Chef Luis Reyes, Executive Chef for Sysco Central Florida, has found the joy of helping local chefs and owners into finding their own flavor just like he enjoys cooking, this is thanks to the support and the opportunity given by the Sysco corporation. But the truth is, this isn’t what Reyes had always envisioned for himself.
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, he first enrolled in a local college for an accounting career, but destiny had different plans for him. While he was in this path, he had the luck to work on a local Bakery, on which he started from the bottom as a dish washer, then started moving up into helping in the lines, serving pastries, and on from there, that’s what lighted the spark on him.
Besides that, he grew up always around his family who taught him that the dining table was the “center of family” and unconsciously feed and shaped his inner cook and his passion for food. Without losing too much time, he moved into West Palm, FL, in the 96 and joined the ranks of the Florida Culinary Institute, where he graduated and formally started his successful chef career.
Right now he is a very valuable piece of Sysco Corporation, on where he has enjoyed the chance of being around exceptional people and celebrities, but he explains that the real satisfaction comes from helping and supporting small “mom and pops” restaurants that lack of great marketing budgets like some big chain restaurants.
And he knows this because, apart from being in charge of the kitchen, he is the one visiting their customer’s locations, talking to them, looking at the layout, the staff training, menu development and so many other details necessary to make a restaurant profitable and competitive.
“There’s hardly two restaurants that are the same” he claims, but that’s a challenge he embraced the moment he stood for the responsibility of bringing those procedures that are regular on big restaurants, and making them happen in the smaller one for the wellbeing of themselves and the whole culinary industry.