve been on a journey to explore and expand my cooking skills.

After graduating high school, I had to choose between music and gastronomy, but studying gastronomy in Colombia was expensive. Luckily, I was selected for a cooking program at Sena and attended daily despite living half an hour away. Eventually, I had the opportunity to intern at Carmen Restaurant in Medellín and started working there in the fish area. During my internship, I went through all the kitchen stations, and thankfully, I am now the chef there alongside my partner, Juan José. We have been through many difficult moments. Being a cook is more than just preparing food. It’s about responsibility and transmitting feelings. Cooking with love and joy is crucial as it reflects in your food.

Working in a kitchen is demanding and requires a lot from an individual. It is a high-pressure job that involves dealing with emotions and feelings. Not everyone can withstand the pressure of providing service to customers who are eagerly waiting for their food.

It’s great to see how kitchens have evolved and how people are becoming more receptive to cooking. We often forget we are not only serving others but also keeping our traditions alive and helping our community by supporting small-scale and local producers. Today, I am grateful for the opportunities, vision, and purpose that @carmenrestaurante has inspired me to pursue, and last but not least, my Mom.