¡Arriba el Caribe! – Presenters

Read about our renowned presenting chefs and Latin cuisine experts.

Chef Michael Brockman is a presenter at CIA's Latin Cuisine Summit in San Antonio, Texas in October 2017.MICHAEL BROCKMAN
Michael Brockman is corporate chef and sales support for Wood Stone, which makes stone heath ovens and specialty commercial cooking equipment for the foodservice industry. As part of the Wood Stone culinary team, Mike works with customers and provides them with demonstration cooking, sales, and service support.
Editor Amy Cavanaugh is a guest presenter at The CIA's Latin Cuisine Summit in San Antonio, Texas in October 2017AMY CAVANAUGH
Amy Cavanaugh is the senior editor at Plate magazine in Chicago, where she covers chefs, bartenders, and food and beverages across the country. She also runs Plate’s website and social media. The magazine’s July/August edition explored the food and beverages of the Caribbean, and Amy covered Cuban cocktails and Caribbean bar ingredients. Amy is originally from Massachusetts and lived in Washington, D.C. before moving to Chicago. She has more than a decade of experience covering food and beverages of all types. She is a regular visitor to the Caribbean—Jamaica in particular—and is a serious fan of all things rum.
 Doreen-Colondres, present at CIA's 2017 Latin Cuisine SummitDOREEN COLONDRES
Doreen Colondres is a true force of nature. Her fresh and charismatic personality combined with her passion for flavorful seasonal ingredients has helped propel her successful career. Her popular website, thekitchendoesntbite.com is at the center of that success. Doreen has a degree in business administration and marketing, studied in culinary schools in New York, California, and Florida, and earned certifications with WSET & CMS. Since 2013, Doreen has served as celebrity chef for Novo Nordisk pharmaceuticals and as the first Hispanic Celebrity Chef for the Bordeaux Wine Council. She was spokesperson for the Viva Bordeaux campaign for which she designed an elegant Latin recipe guide paired with Bordeaux wines. In 2015, she became the National Pork Board Celebrity Chef, hosting a national media campaign featuring her pork recipes. Doreen is currently the food and wine editor for more than 10 Hispanic publications including Siempre Mujer—the largest Hispanic women’s magazine in the U.S. Her first book, La Cocina No Muerde, was published in 2015 by Penguin Random House.
Chef Eddy Fernández Monte is a presenter at Arriba, the CIA's Latin food festival.EDDY FERNÁNDEZ MONTE
Chef Eddy Fernández Monte studied at the Universidad Univer in Mexico City, Mexico and attended schools in Cuba as well—focusing on an array of culinary specialties. Recognized as an international chef, he has served as the past president of the Federation of Culinary Associations of the Republic of Cuba. Prior to that he served as the Federation’s vice president of events and publicity. He was awarded the Mérito Culinario by the Federation. Chef Eddy has published several books including Cocinando a lo Cubano, El Sabor en la Cocina, La Comida Campesina, and Platos Estrellas de la Cocina Cubana, as well as books specializing in salsas, pork, rice, and seafood. He has written articles in such culinary publications as Artechef and Excelencias del Caribe. Chef Eddy has received several accolades at both national and international levels for his participation in culinary events, competitions, workshops, and expositions focused on the Cuban kitchen. He has been a judge for national and international competitions.
Roberto Guerra is a guest presenter at the CIA's Latin Cuisine Summit in San Antonio, Texas in October 2017.ROBERTO GUERRA
Roberto Guerra Jr. was born in Havana, Cuba and raised in Miami by a large family that loves good food. He loves fire, which is why he loves to barbecue, especially when it involves whole pigs. His favorite event of the year is “Noche Buena,” a Christmas Eve dinner when the whole family gets together and roasts a whole pig. It was during the Noche Buena dinner of 1985 that the idea for La Caja China came to life. There and then, he and his family decided to manufacture and test a prototype. “In 1987, we created the La Caja China Inc. and started selling the roasters to the local customers in Miami, Roberto explains. “Now 30 years later, we not only sell nationwide but worldwide with distributors in Central and South America and Europe.
