One of the biggest career lessons I think I've learned - always knowing to rely on your team and ask for help.
Chef Cariño Cortez is a third-generation food enthusiast who grew up in the restaurant business. Her family tradition began at Mi Tierra Café in San Antonio, but her passion for cooking has taken her across the country. After obtaining a bachelor's degree in Business Management and Accounting, and studying abroad in Oxford, Cortez pursued a culinary arts degree from the Culinary Institute of America to marry her business foundation with her love of comida.
Cariño spent her externship working in New York City three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Jean Georges, later going on to study authentic Mexican food in Chicago under Rick Bayless. At the Michelin-starred restaurant, Topolobampo, she was able to hone her culinary skills on the restaurant's menu development team and travel to Mexico for research. She returned to her home state of Texas to continue the family tradition and her passion for cuisine working as project manager for La Familia Cortez Restaurants. A profound care for comida, cultura, and familia inspired her custom menu creations and marketing efforts for the restaurant group’s latest venture, Viva Villa Taqueria as well as their new consumer packaged goods line found in HEB stores across Texas.
She regularly lends her expertise in culinary arts to support the community by sharing her talents with organizations such as the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, La Zona Cultural San Antonio, and on the board of directors of Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas. An active member of the business community, she is a graduate of the Alex Briseño Leadership Program and Leadership San Antonio class 41. You can try out some of her recipes found on her new blog, Mexi-Modern and hear more about her views on how food plays an integral role in people’s memories, in her 2016 TEDx San Antonio Talk, “Connection through Comida.”