In Part One of a two-part series, Latin Biz Today’s Tina Trevino gets the back story as she chats with Lorena Garcia.
Lorena Garcia was born and raised in Venezuela before emigrating to the U.S. Her family was well traveled and as a kid she experienced the sights and cuisines of China and Japan, which sparked her interest in cooking at the age of six. As a young adult, she traveled to Europe and to many countries in South America. In high school, she began trying out recipes for her friends—recipes originating from Venezuela, Argentina and Peru.
After high school, at the prodding of her parents and family members who were attorneys, Lorena enrolled in law school. It was there that she realized her passion was cooking, not law, and she enrolled in John & Wales to learn her trade.
As a Latina she wanted a name representing her roots…Chica, located in Miami, was Lorena’s first restaurant. She describes its unique cuisine as fresh, modern and Latin.
From being a chef in other people’s restaurants she made the leap to entrepreneurship, which she found both scary and rewarding.
Lorena’s restaurant footprints grew to include Las Vegas and Aspen. She also has a restaurant called Cocina, featuring healthy travelers’ food, located in Miami, Atlanta, and Dallas airport terminals.
Lorena is also a TV star of sorts, as her restaurant was discovered by the show Hidden Gems, which opened the door to other opportunities including features on Top Chef, Food Fighter, Nickelodeon for Kids, among others on Univision and Telemundo.
Lorena also launched a cookware line which was showcased on HSN.
Enjoy first part of Lorena’s interview…stay tuned for part two.