Oriana Cartaya, 2019 Winner of the Bern Laxer Memorial Scholarship

Oriana Cartaya

My name is Oriana Cartaya and I am originally from Caracas, Venezuela. After leaving my country, I began my studies at The Culinary Institute of America. Although my passion started with cooking, I have become a wine geek and lover. Throughout my years working in the hospitality industry I have become an advocate for enhancing nature with our daily work/life decisions, and a promoter for change in food policy. 

Exploring history and cultures through the lens of food and wine is one of my passions. Similarly, traveling, eating my favorite foods and drinking my favorite wines. As I like to explore and see what life has for me, I have been able to work in different places such as Miami, New York, Aspen, and Napa. Recently, I moved to Maui, HI to work at the Four Seasons Resort.

Daniel Matos, 2019 Winner of the Bern Laxer Memorial Scholarship

Daniel Matos

Daniel Matos is a Venezuelan-born cook and aspiring sommelier, who first came to Tampa with his family in 2009 fleeing the unrest in his homeland. In preparation for his undergraduate studies at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park NY, Daniel spent time in restaurants: Tandoor and Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, FL, and Lavelle’s Bistro in Fairbanks, AK.

With the financial support of family, friends, and various scholarships (including the Bern Laxer Award three times), Daniel attend The Culinary Institute of America.. He found a love for wine and hospitality, which motivated his choice of Major for his bachelor’s degree, Food Business Management with a Concentration in Advanced Wine and Beverage, and Magna Cum Laude distinction.

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