Panama Gastronomica

ELENA HERNANDEZ is the founder of Panama Gastronomica, Panama’s premier culinary event, which annually gathers over 14,000 food enthusiasts from around the world. She holds a Grand Diplôme in Culinary and Pastry Arts from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, and for 15 years worked her way through hotel and restaurant kitchens while teaching culinary arts in Panama and South America. In 2002, she founded the Academia de Artes Culinarias, the first private cooking school in Panama.

Chef Hernández has consulted as corporate chef for Copa Airlines, the Panamanian national airline; helped create and starred as head judge on Quiero Ser Chef, a reality show on Televisora Nacional; and writes regularly about food. Her articles have been published in La Prensa, the leading national newspaper, and several local gourmet magazines. La Prensa named her one of the five most important chefs in Panama of the last 25 years for he contributions to culinary education, while Chilean magazine Blank named her “Pioneer of Culinary Education” in her country. Chef Hernández is a member and frequent presenter of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and served on their Board of Directors between 2007 and 2011.

She travels internationally as guest chef, more recently at the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio, Texas campus during their annual Latin Flavors, American Kitchens, where she had the opportunity to present the traditional foods from Panama. In May of 2013, she was a guest of honor, for the second time, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s annual Cooking for Solutions event (Monterey, California), where presented next to some of the most prestigious chefs in the United States. Her latest project, Sal y Pimienta TV, a cooking show that airs weekly on Panama’s first online television channel, La Cascara TV, has been a success since its launching in October of 2012.

El Amor por la Cocina

This is full of information about my adventures in the kitchen, my travel, published articles in magazines and newspapers and other things of interest.

Panama Gastronomica

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