Early Life and Culinary Background
Cynthia Santana was born and raised in the culturally diverse city of Miami, FL. With her Cuban and Dominican heritage, she was exposed to a rich tapestry of flavors and culinary traditions from a young age. It was her grandmother, however, who truly ignited her love for cooking. Watching her grandmother effortlessly prepare traditional Cuban dishes, Cynthia realized that food had the power to unite people and preserve cherished family traditions. This early exposure to the magic of cooking laid the foundation for her future culinary endeavors.
After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Florida State University, Cynthia pursued her true passion by enrolling in the renowned Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. Equipped with both scientific knowledge and culinary expertise, she was ready to embark on a culinary journey that would shape her career.
Professional Experience and Expertise
Cynthia’s culinary journey has been a diverse and enriching one. She has honed her skills across various culinary roles and establishments, leaving a lasting impact wherever she goes. Her expertise lies in banquets and event catering, where she has perfected the art of creating unforgettable culinary experiences for large gatherings.
She began her career as a young chef, cooking stir-fried noodles at the FSU food court. This humble beginning allowed her to develop essential skills and a deep appreciation for the craft. From there, Cynthia’s culinary prowess propelled her to become the Executive Sous Chef at the prestigious Miami Beach Convention Center, where she showcased her ability to deliver outstanding dishes on a grand scale. She further sharpened her skills as the Banquet Chef at the JW Mariott Marquis in Downtown Miami, where she continued to create culinary masterpieces that delighted guests.
Signature Dishes and Inspirations
Throughout her culinary journey, Cynthia has developed a deep love for pasta. The process of transforming simple ingredients like flour and water into a variety of shapes and textures fascinates her. She believes that pasta is a vessel that carries the flavors of other ingredients, allowing her to create harmonious and satisfying dishes.
Cynthia draws inspiration from her Cuban and Dominican roots, infusing her dishes with the vibrant flavors and spices of her heritage. Her grandmother’s traditional recipes serve as a guiding light, reminding her of the importance of preserving culinary traditions and the power of food to bring people together.
Sysco Brand Products: A Culinary Arsenal
When it comes to cooking, Cynthia swears by a few key Sysco brand products. One of her top choices is the Sysco Coarse Salt. Its thick coarseness not only enhances the flavor of her dishes but also serves as a versatile finishing salt. Another essential ingredient in her culinary arsenal is the Butchers Block Boneless Pork Butt. This high-quality cut provides consistent results, remaining tender and juicy throughout the cooking process. Lastly, Cynthia relies on the Sysco Imperial Roasted Corn Blend, which adds a depth of flavor to her creations and lends itself to a wide range of culinary applications.
Fun Facts and Personal Endeavors
Beyond her culinary talents, Cynthia is a true tinkerer at heart. She possesses a natural curiosity and loves to build and fix things. Constantly seeking to expand her skillset and understand how things work, she embraces new challenges and opportunities to learn.
Favorite Recipe: Shrimp “Al Ajillo” by Chef Luis Reyes
When it comes to her favorite recipe on Foodie.sysco.com, Cynthia’s taste buds are captivated by Chef Luis Reyes’ Shrimp “Al Ajillo.” This delectable dish showcases the flavors of garlic-infused shrimp cooked to perfection, a testament to Chef Luis Reyes’ culinary prowess.
Chef Cynthia Santana’s culinary journey is a testament to her passion, dedication, and talent. From her early days watching her grandmother in the kitchen to her current role as a master of banquets and events, Cynthia continues to create culinary magic that leaves a lasting impression. With her Cuban and Dominican heritage as her guiding force, she infuses her dishes with the flavors of tradition and the warmth of shared meals. Whether she is cooking for a small gathering or a grand banquet, Cynthia’s culinary creations are sure to delight and inspire. So, embark on a flavorful journey with Chef Cynthia Santana and experience the magic she brings to the table.