Addy Vargas-Salazar, Chef and Entrepreneur
Addy Vargas-Salazar was born in Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. Growing up with entrepreneur parents Addy had a vision and a passion for the Culinary Arts and Fashion Design. She migrated to New York City at the age of 10 with her parents and four siblings. Working at a young age managing her parent’s factory she became inspired to become an entrepreneur herself. Her ambitions led her to one of the best schools in New York City, The High School of Fashion Industries where she studied fashion and marketing. Upon graduating in 1989 she took many jobs in the fashion business.
In 1999 Addy and her family arrived in the city of Waterbury, Connecticut to expand their business by opening La Cazuela Restaurant & Lounge. During this journey she received a diploma from the Center of Culinary Arts at New England Tech in 2007. Her love for cooking, reinventing and experimenting with several different types of spices led her to meet and be mentored by Jerry Reveron one of the world’s most renowned Chefs.
Addy wanted to expand her knowledge and horizons so she dedicated many years of dining out in New York City to learn about different cuisines and cultures. Having such great connections and experiences she has traveled to several countries in Latin America looking for potential for a new restaurant.
As a Certified Natural Health Professional, she developed a desire for a healthier life style for herself and others by opening her own natural health food store “A+A” in 2009 in Waterbury, Connecticut. Addy has also participated in community work with the International Warrior Women Ministry founded in the City of Gaspar Hernandez in the Dominican Republic. This Ministry empowers women who lack resources. She currently goes twice a year to the Dominican Republic on missions to work.
Presently Addy has her began a journey following her dreams of opening Mojo Nuevo Latino Cuisine. Mojo launched its soft opening on May 8th 2015. Addy’s dream, passion and love for the arts have become one and led her to opening the very first fine dining Latin restaurant in Waterbury, Connecticut. Mojo is a Latin Fusion restaurant consists of a mixture of an array of Latin America cuisine and all over the states. With the help of her family and her personal Chef Consultant Jerry Reveron her dream has become a reality . With hard work and many struggles Addy Vargas Salazar has become the first Latin Chef in Waterbury, Connecticut and will continue to help those in her community and strive for more success.
Leonel Mojica, Chef de Cuisine
Leonel Mojica was born January 23, 1975 in the Dominican Republic. In 2001 at the end of his studies in Industrial Engineering he emigrated to Barcelona, Spain where he studied gastronomy, developing his passion for cooking. Leo started its work in a restaurant called Cuatro Barros De Sigtes in Spain,
acquiring experience in Mediterranean cuisine and enough knowledge to
prepare more than fifteen different paellas and tapas.
By the year 2006 he arrived in Palma de Mallorca, Spain where he worked in Xelini a restaurant that specializes in a la carte services. He had the opportunity to change the structure of the a la carte menu completely. After this, Leo continued to expand his knowledge and culinary skills once again working for a restaurant called Nimos where he was the Executive Chef for all of the Paellas. He made approximately 800 individual services in one day, which was one of the biggest sales in record for this restaurant. Mr. Mojica was then made the Sous Chef because of his amazing knowledge and
experience with combinations of international foods and tapas.
Leo has now established himself in the United States and in April 13th, 2015 had the opportunity to work with Mojo Nuevo Latino Cuisine in Waterbury, Connecticut. He is now the Chef of Cuisine where he features his main dishes of paellas and a special tapas bar menu.
Jerry Reveon PCIII, Sr. Food Service Director / Chef
The Taft School
Jerry Reveron is a Connecticut native born in Bridgeport to Hispanic parents from Puerto Rico. Jerry also calls Watertown, CT his home where he lives with his best friend and wife Sarah and their cat Truffles.
At present Jerry is The Sr. Food Service Director / Chef at The Taft School in Watertown, Ct.He oversees and manages every aspect of the dining service at Taft, and spends quite a bit of time in the kitchen as food is a big part of his career and his passion for it. It also helps that he has a brand new state of the art kitchen unlike any he has ever worked in before. He has been at The Taft School since April of 2009. On July 17,2014 Jerry Reveron was one of six chefs to receive The PRO CHEF Certification Level III through the Culinary Institute of America. A four day written and kitchen practical exam. Which now earns him the title of PCIII. Jerry has also completed an Asian Fusion class as well at The Culinary Institute of America in August 2012 and also completed his PRO CHEF Level II in February of 2012.
Jerry has competed in ARAMARKS National ACE Competition and has won his way to two National Competitions in 2011 and 2012. In 2011 wining a ACF national Silver Medal and in November 2012 placing second in the United States for ARAMARK and wining a Silver Medal and wining a ACF National Gold Medal.
Jerry opened a fifty-eight seat fine dining Restaurant in 2004, The Woodward House featuring American cuisine with an eclectic twist, as well as an impressive art collection.
Jerry’s culinary career spans 35 years, including 14 in the United States Navy. He has worked in every aspect the culinary industry… restaurants, hotels, country clubs, the military, health care, corporate dining, restaurants, and student dining. For nine years of his career, he has competed as a chef on a national level with The American Culinary Federation. He has served as Vice President and President of The Northwest Connecticut Chef’s Association. He is also an active member of the American Culinary Federation. He was voted Chef of the Year in 2000 for the Northwest Connecticut Chef’s Association. In American Culinary Federation competitions, he has won the following medals: 4 Gold, 8 Silver, and 11 Bronze. He is also a member of The Escoffier Society. Jerry is still a member of the American Culinary Federation which is the only national association of professional chefs known worldwide.
Jerry is very involved in his local and statewide community. He continues to give generously of his time, talent and creative food to many groups and charity events, such Connecticut Children’s Medical Center’s CT Culinary Masters Classic, the Connecticut Farmland Trust, the Stages Wine Dinner at Waterbury’s The Palace Theatre for the past seven years, and many, many other causes. He won First Place two years in a row at Main Street Waterbury’s “Eat Your Art Out” competition, and was so helpful as a participant, he was asked to co-chair the 2007- 2008 event.
Recognizing the importance of hospitality education for the next generation of managers and culinarians, Chef Jerry agreed to take on the daunting role of “Chef Mentor” for New Britain High School’s Pro Start team. With his guidance, and his WEEKLY visit to the school over seven months for the past four years, the New Britain Hurricanes took the Connecticut title, and represented our state in Charlotte, North Carolina last April. Of course, Jerry traveled with the team to North Carolina, but rather than risk losing the team’s supplies and equipment during shipping, Jerry drove by car to be sure the team had all their tools and supplies. Jerry also worked with New Britain in 2008, again taking the team to
San Diego for Nationals, twice and just recently in 2010 took the team to another National competition in Kansas.
Jerry also serves on the Advisory Board for Lincoln Culinary Institute in CT. Jerry is committed to his community, to his industry, and to the next generation of hospitality professionals. For all these reasons, Chef Jerry Reveron was named the 2007 Connecticut Restaurateur of the Year by the Connecticut Restaurant Association.
Jerry is extremely thankful and grateful to the Taft School community for having him there as the Sr. Food Service Director and Chef .