Today we’d like to introduce you to Dayanny De la Cruz.
Dayanny, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Dominican Republic, in a small town call Nagua by the northeast coast of the country,
I come from a family where everything happens in the kitchen, my grandmothers were a huge influence in me becoming a Chef. My love for food started at an early age, but my mother was a firm believer that I needed to get a formal college therefore I push myself to get my BA in hospitality management at the age of 21 from Universidad Central del Este in DR.
I moved to Grand Rapids, MI to live with my parents and start and new life with better career opportunities.
Since then, I graduated from Culinary school at Gran Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, MI. Move to Chicago with my first gig as Executive Chef at the Doubletree Hotel in Skokie, IL where I encountered my first Kosher kitchen and one the most difficult things I have done so far in my career.
It was in Chicago that I felt in love with F&B and the sport and entertainment industry, I was very lucky to get scouted by Levy Restaurants which allowed me to enter the craziest and most exiting places I have the pleasure to work at.
I have worked in many venues all over the United States, US open New York, Kentucky Derby, NBA All Starts, Barkclay Center in Brooklyn, Centre the Videotron in Quebec and many more.
I moved to Miami back in 2013 to work as the Executive sous chef at the Miami Heat with their new marketing campaign “What’s Cooking Miami” and also open their most exclusive clubs including The Flagship lounge.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I am a firm believer that I am here today to keep pushing the glass ceiling and break out of what is considered normal in the culinary world of Sports and Entertainment.
The road wasn’t easy along the way. Being a mother of three and also being a cancer survivor in a career that consumes a lot of time and energy, there were a lot of speed bumps that I had to push through in order to be where I am today.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Hard Rock Stadium / Miami Dolphins – what should we know?
I recently became the Executive Chef of the Miami Dolphins under “Centerplate, a Company who handles all food and beverage services at the stadium.
Our stadium houses, 5 full services kitchen, 8 premium clubs, 167 luxury suites, 56 concessions stand and 20 portable.
We are really excited that will be hosting the Superbowl in 2020.
I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to lead the culinary world in such an amazing venue and being able to show so many out there we can do this while reinventing ourselves into better and stronger professional and human beings.
I am a believer that our world is changing, I love supporting small business, and creating systems that allow any venue I work to become sustainable.
I am a mother of three and I have most loving and caring husband or I wouldn’t be able to do this!!
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My husband, parents and children are my rock! Besides them, my teachers were a positive influence on me, they mentored and nurtured my love for food and made sure that I knew what was in the horizon for me. Hard work and dedication was the recipe that I was taught from the beginning.
I been very honored and blessed to work with many amazing chefs and managers along the way that have supported and help develop my skills while still allowing my creativity and passion for food being the forefront of my career.