Lorena Garcia is one of the country’s leading chefs, as well as a successful restaurateur, TV personality and best-seller cookbook author.
Being raised in Caracas, Venezuela, meant Lorena spent a lot of time in family gatherings centered around cooking latin food which she embraced. Even though Lorena initially went to Law school, she then realized that her passion was for cooking. This is what prompted her to get a Bachelor‘s degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University, the same place where she later received an honorary doctorate in culinary arts.
This passion for cooking took her around the world to discover a multitude of different flavors and cuisines. Her first job was at Ritz-Carlton in Paris as an apprentice, then she worked in Italy, Japan, Korea, Thailand and China. After her international experience, Lorena decided to return to the United States and continue her culinary career helping open restaurants, such as Jeffery Chodorow’s China Grill and Red Square.
In 2002, Lorena followed her dreams and opened her own restaurants Food Café and Elements Tierra, in Miami’s Design District. In 2017, she launched her biggest and latest project called CHICA. It is a restaurant at The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. This made Lorena Garcia the first Latina Executive chef to open a restaurant in the famous Las Vegas strip, joining world-class chefs from all over the world. The menu at CHICA, is extremely diverse and the menu she created is inspired by flavors from all over Latin America. Her success with CHICA in Las Vegas led her to expand the brand to South Florida, opening its second location in 2019, and in 2021 there is plan to open the third location in Aspen.
Lorena Garcia didn’t stop there. She took her talent to the next level with television roles on Top Chef Masters, America’s Next Great Restaurant, and to Univision’s Emmy winning morning show Despierta America. In addition to that, she has made appearances in many TV programs such as The Talk, The Chew, Good Morning America, The Biggest Losers, Food Fighters and The Queen Latifah show, to name a few.
She has also published multiple bestselling cookbooks and her recipes have been published in a handful of media outlets, such as Cosmopolitan, Vogue and Saveur.
This Latina Powerhouse success extends beyond the culinary realm, as she finds time to give back to her community. She founded a non-profit organization aimed at combating childhood obesity, “Big Chef, Little Chef.” The organization offers a program that helps kids and their parents take control of their eating habits and ultimately, their lives.