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“Cooking for a group of friends/family is easy and without pressure on the results, you concentrate more on sharing, having a good time and having a good memory. But cooking for strangers, for those people who trust in your pulse, in your talent and pay to achieve that magic in you, leads you to take an abysmal leap into the alchemy of food to find an original flavor that leaves them with an experience. indelible multisensory, the diner wants that part of your essence, that unique, that which cannot be imitated, that is the true value and responsibility of a chef”.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, to Venezuelan parents, without Spanish roots or ancestry, with empirical culinary knowledge, an innate talent that continues to develop, with a suitcase full of dreams and goals, chef J. Leonardo Barreto settled in the city of Miami, Florida USA in 2017 and since 2018 I started Tio Paella®, a project “without budget or economic capital” that arises from the prevailing need of an immigrant to raise his family, with the unconditonal support of his wife and children and with the confidence to create and inspire, under the seal of authenticity, he brought to the culinary world a concept that would change the way we appreciate and enjoy the art of cooking. Taking as an icon the most international dish in Spain “La Paella”.
Among its creatons it has more than 40 different rice dishes, all with a different personality and an original seal. He understood that he had to use food to create “Happiness”, which is not just about making money but about making IMPACT, that is why all his recipes have been inspired by highlighting a taste, a style, a festivity, a region, a tradition, a culture and even a religion, managed to adapt the recipe to the occasion and the diner. With this he had the potental to change his life, that of his family, and that of the people who have tried his rice. Among his most notable creatons we can mention “La Paella Rustica®, La Quinoella®, La Paella Thanksgiving® and La Paella Kosher®”, among others. His cooking is multisensory, it is aimed at sight, taste, smell, hearing and mind. No art has that complexity.
Together with his wife and co-founder Mery Zambrano R., he has diversified the format of paella to make it reach diverse audiences and to this day he has participated together with his team and his brand in large local events and other renowned and international events. He has been recognized and endorsed by the Spanish community in Miami, FL by being present at events for the Spanish consulate. He has cooked for personalities from art, entertainment, cinema, music, and the world of sports. He has raised the value of Spanish gastronomy by respecting and honoring the recipe for the Traditional Valencian Paella. He created a never, before, seen concept of Paella in individual dishes (bowls) for festivals and gastronomic markets, (street food type) preserving its freshness and quality, a concept that has already been replicated in other latitudes and by other chefs and the same concept did it Get to sports stadiums in World Cup disciplines such as soccer, baseball and cycling.
Its strong presence on different digital and social media platforms has allowed it to build a community of virtual tasters, with enough charisma to captivate the most skeptical, while cooking has fun, educates, and entertains its viewers in a humorous and natural way, achieving so that your followers and viewers become your future diners. All this exposure has led him to cross the country to bring his talent, it also supports his experience and the testimonies of all those who have had the experience guarantee the quality of each of the services he provides. His projection magnifies the achievements achieved and levels unlocked in his career, to the point of inspiring other chefs to want to create similar culinary concepts all over the world.
La Paella Solidaria® is one of their altruistic projects and means that every blessing always begins on you and ends with someone else, who has the character, the gifts, the skills to leave a legacy to do things differently. It was created from the same year 2018, when after participating in a private event where I cook for more than 100 people, they asked him to throw away more than half of the food that was left over, and he then decided to follow his principles, not throw away the food and, with the permission of the diners, he asked to take it away to deliver it to those most in need, thus feeding entire families living on the streets.
Then she teamed up for the first time with an Aesthetic Salon, to participate in “Dono mis cejas” and bring a plate of food to oncology patients. Independently, he has brought food to centers where they care for elderly people in situations of abandonment, to more local people who are homeless and to shelters with people affected by natural disasters. Today he still carries out this work in alliance with different foundations and organizations. non-profit, and is always available to create new ties to bring a plate of food to those who need it most.