Giovanna Huyke is a presenter at CIA's 2017 Latin Cuisine Summit in San Antonio, TexasGIOVANNA HUYKE
Chef Giovanna Huyke is known as the “Julia Child of Puerto Rico,” for revolutionizing lighter and healthier Caribbean cooking, without sacrificing flavor. Giovanna initially studied theater at Tulane University. But while in New Orleans, she worked in Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen, which helped fix her interest in food. She moved to New York City to work with renowned Chef Felipe Rojas Lombardi. Giovanna then chose to return to Puerto Rico where she worked at the Caribe Hilton. A year later she founded Amadeus in San Juan, where she pioneered “nouvelle criollo.” Giovanna also founded Don Juan in the El San Juan Hotel and Giovanna’s Café. She has been featured on Good Morning America, Pierre Franey’s Cooking in America, Burt Wolf: Travels and Traditions, Univision’s Despierta America and Martha Stewart Living. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Shape en Español, Vanidades, and Cristina magazine. Giovanna has published six cookbooks and 20 recipe booklets showcasing her culinary creations. She is currently the CEO of Grupo Gio, LLC, a global culinary consulting enterprise based in Washington, DC.
Dan Imdieke, presenter at CIA's Arriba Latin Cuisine SummitDANIEL IMDIEKE
One of 13 Master Cicerones® in the world, Daniel shares his passion for beer by teaching others how brewing ingredients and processes affect flavor, leading sensory tastings, and hosting beer and food pairing programs. As manager of beer education for MillerCoors, Daniel leads the beer education team to inspire the sales and marketing teams, retail partners, and consumers and elevate their experience with all things beer. Daniel began his own beer journey at the Yard House restaurant concept. He directed the development of beverage and bar training programs, and new restaurant openings at the corporate level for nine years. It was during this time, while sampling beers from 130 taps in different cities across the country that he began to understand and fall in love with the complexity and full range of flavors found in beer. Before joining MillerCoors, Daniel was manager of beer operations for Old Chicago Restaurant and Taproom, where he participated in the rebranding and revitalization of the concept’s beer offerings, including a new beer training platform. It was awarded a VIBE award for Best Chain Beer Program. Daniel is based in Denver where he lives with his wife three young children.
Darrell Jensen, presenter at CIA's Arriba Latin Cuisine SummitDARRELL JENSEN
Darrell Jenson loves food, challenges, and knowledge. He began cooking at his best friend’s family restaurant in a suburb of Los Angeles, CA when he was 16. He attended a small cooking school where the head chef saw something special in him and sent Darrell to the Century Plaza Hotel and Tower to do a formal 3-year ACF apprenticeship. Darrell excelled under the guidance of Certified Master Chef Raimund Hofmeister, and was named one of the top apprentices in the country. After graduating, he worked at several top restaurants in Los Angeles and then helped open the Snake River Grill in Jackson Hole. Darrell worked there and in Breckenridge for the next 10 years before heading to Vail Valley to open Falling Creek as executive chef. His career took him back to California to work at the Padre Hotel in Bakersfield, but he soon missed Colorado and returned there to work with Oskar Blues and open CYCLHOPS in Longmont. When the opportunity to become executive chef at Blue Moon Brewing Company in Golden, CO was presented to him, Darrell couldn’t resist. He has been able to cook with beer and beer ingredients—pushing the limits of combining beer and food.
Ana Kincaid is a presenter at the CIA's Latin Cuisine Summit in San Antonio, Texas in October 2017ANA KINKAID
Ana Kinkaid is international food and travel writer for YourCulinaryWorld.com The daughter of an American diplomat, she attended boarding school in Spain and speaks the language fluently. She holds a master’s degree in cross-cultural communications and is a longtime member of the hospitality industry as a consultant for more than 25 years. Her extensive travel in the Caribbean and Central and South American, brought her into contact with the areas food and drink. She is a seasoned presenter and has been featured at the American Culinary Federation Women Chefs and Restaurateurs at The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio and at the Arribe el Sur Summit, also at the CIA.
