At ezCater, we’re inspired by chefs and restaurant operators who take their passion for food and catering and turn it into a career. As a partner who helps them build their catering business, we’re proud to share their stories with you.
When a line cook didn’t show up for his shift, Carlos Rodríguez, then a dishwasher, got his long-awaited break. This is the story of how Carlos Rodríguez achieved the American Dream with Boston’s Orinoco.
Discover more “Restaurant Roots” stories celebrating chefs, restaurant operators, and catering.
Carlos Rodríguez: When I was about 13 years old, my sister was going out with a chef. He was a big-time chef. He was very, very well known. He actually offered me a dishwasher job. And I did that for about six months. And then one day, one of the cooks didn’t come in and he gave me a chance. I found out this was a passion for me.
Cooking is a knowledge that is based on memory. Every flavor that I have ever tasted is in my mind. Even though Orinoco has a lot of Venezuelan dishes, it is not a Venezuelan restaurant. If you see in our window, it says, “A Latin Kitchen.” I have the ability to make here anything from Honduras all the way down to Patagonia. The catering—I’d rather deliver them myself. I get the chance to meet some of my clients. I also make sure it gets delivered right.
This is not an easy business. It’s a business of taking care of little things every single day. We’re being recognized in the New York Times and Boston magazine. We’re now established. Coming to America with a dream and realizing that dream says a lot about this country.
I always tell everybody I know, immigrants, all they want is to contribute. I started as a dishwasher at age 13 in Venezuela and now I run three restaurants in Boston—reborn as a proud American.
Take a peek at the rich, hearty cuisine that Carlos Rodríguez caters every day at Orinoco.