Acceptance to Culinary Institute of America

I would like to share some exciting news! I’ve been accepted to study at the Culinary Institute of America. It’s an intense program with a series of strenuous requirements to gain acceptance. During the last several months, I have embraced the challenges set forth by the CIA in their meticulous selection process.

As many of you know, I am passionate about the foods of my culture. I have long admired Chefs such as Enrique Olvera and Anthony Bourdain for their knowledge, creativity and love of sharing good food with the world. Both, not coincidentally, are graduates of the CIA.

What led me to apply for this prestigious course of study? Several factors have converged to make it clear to me this is a path I must travel to stay at the forefront of the restaurant business in Sacramento.

  • Sacramento is rapidly becoming a ‘Chef-Centered’ city, much like Mexico City, New York City and Los Angeles. Top Chefs are receiving more press because of their skill, passion, and attention to detail. It’s expected among Foodies that when they choose to eat out that they will meet the Chef and the presentation and execution will be top-notch.
  • A clear indication of Sacramento’s long overdue recognition at the forefront of culinary trends is that it has caught the eye of the Michelin Guide. Mayahuel has been chosen as one of the restaurants invited to participate.
  • It’s clear the long-term success of my restaurants requires keeping up with the times – diners are becoming ever more sophisticated and demanding an ‘experience’ as much as they expect innovation and quality food.
  • The Farm-to-Fork movement shows no signs of slowing – in fact, those Chefs who continue to innovate with local, fresh ingredients are the most successful.

As always, my commitment and attention to Mayahuel comes first. I’ll continue to be involved with every aspect of Mayahuel on a daily basis. During the past seven years, I’ve been successful in creating systems that allow my team to do what they do best – and do it consistently. A solid team with my ongoing leadership means there’s no limit to the success we can achieve.

Through my seven-month Small Business Administration Emerging Leaders course, I have learned to work ‘on’ my business more than ‘in’ my business. This allows my team to focus on the day to day tasks, gives them more responsibility and freedom to shine. I am 100% committed to the ongoing and greater success of Mayahuel through leading by example. Here are a few of the key members of my team:

Francisco Medina, General Manager
Francisco has been a loyal and integral part of Mayahuel since I opened. His commitment to managing a team who understands excellence in hospitality is unequalled.

Damaris Gomez, Catering Coordinator
Damaris easily manages events both in Mayahuel’s Coa Room and Catering offsite. She continues to balance the needs of our event guests with her team of servers and the busy kitchen, making Mayahuel one of the most sought-after venues for parties and events.

Chef Eduardo Garcia
A truly gifted Chef, Eduardo is committed to the highest standards in the creation of dishes that truly represent the culture of México. He has a wonderful combination of respect for the history of food in our culture and a flair for innovation.

My long-term goals for Mayahuel include possessing the technical expertise that will enable me to become more involved in the overall recipe development, plating and delivery from the kitchen, take a hand-on approach to bringing the dishes to a world class level, and have the ability to determine which applicants for kitchen positions are more likely to share my passion, vision and work ethic. I also intend to create possibilities for passive income for Mayahuel by offering books, instruction and skills for other Restaurateurs and hopeful Chefs.

To me, life is a never-ending journey of learning. I hope to take the knowledge I absorb from the Culinary Institute and allow it to become an intrinsic part of who I am. A few of the goals I’d love to accomplish:

  • Become a motivator for new generations of aspiring Chefs and Restaurateurs; to help them create their own personal vision and understand their dreams can come true
  • I’d love to be recognized as an iconic respected Chef who combines the love of culture with innovative techniques and creative use of flavors and presentation – recognized in both the United States and México. I believe with hard work, good fortune and excellent instruction I can achieve this
  • To continue to be involved in my community by encouraging others to embrace the ability of food to bring us together with common goals
  • I have a dream to publish a book that combines my unique recipes with stories of my culture and the people who make it great
  • I’d love to proudly walk alongside the Chefs I most admire as a colleague, speaking the language of food, technique, lifestyle and knowledge
  • I hope to keep the time-honored customs and traditions of my culture’s food alive through a lifelong journey of sharing with others

I want to walk through life with the same curiosity, awe and amazement as I have now – yet empowered with new skills and knowledge to make my life, and that of those around me richer for the experience.

My passion for Mayahuel is greater than ever! To share this with you, click here for a video

I hope you’ll embrace this journey along with me as we travel together toward even greater success.


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  1. 1
    Leticia Botello

    Felicidades! It’s such an honor to know you! You have accomplished so much and are still humble. You show so much respect for your team and acknowledging them is a true sign of a leader that leads by example. Wishing you success in this new and exciting challenge!
    Armando and Leticia Botello

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