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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Road Trips Puerto Rico

CHEF INTERVIEWS: Dominican influence in Puerto Rico’s Culinary Industry

The chef interviews is an idea that my dad and I worked on for some time, thinking about the questions to ask, who to interview, and where to start. The idea began going out to dinner. We are very friendly and like to have conversations with the waiter and chefs. We’ve made a lot of friends along the way.However, we noticed something interesting. The majority of our favorite restaurants and those that are very successful are owned by Dominicans.Their stories are very interesting and admirable:

They come from having nothing or very limited resources to getting to be an owner of a very successful high cuisine gourmet restaurant.

They came to Puerto Rico like many others during the 1960-1980’s. they wanted to be able to get better jobs and life so they could sustain their families back in the Dominican Republic.Interesting enough is that many years later some of them are going back to  the Dominican Republic because its experiencing a rise in their economy. Some others have decided to stay in Puerto Rico to keep working and living here and have bought vacation homes back in the Dominican Republic.The secret to the fact that the Dominican Republic and its people are doing very well is the fact that they are very hard working and have a strong nit community. They help each other out by taking every opportunity they see potential.Some criticize that Dominicans move to Puerto Rico because they hold classist and racist stereotypes and ideals where they think that it’s bad for the community. However, my sincere opinion is that they are wrong. See what I’m talking about here: Calle Loiza Area Deprimida del Caribe

With Dominicans, the culinary industry of Puerto Rico is reviving, uplifting and diversifying.

And it’s not just the culinary industry it’s also the real estate industry. In Puerto Rico, since 2008, we’ve been in an economic recession many buildings and homes have been abandoned because they lost a lot of value. Dominicans, with the income generated from their businesses, they have remodeled their homes and given a new life to many neighborhoods.My conclusion is that we should look up to them and use them as an example for us to become better people.

The only way a country can better as a whole is if we all walk together in the same direction. In a chain reaction moving us forward.

This and the fact that the government makes laws that incentivizes people to work and be entrepreneurs, is what is makes all the difference.Think about it, if in you start a business and hire people that are as equally as hard works as you are. Then, you notice that one of your employees has a lot of potential and talent or is interested in beginning his/her own business and you decide to train them and help them out. When they finally establish their own business they’ll start doing the same thing as you hiring hard working people and training others. The cycle continues because they know that it works.So, in conclusion, I hope that you like these videos and are inspired to contribute to your family, community and country with your talents and knowledge in your own ways.

The Interview’s structure:

The interviews are going to be in Spanish but I will provide a summary both in English and Spanish.The chef’s will be asked a series of questions and the format will be very casual. Also, the interviews, will be short (30 min max) and will be recorded at the times the chef’s decide its best for them to be interviewed. The reason for this is that since they are very busy cooking and running a business. I will space the interviews out to post them once a week so viewers and readers have time in between posts to appreciate the videos fully.

Enjoy the Interviews!

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