Print Posted 10/10/2017 in CIL News

Spotlight on Luis Marenco

Spotlight on Luis Marenco

  October 10, 2017 

Do you know Luis Marenco? He's one of our proud and talented alumni! He graduated last week from an Associate Applied Science Degree in Culinary Art Gold Summa Cum Laude. 

What is your personal moto? 

Work hard in silence; let success make the noise.

What is your story?

"Before choosing CIL, I was on the path that led to nowhere. I was in trouble with the law. I was struggling in my personal life. I only knew one thing. I HAD to make something of myself. No one was going to hand me success, I needed to work for it. In 2009, I began the journey to obtaining my degree in culinary arts here at CIL, but due to financial pressures, I had to drop the course. It wasn’t until 2015 that I was able to try again. This time, I would find success.

I decided to begin my education at CIL because of the namesake. I didn’t want to spend two years attending a no name college. In the restaurant industry, your power to position is directly linked to “who you know”. The LeNotre’s are definitely a name to know. The school is based on French tradition, which is the introduction to all classic cuisine. Culinary Institute LeNotre is also rated in the top 20 culinary schools in the United States. It was incredible to have such a school right here in Houston.

Now that I have graduated, I am spending more time in my kitchen. My wife and I are the Executive Chefs of The Veranda, her family’s restaurant, located here in Kingwood, Texas. We have been serving the community as a fine dining establishment for the past 22 years. We are also a “teaching” kitchen, taking interns from culinary colleges such as CIL, Escoffier, HCC, Le Cordon Bleu, and U of H."

What inspired you to become a chef?

"Too often in this day and age, children are not taught by their family members how to prepare the meals that bring us together. We forget to take time and really relish in the flavors and smells that make us who we are in our culture. My mother and my aunt were incredibly influential in this aspect. I learned my favorite recipes from the two of them. I learned what it meant to slave over a hot stove all day just for the few minutes of those first looks when family saw the food on the table. And I learned that a dish that comes back clean is the ultimate compliment."

His state of mind and dedication would pay off and lead him to earn several scholarships:

“It has been a pleasure to teach Luis. His teamwork, motivation, and patience make him successful in what he accomplishes. He is a very dedicated hard worker, a committed and ambitious person who always maintain a mature and professional attitude” 
- Chef Sebastien Bonnet, Head of Cuisine Department at CIL

Besides showing passion in his craft, Luis is always up to help and volunteer for several causes. He’s not only a great chef, but also a great person.

“I wanted to show my children that anything is possible with hard work. Nothing worth having comes easy." says Luis.

Chef Luis Marenco is the winner of the 2017 Les Amis d'Escoffiers Scholarship. He will be presented with his $1000 check and the CIL matching check of the same amount Sunday November 5 2017 during a yearly Fall French dinner (7 courses and 7 wines) to be served at Houston La Table restaurant on Post Oak boulevard for the 80 members of the Escoffier Society of Houston .

What are your next projects? 

I plan to continue as Executive Chef at The Veranda. Every term I am in charge of instructing as many as 9 interns from culinary colleges. My wife and I also plan to continue mentoring the culinary teams from our two local high schools as they compete in the National Restaurant Association’s ProStart competitions. At this time we are currently creating a beginner’s college course and cookbook. I am also the proud father of a new baby girl and I plan to divide my time evenly between fatherhood and being a chef.

Any words of wisdom for our current and future students who dream of success story like yours? 

Success is not always easy. Obstacles come and go. If you REALLY want this, you will find a way. Never give up.

A great role model for his family and students! We are proud of having you as a part of the CIL Family!

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7070 Allensby St, Houston, TX 77022, USA

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