Chef Oscar Mejia is a presenter at CIA's 2017 Latin Cuisine Summit in San Antonio, TexasOSCAR MEJIA
Born in Queens, NY, Oscar and his parents—who immigrated to New York from the Dominican Republic—move to Florida when he was 10. It was there, while working in a Chinese restaurant, that he became hooked on the sounds, smells, and excitement of restaurant life. After high school, he landed a job at Turnberry Isle Elite Yacht club under Chef Allen Susser. He went on to be chef at the Turnberry Ocean Club and then ran the tapas bar at Williams Island under Chef Filipe Rojas. Oscar traveled to Texas where he worked a Brazilian-themed Mardi Gras party for billionaire George Mitchell. He ended up staying for three years and running Mitchell’s properties. He then took the executive chef position at The Wyndham Morgan Bay in St. Lucia, WI, where he was immersed in the food and culture of the Caribbean. From there he became executive chef at The Landings Club in Savannah GA—one of the largest member-owned clubs in the country. There, Oscar started a chapter of the ACF and began lending his talents to the local End Hunger Network. Since 2006 he has been executive chef at the Westin Houston, Downtown.
Chef Nelson Millán, CIA Arriba Latin Cuisine presenterNELSON MILLÁN
was born in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, one of the last remaining rainforests of the world. Interestingly, cooking wasn’t his first career choice. He was just a year away from finishing his studies in political science at the University of Puerto Rico when a scholarship opportunity arose at the School of Hotel and Tourism in San Juan. After graduating from there, Nelson accepted an internship with Hilton Hotels and went on to work for them in New York, South Carolina, Aruba, and Geneva, Switzerland. He then chose to operate his own restaurant, but soon realized his heart was in the club and hotel industry. What followed was a series of jobs with ever-increasing responsibility at some of the world’s most elite venues. Nelson has been with the San Antonio Country Club since August 2010 and today, is its executive chef. He has also been teaching Latin Caribbean cuisine at the CIA’s San Antonio campus as adjunct professor. Chef Nelson’s roots in Latin Caribbean cuisine, combined with French techniques, has proven to be a successful combination that culminated in Nelson preparing a memorable Latin Caribbean dinner at the prestigious James Beard House.
Marie Molde is a presenter at the CIA's Latin Cuisine Summit in San Antonio Texas in October 2017MARIE MOLDE
With a strong background in both dietetics and business—she holds a combined MBA/RD from Dominican University—Marie brings a unique culinary perspective to Datassential, a leading Chicago-based food market research firm. Restaurant chains and suppliers regularly rely on Marie’s expertise in menu and product development, and for more than five years she has helped foodservice and retail companies excel in better-for-you product innovation. Using her expertise as a registered dietitian, Marie gives clients of all shapes and sizes an unparalleled health-driven point of view.
Luis Rayes is a presenter at the CIA's Latin Cuisine Summit in San Antonio, Texas in October 2017LUIS RAYES
As executive chef for Sysco Central Florida, Luis Reyes has discovered the joy of helping local chefs and restaurant owners find their own success. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Luis first enrolled in college to pursue an accounting career, but destiny had different plans for him. He started working at a bakery as a dishwasher, quickly moved up the ladder to helping on the line and serving pastries—and was hooked. Luis moved to West Palm Beach, enrolled in the Florida Culinary Institute, and launched his new career. At Sysco, he enjoys the chance to be surrounded by exceptional people and celebrities, but gets his greatest satisfaction from helping and supporting small “mom-and-pop” restaurants, sharing his insights on layout, staff training, menu development, and all the other factors necessary to make an operation profitable and competitive.
