“I’ve been cooking for the last nine years and I come from Venezuela. I got a job offer here in Panama and took the leap to work on a sushi project. Sadly, it fell apart but I stayed in the area then landed this gig six years ago; I developed this love-hate relationship with the kitchen, and there have been a few times when I decided I wanted to step out, but then I really think about it and when I’m behind the stove I really do feel good – the adrenaline keeps me hooked. I I’ve tried other jobs because I wanted to have weekends off, but then I slowly realized I just want to come back and work the weekend rush!

For me working in an open kitchen is really cool. You really get to feel the atmosphere and the customers are always dropping by to throw compliments, say hello, or even flirt. You don’t get that in closed kitchens and it’s really cool.”