Employee Spotlight: Executive Chef Wendy Toribio
In June, Green Top Farms welcomed Executive Chef Wendy Toribio to the family. A Brooklyn native, Wendy grew up watching Julia Child on PBS, which directed her career path to cooking. She uses cooking as a way of understanding different cultures. New York City (or what Wendy calls the “culinary mecca”) has been a particular source of inspiration for her. She comes to us after years in the industry working at Del Frisco’s, Artisanal, and Chelsea Brewing Company, and believes that these different experiences have allowed her to hone her craft.
What initially drew you to cooking/the kitchen?
Television essentially. My brother would watch cartoons and I'd try to catch the cooking shows on PBS. My mom encouraged my fascination with these shows by allowing me to pick out some ingredients when we were off to the market. I'd try to imitate what the chefs made, most of it was terrible. Mom was my biggest cheerleader. Through college I began working at this joint called Cafe Love; an all organic vegan place in downtown Brooklyn. This is where my career began, and my life changed forever.
What’s something that brings you an immense sense of pride in your career?
Where do I begin? I love what I do! I take immense pride in my creativity. Taking a raw material and transforming it into something glorious and nutritious.
What brought you to Green Top Farms?
The lure was our philosophies aligned. You're not happy about something; don't just complain. Do something about it. BE THE CHANGE!
What are you hoping to change in the industry?
The solutions to the food crisis are those that make the lives of family farmers easier: reduce the power of the agri-foods industrial complex, and build ecologically resilient family agriculture, eat more local, less import, teach kids where food comes from, get them involved in the process. Everything we are, everything we do is connected.
Wendy has already brought her own style to our kitchen and introduced ideas like vegan empanadas that she used to make for neighbors when she lived in Sunset Park. We’re excited to have her on our team, and continue to make food that is culturally diverse and absolutely delicious.