Chef Wandy Robles is a presenter at CIA's 2017 Latin Cuisine Summit in San Antonio, TexasWANDY ROBLES
Chef Wandy Robles hails from the Dominican Republic, so naturally his knowledge of Dominican flavors is unsurpassed. He knew early on that he wanted to be in the hospitality field and sought out the education that would enhance his career. Wandy received a Bachelor of Hotel Administration from Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra and a Masters of Food and Nutrition from the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo. In his career, Wandy has worked as an executive chef, quality assurance chef, TV and radio personality, culinary instructor, and traveling demo chef. He has participated in more than 20 culinary congresses and seminars on gastronomy and foodservice in North and South America, and Spain. In the past, Wandy served as the career director for the Hotel Business Administration Program at Universidad del Caribe. He is currently the culinary instructor for Dominican cuisine courses at Instituto Tecnico Superior Comunitario in San Luis, Santo Domingo. During his career, Wandy has received many accolades including the Presidential Medal of Civil Merit from the president of the Dominican Republic.
Chef Douglas Rodriguez is a presenter at CIA's 2017 Latin Cuisine Summit in San Antonio, TexasDOUGLAS RODRIGUEZ
Raised in Miami by his Cuban immigrant parents, Douglas Rodriguez’s life was filled with the smells and tastes of Cuban/American cuisine. By age 13, he had a collection of cookbooks and was developing and preparing original concepts. After graduating high school, he attended Johnson & Wales University. Experiences at a number of restaurants followed, and in 1989, he opened Yuca, an upscale Cuban-style restaurant in Coral Gables, FL. Yuca was a huge success, and at age 24, Douglas received a “Rising Chef of the Year” nomination from The James Beard Foundation. New York City beckoned and in 1994, Douglas became the executive chef/co-owner of Patria—his laboratory for his “Nuevo Latino” cuisine. Patria received a three-star review in The New York Times. Douglas soon followed up with Chicama, a Peruvian ceviche bar, and Pipa, a tapas bar. In 2001 Rodriguez joined forces with Restaurateur Stephen Starr to open Alma De Cuba in Philadelphia. He is the author of Nuevo Latino (1995), Latin Ladles (1997), Latin Flavors on the Grill (2000), and The Great Ceviche Book (2003).
Zulcoralis Rodriguez is a presenter at CIA's 2017 Latin Cuisine Summit in San Antonio, TexasZULCORALIS RODRIGUEZ
Zulcoralis Rodríguez hails from the tropical island of Puerto Rico. She attended Colegio San Antonio in Río Piedras. After graduation, Zulcoralis made a home for herself and her family in San Antonio, TX. While studying mortuary sciences at San Antonio College, she worked in the hospitality industry, where she set her sights on making her mark. For the last two years, Zulcoralis held the position of head bartender at The Esquire Tavern, the historic oldest bar on the River Walk, where she worked for the last four years. She recently joined the amazing family of Paramour, San Antonio’s only rooftop bar, where you can currently find her making cocktails. Her accomplishments include winning a cocktail competition and being named Miss Speed Rack Dallas 2015. The Beverage Media Group’s Beverage Network named her one of the 8 Women to Watch in 2015.
Rafael Toraño is a presenter at the CIA's Latin Cuisine Summit in San Antonio, Texas in October 2017.RAFAEL TORAÑO
Rafael began working on pastries when he was 10 years old and realized early that he had a love for food and service. He worked every summer at his uncle’s restaurant in his hometown of Santurce, Puerto Rico. Rafael has gained experience in Mobil Four Star and AAA Four Diamond Hotels and Resorts and is currently executive pastry chef at the Dallas Country Club. His passion and attention to detail made him a natural to help open El Conquistador Resort and Country Club—where he was named Manager of the Year—as well as the Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort, both in Puerto Rico. Rafael’s mentor was master pastry chef and former CIA instructor Albert Kumin at the International Pastry Arts Center in New York. He is dedicated to continually learning, and has completed pâtisserie classes under Spain’s acclaimed Ramon Morato, petit fours and pastries classes under French Pastry School’s Stephanie Glacier, and sugar fundamentals with Ewald Notter in Florida, just to name a few. Rafael has earned many kudos including gold and silver medals in the 120th and 121st Salon de Société Culinaire Philanthropique in New York City with the International Pastry Art Center team.

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