“We cannot love others without learning to love ourselves first.” ~Vanessa
In honor of Women’s History Month, we would like to shed light on amazing women who are committed to doing amazing things in our community.
Vanessa Marquis is President of the American Culinary Federation Tampa Bay Chapter. She has been a major blessing to A Kid’s Place through her continual support and heart to give back. Vanessa has taken AKP under her wing and has generously donated food and Christmas gifts for our kids. In the coming months we are excited to share that Vanessa and her team of chefs will begin a Garden Project to educate and teach our children how to garden and grow their own food. We had the pleasure of interviewing Vanessa for a Take 5 Interview. Read more about this amazing woman
- 1. When did you get involved with this organization and how did your first hear about us?
- I used to work with HCPS, my catering dept was put on hold during the pandemic and we were asked to help deliver food. I delivered food to a Kids Place Spring & Summer of 2020. When I left HCPS, I stayed in touch with Laura and told her I want to help the organization through our ACF Chapter
2. What attracted you to the cause?
I had a couple of friends growing up who went through the foster system. It hits home for me. I also created the Culinary Arts Program for Metropolitan Ministries, where this program was developed for aged-out foster children. These young children are angels of God
3. What part of your involvement has meant the most to you?
It took a while to setup, but our ACF Chapter is very excited to come and build a garden with the kids. Something that us Chefs enjoy doing. Most children never get to see a garden or create a meal or eat straight from a garden. We hope to bring that experience to them. No one asks to be put in their situation, so if we can make them smile, that to me is a success in my eye and sure makes me feel good when I lay my head on my pillow at night.
4. What are you most passionate about?
My family, food, and giving back. I also am the Chairman of WorldChefs, International Chefs Day. Leading Chefs around the globe to teach children healthy eating habits and sharing our noble profession to the little ones.
5. If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would you want to meet?
My deceased family members and family who are alive but live all the way In California and I don’t get to visit much. Family meals in a Hispanic home are always full of people, great food and laughter. I miss that very much
6. What three traits define you?
Nurturer, Loyal, & Patient
7. How do you define success?
When your heart is full, your surrounded by positive people, and you give back more than what you take in. Ultimately, I feel successful if I have been able to help others succeed or feel better about what they do. The feeling of calm and being happy with myself.
8. Who inspires you?
My family, my husband who is my biggest cheerleader, and many who overcome BIG obstacles to do what they do
9. Guilty Pleasure Food?
PIZZA and ICE CREAM
10. Proudest Moment?
To have received a Silver Medal at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg
11. Words of advice for our children?
We cannot love others without learning to love ourselves first. Find your passion, do what makes you happy, and always trust your intuition if something is right or wrong.
And something I tell my niece and nephew, always give new foods a try. If you do not like, you can always spit it out and never have to have it again, but at least try it.
12. What is a secret talent that no one knows?
I sew dog collars for my dog and family member’s dogs
13. What is your favorite family tradition?
Making tamales for Christmas Eve dinner. My husband and I still do this every year, just the 2 of us.
14. If you could be a superhero what would your power be?
To strike goodness in peoples hearts, and remove hatred from others’ minds.