Culinary Director | Executive Chef
I was very lucky to join the Solera Senior Living team here at Lumina. Right off the bat I could tell the entire team had so much passion for Seniors, their health and wellbeing, I instantly fell in love with everyone. These are my people and I felt right at home. My Grandmother passed away at an Alzheimer's Community, and in caring for her and visiting her I noticed so many things that I would change or do differently if I was in charge of the dining team, but now I can make those changes for the better and really help our Senior community by offering healthier options, the freshest fruits and vegetables and have fun doing it, and knowing we are doing dementia differently. Being The Executive
Chef here at Lumina Las Vegas has given me the creative reign I’ve always wanted in my career. I’m very dedicated to my role with Solera and strive to be better every step of my journey. The company core value that speaks to me the most would be Compassion. I love people and I love to cook them great food, I’ve always used that as my mantra. Watching people eat and get healthy with smiles on their faces is one of my biggest accomplishments yet! Some fun things about me are that I’m crafty and I’ve been known to call myself the Mexican Martha Stewart!! I love to paint folk art and I used to sell my wares in California where I grew up. I started doing arts and crafts when I was about 10 years old. I really love the weekends when I can go antique shopping or to yard sales and pick up vintage things to paint or fix up.
I’ve also been involved with food pretty much my whole life. Growing up in the 70’s we lived in communes that had gardens with fresh fruits & vegetables and my mother, family members and my friend’s mothers influenced me a lot in the kitchen. I started cooking when I was about 5 years old and I think I always knew that wanted to be in the culinary field, because instead of playing outside with other kids I was hanging out with the elders, watching, learning, eating, making, tasting, and talking about food!!
I have been blessed with achieving many accomplishments in my life and learning from decisions that I’ve made, some good and some regretful ones along the way which made me who I am today. I’ve loved and I’ve lost and had many amazing life choices that led me here to the greatest job I have ever had. I have been working in the culinary field for Senior Living for almost 7 years now. I have been cooking professionally since 2002, I’ve owned my own catering business in California, and I have opened a restaurant as well. I’ve done it all, from prep cook to sous Chef, to Chef and now Executive Chef/Culinary Director!
I love being with my family, taking care of them and I miss them tremendously, but my residents and my team have become my family too and at night I get to go home to my little dog Petey the pug Another fun thing I like to do is listen to any type of music. Some of my family is in the music industry and I love to go watch them play live music and dance the night away. My perfect vacation choice is always going to be a cruise, but this year I want to cruise the Caribbean listening to some great music with a Margarita in my hand with possibly husband #5!!! Watch out Liz Taylor!