David Ramirez describes himself as a pastry chef who loves to make chocolate. “Ever since I was 8 years old, I wanted to be a chef… then, in high school, I realized I wanted to be a pastry chef, and now I’ve spent 30 plus years making pastries!”
Chef David’s mom was supportive of her son’s passion, and told him he’d love making pastries because you are “in early and out early.” While Chef David agrees she was right that he would be “in early,” he says the “out early” is not always the case. “The thing I love most is that, when you walk into a bakery, it is like a warm embrace, everyone smiles… and when you mention baked goods to someone, it is always a good thing, the eyes widen and they get excited… so I have learned, being a pastry chef is bringing excitement to the palate.”
Chef David grew up in Long Island, New York, to parents who had emigrated from Chile. “My mom was always cooking, and I was usually in the kitchen with her. She would tell me that cooking would be great for me, because everyone needs breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so I would always have a job.” He credits these times with his mom, helping her in the kitchen, as the beginning of his love of food, of the taste of it, preparing it, being creative with it.
Chef David has combined his love of food with a passion to compete, and has not only won dozens of awards from the American Culinary Federation, in 2009 he was named Captain of Team USA in one of the most prestigious pastry competitions in the world, the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie. In 2011, following so many successes in his field, Chef David Ramirez was inducted into Orlando Magazine’s “Culinary Hall of Fame,” a milestone achievement to an amazing career.
“I’ve always wanted to compete, to be the best… competition can bring out the best in you, or it can overwhelm, but either way, it will sharpen your skills, make you focus on the ingredients, on the food. You just forget about the nonsense, you put everything else aside, and you focus on making something great. You push yourself so hard, it becomes second nature to excel at whatever you are doing. Compared to high-level competition, the stress of normal life becomes much easier!”
Chef David finds his creative inspiration in life, in nature, in all of its colors and themes. “I am constantly creating in my mind, evolving my thoughts into creations… all an artist needs to create something is the reason to do it, the passion to see it done.”
When asked what makes a great chef, he points out that it is the same thing that makes a great leader. “You have to love what you do, and you have to treat those around you with respect. You have to keep your ego in check, everyone you meet is important, and you should want to get along, to inspire. It is the same with cooking, all the ingredients are important, and should be respected for what they bring to the table, how they will interact and improve the product. Quality is the same in every facet of life, and as human beings, we understand quality and respect it. I always try to bring quality into my creations and into my personal dealings… to me, that is what is important, you never have to explain quality!”
And, it should be noted, an award winning chocolate or pastry created by Chef David Ramirez is a great way to bring quality to any day!