...Mario Reyes may have a million things to do as corporate chef at Nestle USA, but he has not lost his passion for cooking.
In fact, his
very "approach is passion," the chef says. "Cooking is the most important thing," said Reyes, who is vice president of the Epicurean World Master Chefs Society USA.
"Everybody eats in this world.I love to see when they enjoy the food.I'm a very people- person.I love to bring the passion in when people eat." Reyes'
people-oriented point of view is refreshing for someone who spends the vast majority of his
time developing products aimed at mass markets.The role of the corporate chef is an interesting mix of food scientist, businessman and product representative.
"As corporate chef, I do a lot of research and development - menu development for large chains, hotels and restaurants," Reyes
Depending on the manufacturer he
works for, the corporate chef can face quite a challenge developing recipes with a fixed number of ingredients.Imagine if the average executive chef at a restaurant suddenly could only make signature recipes using sweet potatoes. But Reyes feels nothing but freedom working at Nestle.
"I find it unique because there are so many products you can incorporate into recipes," he
was born in Toronto, Canada.He
food service career early.
"I started at the age of 13 as a dishwasher," he
said.After graduating from George Brown Culinary School in Toronto, Reyes worked an apprenticeship at the Four Seasons in Toronto.
...After working as a chef at the Westbury Hotel in the Big Apple, Reyes returned shortly to Toronto.He
arrived in Dallas in the early 1990s to open Le Meredien Hotel as food and beverage director. Reyes joined Nestle USA as corporate chef in 1996.He
has won many awards and is active in numerous organizations, including Share our Strength. Reyes
coordinated a winemakers dinner for the top European winemakers during the Grand Tour USA in 1996.He
cooked for President Bill Clinton in 1995 and prepared food for the Royal Visit of Queen Elizabeth in Canada in 1990. He
is the author of Le Meredien Dallas Cookbook.