Featured Chef

ACF Monterey Bay is proud to feature Chef Monica Torres, CCC as their Featured Chef!

The WakeHouse

Executive Chef Monica Torres
The WakeHouse – www.wakehouserules.com

Chef Monica Torres, a culinary enthusiast hailing from Durango, Mexico, and now is based in Visalia, California. With a dynamic journey that began in the heart of Mexican cuisine at 18, Monica’s culinary evolution led her to a deep-rooted passion for food. Graduating with an AS degree in business from the College of the Sequoias, she then pursued her love for cuisine by earning a Bachelor’s in business and tourism administration, as well as a certificate in entrepreneurship from Harvard Business College.

Monica’s path took a savory turn when she delved into the culinary arts, starting as a cook in a Mexican restaurant and advancing under the tutelage of a certified executive chef. Living under the roof of her adoptive family with Lebanese and Costa Rican roots, she opted to infuse flavors. In 2018, her dedication culminated in the achievement of becoming a certified culinarian from ACF. Transitioning to a French-inspired restaurant, she continued to refine her skills and creativity for 1.5 years.

However, Monica’s talents truly shone when she was granted the opportunity to open her own breakfast and lunch spot in 2019. This endeavor showcased her culinary expertise, from kitchen design to menu creation and recipe development. Her prowess was further recognized in a local competition where she won the title of best grilled cheese sandwich, cementing her reputation as a rising culinary star.

In the face of the pandemic, Monica’s resilience and creativity flourished as she crafted innovative dishes. Her dedication resulted in her attaining the title of certified chef de cuisine from the American Culinary Federation in December 2021. Subsequently, she took over a restaurant in Reedley, California, transforming the menu, leading kitchen development, and training staff. Monica’s culinary journey gained the attention it deserved when she appeared on local news outlets, including Fox 26, sharing her culinary visions with a wider audience.

Monica’s passion for her craft reached new heights in 2023 when she participated in the “Favorite Chef” competition presented by Carla Hall. Her inventive and delectable creations garnered recognition across The Valley, with appearances on ABC 30, Fox 26, the Business Journal, and local radio stations. One of her remarkable feats included a five-course dinner that celebrated the pre-Hispanic flavors of Mexico, capturing the hearts and palates of the Central Valley community.

Monica Torres continues to craft memorable dining experiences, seamlessly weaving her Mexican heritage and culinary ingenuity into every dish she creates. Her journey stands as a testament to her unwavering dedication and exceptional talent in the world of cuisine.