Meet the Chefs
As one of the nation’s top celebrity chefs best known for her television roles on Top Chef Masters, America’s Next Great Restaurant and two times Emmy winning morning show Despierta America on Univision. Garcia has published two bestselling cookbooks. Though she originally went to school in Venezuela to become a lawyer, she soon realized she had a different calling and enrolled in cooking school in the United States.
Lauren Arboleda, founder of Food from the Heart, is a self-taught cook, certified health coach, author & MasterChef Latino 2019. She was born in Colombia and currently resides in Miami, FL, aside from being a proud wife and mom, Lauren is head over heels for food (real food)! This is why she started this journey.
Es una Chef Internacional, especializada en Cocina saludable, quien desde niña se interesó en aprender a cocinar y en cuidar su salud.
Su interés permanente en aprender sobre gastronomía y salud, la motivó a prepararse académicamente; realizando distintas formaciones en el área de nutrición, deportes, salud y tness, lo cual le permitió adquirir conocimientos que luego aplicaría en la transformación de su propio estilo de vida y el de su familia.
Within the team of Celebrity Chefs participating in the Doral Food & Wine Festival, we have the honor to introduce to you, Chris Valdes! Born in Miami but raised in a Cuban household, Chris’ passion for cooking started at an early age. After obtaining a scholarship from Le Cordon Bleu, he saw early success when he opened his own catering company. Chris’ career has only gone uphill from here, and now we will have him and his talent with us at the Doral Food & Wine Festival. Come and taste the world at his hands!
Venezuelan born and Former local chef, one of the first chefs to help establish the food scene in the Wynwood arts district. Worked at some of the top restaurants in Miami for 10 years, Makoto, WKB, Upland. Started out as a participant with DFWF and is now our official MC returning for the second his second year.
Born in Medellin, Colombia and migrating to Paterson, New Jersey at age nine, Cesar Zapata became a chef the moment he was dubbed “family cook” while his parents worked. Over the years, he perfected his family’s recipes and taught himself to recreate other cultural classics that saturated his neighborhood. It wasn’t until he moved to Texas, however, that his scope broadened and his passion for the culinary arts truly ignited.
HUGH A. SINCLAIR
Chef Hugh A. Sinclair…a South Florida resident who migrated here from the Caribbean, is a certified culinarian who has a passion for food and a taste for great service. Chef Hugh earned a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville in Architecture before going on to earn an associate degree in the culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University in North Miami. Chef Hugh gained valuable professional experience working in different capacities at some of South Florida’s Premier establishments.
Chef Roberto González was born in South Bend, Indiana and grew up in Caracas, Venezuela. He discovered his passion for cooking at age 10, learning to grill with his parents. At age 19, González attended the Centro de Estudios Gastronómicos, and graduated with a degree in Venezuelan Creole food. Later, he did his graduate studies at the European Institute of Bread, where he earned a master’s degree in baking.