Dario Torres, our lead cook at The Culinary Vegetable Institute at The Chef’s Garden, grew up in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and it's been inspiring to learn about the culinary traditions of his native country which are a blend of traditions from Spain, Africa and the indigenous Taino people. Dario first learned cooking skills from his grandmother who took care of him and his sister until he was fourteen while their parents worked to offer their children a better life. Even though he enjoyed cooking, he wasn't sure he wanted to be a chef. He had dreams of becoming a scientist or an engineer because of his love of science and math until he caught an episode of Master Chef on The Discovery Channel and his whole world was turned upside down.
Dario came to the Culinary Vegetable Institute in 2015 as an intern, living the life of the rhythms of this particular kitchen. He has worked side by side with Chef Liaison Jamie Simpson preparing distinctive menus for events, experimenting and applying culinary techniques to the abundance of vegetables we work with, managing waste with fermentation methods, beekeeping and processing honey, and learning every facet of how to think like a cook. He is now finding his own culinary voice with his love and mastery of bread baking, charcuterie, and a profound understanding of every part of the plant.