We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniela Perez-Reyes and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Daniela, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk has been a common occurrence and theme throughout my life. If there is a word that I can use to describe the fact I get to work in what I love and thrive on its “risk”. I’ve taken many of them to get to where I am as woman in my career field. Im a chef and I have a catering business. I get to work for amazing people and big companies. I love cooking and creating contemporary recipes with amazing ingredients. Ive been presented with different opportunities/risks throughout my life, and I always chose the wildest rides. Lets start by talking about my very first risk towards my career back in 2006…I moved to San Diego, CA to go to culinary school. I had never lived on the west coast prior to that. it was an adventure for me to move away from my family to pursue a career that at the time felt like only a dream. I wasn’t sure what the future was going to hold. I was young and naive. However, I listened to my gut and decided that I had nothing to loose , and so I went for it! Further down my culinary path I was presented with another big decision and risk: Hawaii. My friend was traveling to south asia with his girlfriend for a couple months and asked me If I wanted to sublease his place in Hawaii. It’s an A frame wooden house. Sitting beach front to log cabins, in the North shore of Oahu (talk about a dream place). So I said yes and yes! I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay there to work, or what was going to happen once I moved, or for how long I would stay. But I ended up living there for 6 years and survived (haha). During my time in Hawaii I was introduce to many risks, with the most insane one being casted for the show “Next food Network Star” where I made it as a finalist. Even though I didn’t win the competition, as a chef I was suddenly placed on the map. Ive been taking risks in my career since I can remember. These risks shape me into the chef I am today. All the experiences built me up, and gave me tons of exposure and mostly the humbling (Experiences) parts taught me how to further (down) navigate the seas of opportunities in 2020. I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We are “Mara Bleu Caters” a business that not only does catering… we do private chef services and cooking classes (available in person and online). What sets us apart from other companies is that we focus on our guests dietary needs. We will cater to any diet style or cuisine you like. We also have beautiful presentations for dishes and offer a variety of exotic ingredients. Im Peruvian so that adds to the madness. if you know and love Peruvian cuisine we are the right caterers for you. Also Mara Bleu Caters offers an array of possibilities when it comes to pricing. We believe in the magic number….tell us what yours is, and we will tell you what we can do with that.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I live in Cardiff…so I will start my weekend grabbing breakfast burritos at el Pueblo. Then head to the beach around the area. Maybe around 4 pm will stop for margaritas and apps at Las Olas, followed by dinner at Herb and Sea. For late night drinks maybe stop by any of the fun bars on the Encinitas block. My second day will probably start with brunch at Le papagayo in Leucadia, a classic in the area. After jumping in the water at Beacons beach I’ll head south to San Diego for a Balboa park experience. followed by an early dinner in Little Italy. There are so many great places to check out down there. A personal favorite is Born and Raised.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to acknowledge all my friends who support me and have given me work opportunities through the process, companies like KeNui Kitchen , Hale Aina Caters, The Sullivan State, Turtle Bay Resort and the Food Network for having me as an employee or letting me participate and learn from the food and restaurant business.

Website: Marableu.com
Instagram: @marableu / @____daniela__
Facebook: Mara Bleu Caters
Yelp: MaraBleu Caters

Image Credits
Portrait by Romina Rossel Media romirosselmedia.com Food Pics by Alejandra Sacio