Cuban Mediterranean Bistro
You never work a day in your life if you love what you do! Some people have never been fortunate enough to find their love but I have been fortunate enough to find it not only once, but three times. My passion as a young man was skiing. I was a competitive downhill mogul skier. When I stopped at the age of 15, it led me to my next two passions as an adult: boxing and cooking – and one led me to the other.
I started my boxing career at the age of sixteen in 2006. I fought as an amateur throughout high school and then turned professional at the age of twenty two in 2012. During my professional career I had to teach myself about nutrition, cooking, and eating healthy. During that time my thirst for knowledge grew in both boxing as well as in cooking, ultimately leading me to culinary school. I attended Star Career Academy in Syosset, New York with two goals in mind: to learn as much as I could in the art of cooking and to graduate at the top of my class. I accomplished both.
My career in the restaurant industry began at the age of fourteen working at McDonald’s and moved on to Friendly’s in Syosset. I remained there for seven years & during that time I was exposed to all the facets of the restaurant business: waiter, line cook, food ordering, and management. I was fortunate to have had an excellent general manager, Tina Forgione, who instilled valuable skills that I continue to use to this very day.
Over the Years
Competitive downhill/mogul skier. started skiing at 3 years old. Was once ranked top 25.
Began amateur boxing career – at 16 years old
Began professional boxing career
Graduated from Star Academy for culinary education.
Worked with Michelin Chef Michael Psilakis and Celebrity Chef Michael Ginore
Ended professional boxing career
Worked with Michelin Chef Michele Brigioni (Armani Ristorante) and Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay
Signed lease to expand restaurant size
Full expansion of the restaurant began
Meet my Sous Chef David Benitez
Purchased Food Trailer – Babalu Bites Summer of 2020