Culinary School: The Culinary Institute of America
Program: Associate’s in Culinary Arts, Graduated in 2007
Current Position: Culinary & Hospitality Director at Universidad del Este, Cabo Rojo
With a strong desire to become a chef, René approached the Scholarship Foundation in 2005 for assistance to pursue an Associate’s degree in culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of America. René came well prepared having earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a minor in Human Resources in 2005 from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus.
René had the opportunity to do his externship at Zeppelin Restaurant in Orvieto, Italy where he honed his Italian cuisine skills. Upon graduation from the CIA in 2007, René returned to Puerto Rico and worked first with Chef Raúl Gómez at the Hotel Normandie’s RED Restaurant. He later joined Chef Peter Schintler at Marmalade in Old San Juan where he became Sous Chef. He helped open Revé Restaurant, a French-Caribbean restaurant in Isla Verde as Chef de Cuisine until 2010 when he was invited to join Chef Dayn Smith’s culinary team at Perla. While at Perla René taught part time at the José A. (Tony) Santana International School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts at Universidad del Este, Carolina and loved the experience.
When he was asked to head the culinary and hospitality programs at the new Universidad del Este in Cabo Rojo, René readily accepted the challenge. René states that the “Scholarship Foundation was my first step on the ladder that helped me reach my culinary dreams”.