While on my journey to fulfilling my mission to revamp the school lunch experience, I was given the honor of being invited to participate in the James Beard Foundation Spring 2021 Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change. The JBF is committed to empower chefs across the country by providing tools for advocacy and leadership through good food.
I joined fellow chef-advocates and completed the Spring 2021 Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change. I'm committed to harness my voice as a chef to create progress in my community and a better food world for everyone.
Meet The Chef
From an early age I found that happiness meant feeding people. I’m an immigrant from Venezuela, where my mom owned a restaurant and where I learned I had a passion for food that went beyond just eating. I moved to the US with my family as a teenager, and like most immigrants, I had a dream. I wanted to be a great chef, and I wanted to feed people for a living.
My career started out working at various high-end and casual restaurants. And later on I enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Shortly after graduation, I started this personal chef service and catering business in Iowa City, a role I quite enjoy and love. The journey in the private sector led me to Missouri as I was recruited to work in the household of a prominent family full time. Upon completion of my contract, I relocated to Columbia Mo and joined the Windsor Street Montessori School as the chef.
While preparing school lunches for students at the Montessori school I realize the vision for an innovative food program based in sustainability, culture, and food justice, and created an opportunity to develop it, and market it to other schools in the community. More than a lunch service, the main objective of the program is maximize the potential the lunch plate offers as an educational tool. Starting by showing kids the food cycle in a sustainable kitchen, and how food gets to their plate, from the farms they come from to the stories people share that bring them together. Serving real, scratch-made food always being a priority. Sharing an understanding of the complexities involving origins of food as it relates to people's stories, farming practices, and sourcing, culture, and inclusion, and it’s organic connection with the Montessori philosophy is, in essence, how I aim to serve our students and the community we live in. Since launching, my lunch program has now expanded beyond Windsor Street Montessori School, to serve other small independent schools in the community.
Lastly, my goal as a Chef is to bring people together in harmony. I firmly believe that sitting around a table, sharing a meal, is the universal way of connecting with people. When we engage in the selection of the food we eat, we become conscious eaters and, before we know it, sitting around a table becomes our favorite time of the day. As a mother, I aim to give my family this gift. As a chef, I aim to give it to your family and the world. One meal at a time.
Bacon & Spinach Egg-Cups
Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Turkey Meatball Soup
With Spinach, Kale & Mushrooms
Honey & Chili Baked Chicken
with Steamed Cauliflower & Green Bean Salad
Cashew & Coconut Protein Balls
With Dark Chocolate Drizzle
Adobado Pork Shoulder & Sweet Potato Mash
Chef Gaby has a positive attitude, and her warm, cheerful personality made her a pleasant addition to our household.
Yvette K., KCMO
At Your Service
Tell me a little about your culinary needs so I may begin the creation process
Raw Ravioli, Cashew Ricotta, Pesto Photo by Derek Blackman
Summer Salad Photo by Ralph Horne
Spiral Beet Carpaccio, Zucchini Noodle, Mango, Coconut Photo by Derek Blackman
Grilled Missouri Peaches, Local Goat Cheese & Honey Photo by Derek Blackman
Tomato Tarts, Asiago Biscuits Photo by Derek Blackman
Chocolate Cheesecake, Strawberries, Raw Cacao Photo by Ralph Horne
Soba Noodles, Bok Choy, Chicken Phot by Ralph Horne
Toasted Quinoa Truffles Photo by Derek Blackman
Dinner Parties, Seasonal Center Pieces