Jorge

I’m Cuban-born. I came here as an 8-year-old with my immigrant parents.

I went to culinary school in 2016; from there, I went straight to Zuma, started from the bottom, and became the Sous Chef in two years. I remained there two more years as Sous Chef, and then I moved up to open EST.33, a new concept here in Miami. Smoked and Thai Fusion. Now I’m here with Chef Ray working on this beautiful Asian Mediterranean food.

I think Fusion is the future because, throughout all of civilization, we’ve been pretty much eating the same thing in every place. Now, with the power of the internet, people have so much culture and understanding of food that they’re developing combinations— to create new dishes, new flavors, new colors, and things that you’ve never seen before.

Zuma was very Chef-driven and corporate, which is vital to learn. You must understand the corporate side. When you go to a small restaurant that is more Chef-driven, you can step away from the business and worry more about the culinary side and your creativity. This industry is both a business and art.

Here, now I have more time to create, more time to work on details. In corporate restaurants, Most of the work is done by the corporate chefs instead of having the people in the restaurant create the dishes.

In the future, my plan is to open my own restaurant where my name is going to be remembered for 100 years after I die. It’s going to be a family-owned restaurant and because of my Cuban ancestry, I’d like to create some Caribbean and Asian fusion.