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Feature of the Month

  • 06
    Feb

    February 2018 Feature: Cherryl Lemi Gutierrez Interview

    Benjamin Foods: Tell us about how you developed an interest in the art intricacies of food?

    Cherryl Lemi Gutierrez: It was after graduating from high school. My only option is to be an Optometrist (to be in school for 8+ years) or a be a Chef(only two years). Obviously, I picked to be professional chef. Once I decided that I wanted to be a chef, I immediately searched and looked where I can go to pursue my dream. My top choice was only to go to school at The Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park, New York. I graduated December 20, 2002. After graduation I also decided to take one continuing education class with Dolores Custer Food Styling.

    How many years ago was that?

    1997 was the year I graduated High School and the year I decided  to become a chef.

    Do you live in the Philadelphia area? Where did you grow up?

    I live in South Philly. I was born and raised in the Philippines. I came to The United States when I was 13 years old.

    Do you have a favorite food?

    Yes, I love Fettuccini carbonara and their amazing garlic knots from Piccollo Trattoria Pennington NJ and Artichoke Basil Pizza from NYC. I bake an amazing Carrot Cake!! Just don’t serve okra to me because I won’t even dare to eat it!!

    Are there specifics aspects of the food business that you are particularly passionate about?

    I’ve been in the food industry since 1997 and I took a C.E. Continuing Education Food Stylist at the CIA where Dolores Custer was teaching at that time. As a Chef, I have been obsessive about all aspects of dining out. It could be from a hole-in-a-wall to a Michelin star restaurant. From the menu, decor, ambiance, music, experience and the food of a restaurant. Everything has to come together in order to have a successful dining experience. 

    How much of your daily to weekly time is dedicated to food?

    I eat, breathe, think, Dream food at all times. As soon as I wake up I check my Instagram. To answer your question 24/7. Don’t worry I sleep also!!

    Is it just a hobby or have you been able to make it part of your work?

    Both, I love entertaining, cooking and making people happy by my cooking. Food ALWAYS brings people together!! 100% guarantee!!

    What is the Travel with Chef Cherryl brand about?

    Travel with Chef Cherryl is all about people that love to Travel & Eat Food at the same time. People travel from Point A to Point B right? Either by foot, bus, car, train, or plane. I love sharing all my domestic and international travels to other people. I want to share through my social media when I do take food photos of the local foods and specialty foods I’ve visited one state/country at a time. I am all about authenticity!!

    Where do you see yourself in one year from now? In five years?

    One year from now… I hope to travel the Midwest. Five years- I’d love to travel the Southeast Asia and Europe. I would love to go to Japan for their sushi and ramen. Korea to find the best Korean BBQ and bibimbap. I’d love to go back to Maui and perhaps island hop to the Big Island and Kauai, Hawaii. My other dream is to publish my own cookbook.

    How can people get in touch with you and follow you?

    They can follow me via: