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Natalia's Reflection: Life in New York

This week marks two months in New York which has been a journey both professionally and personally. It has been two months of great challenges. I missed my family a lot but I feel very happy to be here to be able to fulfill my greatest dream. I have to admit that when it was time to return I was very indecisive, because I did not want to leave my family, but I can say that I do not regret having decided to return to finish what I had started.

During these two months I have been super focused on school. I have had great challenges that have led me to realize that this is my passion and that I was really born to be a chef. During these two months, I completed the second level with excellent grades and markable evaluations. On this second level I have learned about desserts, and many cooking techniques.

One of the most important days during that course was day eighteen (18), in which we had to create a recipe and a menu using our creativity and all the techniques learned during the class. I decided to merge Puerto Rican cuisine and French techniques and create the “Frenchrican” concept. My chef was impressed with my menu, and my dish. I decided to prepare “Mamposteao’ Risotto with Roasted Chicken accompanied by a Chicken Velouté Sauce and Anglaise Vegetables. I can say that my dish was a great success, it caught the chef's attention and managed to merge the two concepts well. The Chef loves my creative menu. At this moment I am in the third level, we are cooking family meals. Now I have to recreate my menu for thirty (30) people.

At this moment I have a level and a half left to finish this great adventure and start others. When I return to Puerto Rico, I will work to open my own restaurant, so that people can appreciate all that I have learned during this time in New York, thanks to the ICC and ASSF. I will never stop thanking God, Aarón Sánchez, and his foundation for giving me the opportunity to become the professional that I aspire to be.

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