Meet Chef Raquel
During her sophomore year at Fordham University, Chef Raquel realized the importance of cooking. Growing up her mother prepared all the meals. Once her family moved to CT she was left in NY Chef fending for herself on a limited budget. Raquel began watching popular cooking shows, trying them at home and ultimately enrolled in culinary school.
Chef Raquel graduated with highest honors from The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) after completing her externship at the renowned Le Bernardin in 2008.
Shortly thereafter, Chef Raquel began to freelance at high-end catering companies in New York City when her first teaching opportunity came at Rustico Cooking. Following that path, Chef Raquel served as chef-instructor at several NYC recreational centers and remains engaged in projects that encourage healthy eating habits for children.
In 2010, Chef Raquel was recognized for her volunteer work with City Harvest and attended the launch of Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign at the White House. Soon after, Chef Raquel joined Wellness in the Schools where she taught cooking and nutrition classes and later became the lead chef instructor at the West Side Campaign Against Hunger. After relocating to CT, Chef Raquel has become fully engaged in her Bridgeport community and is known for her cooking education focused on healthy, clean cooking.
In efforts to give back to the community, Chef Raquel created a free to students, 12-week culinary training boot camp geared to low-income individuals wishing to become food professionals or entrepreneurs. Chef Raquel has provided this education to aspiring entrepreneurs in order to help them achieve their culinary goals and support local job creation. She is continuing to provide similar training and mentorship opportunities to budding entrepreneurs and has had the privilege to witness the success of her students as they launch their own businesses and take on food ventures.
Chef Raquel also provides cooking education at food pantries, local community centers, and works closely with non-profits like LifeBridge, Greater Bridgeport OIC, Green Village Initiative, Wakeman Boys & Girls, the YMCA, Alliance, and the Bridgeport Farmers Market Collaborative. She also provides at-home and virtual cooking classes and private cooking events in commercial kitchens and client’s homes in NYC and Fairfield county.
Chef Raquel is proud to be Co-Chair of the Bridgeport Food Policy Council, an active member of the Bridgeport Farmers Market Collaborative and on the Board of The Green Village Initiative and Cook & Grow.