Luis Rivera, Jr.
“ There are still relationships with faculty, administration, and fellow former classmates that I still have today.”
My name is Luis Rivera, Jr. and I earned my A.A.S. in Culinary Arts from Monroe in 2014. While still studying, I secured my first position in the industry in 2013 as a seasonal cook at the New York Marriott Marquis. I was subsequently called back for the 2014 holiday season.
After leaving the Marquis, I spent some time as a line cook at The Tribeca Grand Hotel in SoHo, (now known as The Roxy). In the summer of 2015, a career advancement opportunity presented itself and I promptly took advantage; spending nearly three years serving as a School Food Service Manager with the New York City Department of Education. The role offered tremendous growth and management experience, yet after some time, I began to miss the thrill of creating in the kitchen.
In 2018, I left the NYC DOE and became a Dining Services Coordinator for Sunrise Senior Living at one of their Westchester County residences. It was my first Executive Chef position where I was responsible for the entire dining operation of a single unit property.
I left Sunrise in the fall of 2019 and I now run a small batch specialty foods manufacturing company based in The Bronx named Big Chance Foods. We currently produce barbecue sauce under the brand “Father & Son’s Kitchen,” which was created as the result of me winning a specialty foods competition in the spring of 2013 while still studying at Monroe.
Although it has been 6 years since I graduated, I frequently and enthusiastically share that my accomplishments are a product of my educational experience at Monroe, which extends far beyond the classroom. There are still relationships with faculty, administration, and fellow former classmates that I still have today.