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In 2007, I earned the title of Best Pastry Chef in the Caribbean — the first Puerto Rican to win the recognition.“

Bio

Pastry Chef René Olmeda-Santana hails from Canóvanas, Puerto Rico. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR), 1992, and an associate degree in Baking & Pastry Arts from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA).

Prior to working at JWU, Chef Olmeda worked at a broad range of hotels in his native Puerto Rico, as well as at Walt Disney World Resort hotels and CoCo Sala in Washington, DC. He had taught at Universidad Del Este in Puerto Rico and Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando.

He worked at James Beard Award-winning chef Wilo Benet’s restaurant Piyako. In 2004 and 2007, he served as captain and pastry chef on Puerto Rico’s national culinary team, which won gold and silver medals.

In 2007, Chef Olmeda earned the title of Best Pastry Chef in the Caribbean — the first Puerto Rican to win the recognition.

Most recently, he served as executive pastry chef on the opening team of Puerto Rico’s new St. Regis Hotel in Puerto Rico.

Areas of Expertise

  • Baking & Pastry Arts
  • Hotel & Restaurant Management
  • Food Safety