Photo Credit Daniel Recinos, The Recinos Company
Culinary Instructor, Chef & Owner of A Pinch of Salt
A Conversation with Chef Raquel Rivera: Bringing Good Food to All
Chef Raquel will focus on her entrepreneur training and small business incubation focused on healthy and sustainable eating while adding value to the food system through partnerships, community relationships and community outreach.
Chef Raquel Rivera is a culinary instructor and owner of A Pinch of Salt. She graduated with highest honors from the culinary program at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) after completing her externship at Le Bernardin in NYC.
While she has worked for well-known catering companies, Chef Raquel realized that she had a natural passion for teaching. In 2011, she served as the chef instructor at the West Side Campaign Against Hunger providing patrons of the food pantry with a 12-week hands-on cooking program teaching how to prepare healthy, budget-friendly meals incorporating pantry staples, rescued food, and donated farmer’s market produce.
Chef Raquel also worked at Wellness in the Schools, a non-profit focusing on introducing healthier, scratch cooked meals in NYC public schools through cooking education, gardening and training of cafeteria staff. Alongside this, she volunteered for City Harvest in efforts of educating and helping reduce food waste. Chef Raquel was recognized for her work with City Harvest and teaching the Cooking Matters curriculum with an invitation to the White House South Lawn to be a founding chef of Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative!
After moving to Bridgeport, Chef Raquel designed a culinary training program focusing on Bridgeport residents—A Pinch of Salt: The Restaurant Edition. Chef Raquel voluntarily ran a 12-week, free, hands-on culinary training for low-income Bridgeport residents aspiring to be chefs and food entrepreneurs. Today Chef Raquel continues to mentor these students. A few of them have since created their own catering, personal chef, food product business and are successful vendors at a few of the Bridgeport Farmers Markets. Chef Raquel continues to train and mentor aspiring food entrepreneurs in hopes of creating a diverse array of talent that is representative of the community.
As a Bridgeport resident Chef Raquel is passionate about educating the community at large on healthy eating. Chef Raquel provides cooking classes for children and adults at ABCD, Inc., Easton Community Center, Hall Neighborhood House, LifeBridge, YMCA Ralphola Center, Wakeman Boys & Girls Club as well as senior centers and for the Bridgeport Farmers Market Collaborative. She also provides at-home cooking classes and private cooking events in commercial kitchens and client’s homes in NYC and Fairfield County.
Chef Raquel is a proud to be Co-Chair of the Bridgeport Food Policy Council and an active member of the Bridgeport Farmers Market Collaborative and Green Village Initiative.
Where to Find Raquel Rivera