PC-1 ProChef Certification, Culinary Institute of America
Growing up in Cuba, Dennis Garcia’s family cooked authentic dishes that drew everyone around the table. Women traditionally did most of the cooking in Cuban culture, but Dennis had an uncle who spent a lot of time in the kitchen and had a huge impact on him becoming a chef. His family moved to New Orleans when he was 12, and Dennis was exposed to American staples, like hamburgers, as well as plenty of Creole and Cajun flavors.
Dennis worked his way through high school at a grocery store bakery before cooking for the city’s booming convention business throughout his early 20s. He then worked for a food broker, where he could put his culinary background and creativity to good use. That position was an introduction to Rich’s, where he worked as an Advanced Broker Technician, conducting classes for customers on the technical aspects of Rich’s products.
In 2012 he joined the Rich’s team in Florida, where he helps large commercial chains develop new concepts using Rich’s product lines. It’s a perfect fit, he says, because many of the chefs Dennis works with appreciate having a one-on-one relationship with someone whose culinary background means he knows what it’s like to work in a busy kitchen where creativity and consistency are valued in equal measure. His passion for helping his customers granted him the Crystal Buffalo Award for Delivering the Rich Experience in 2015 in the Food Service Division.
“Every day is different. I get to create new recipes just about every week. What I love about my job is helping customers out with their needs and their challenges, learning from my peers, and learning from my customers so that I can help others. It’s what really inspires me to continue growing in the culinary world.”