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Elena Hernández, the creator and president of Panama Gastronomica, the fair that celebrates high cuisine, has one goal in mind, to transform the country into a world-class gastronomic destination. That was the reason why she created this event that is now in its fourth edition. She has taught cuisine and gastronomy in different schools and universities in Panama and Venezuela, where she lived for several years.
A modest woman and a brilliant chef, she has being adviser for different projects launched by important food companies such as Nestlé, Melo, the supermarket chain Rey and several restaurants in the country and for the reality show “Quiero ser Chef” (I want to be a Chef), produced by Televisora Nacional in 2007 and 2008.
A cordon bleu-trained chef, she has promoted the Panamanian cuisine in Baltimore, Seattle, Chicago and Monterrey in the United States. The daily newspaper La Prensa named her as one of the five most important chefs in the last 25 years for her contributions to culinary education and Blank magazine described her as the “Pioneer of Culinary Education in Panama.”
Her commitment to education perhaps was the motive behind the “Copa Visita Panama Gastronomica” competition for professional cooks from around the world, which is a feature of Panama Gastronomica.