HEAD COOK: Steve Madrigal
COMPETITION: World Dessert Championship
I learned to cook at a young age, old school, from my mom and my grandma. I began cooking full, complete meals for my family at the age of 7. I entered my first cooking competition at a church. It was cooking meatloaf and my competition consisted of all the elderly women of the church. I won at the age of 16. At 24 I started catering for private events, weddings, parties, personal dinners. At the age of 33 I owned and operated a Mexican restaurant. 7 years ago I started Pop's Catering which I continue to run part time alongside my full time job of transportation specialist. 5 years ago I had the amazing opportunity to serve as a sous chef for my brother in law, Mike Castaneda, at the World Food Championship's where he took 6th place. 4 years ago I competed in the Steak division and in my grouping I placed 19th and I also placed 3rd in the People’s Choice award. 2 years ago competed in the Seafood division and placed 31st. Not bad considering that between 1st place and myself there was less than 8 point spread. I have been cooking for most of my life and it is something that brings me great pleasure, personally and professionally. My goal is to continue to grow and excel in the culinary arts and develop my own style of cooking to share with others. I want to share with everyone that thinks cooking is stressful. I actually use it as a therapeutic means to help me with my ptsd from my time in the United States Marine Corp.