We had the good fortune of connecting with Juliette Velazquez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Juliette, why did you pursue a creative career?
Growing up I was always passionate about food, cooking, and the culinary/hospitality industry. I would watch cooking shows and be amazed at how the chefs would start with multiple ingredients to then create a beautiful and delicious dish. I began cooking whenever I had the chance. Holidays, birthdays, gatherings, etc., I always wanted to prepare a meal. Being in the kitchen with fresh and colorful ingredients would always make me so happy, and to see the end result of not only the dish itself, but everyones reaction to what I’ve created, put a huge smile on my face. I would go to restaurants and take pictures or videos of all the dishes I would get. I then realized that I had all these pictures, but I was the only one seeing them. So that’s when I decided I wanted to share them with everyone and create a page just for the food I was eating and cooking. Who doesn’t like to look at pictures of food??
This also led me to volunteering and working in the catering/events side where I would see these empty event spaces completely transformed into an incredible space for hundreds of people to gather and enjoy the carefully crafted food that took place behind the scenes.
Being able to grab a bunch of ingredients, create something from scratch, and present it on a dish is why I chose and artistic and creative career. Food is not only delicious to eat, but it is a piece of art.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
To start, when I was in high-school, I tried out for the culinary team which was made up of four people. Making the team was one of my biggest accomplishments because it meant that the dish I created stood out from the other twenty people that tried out. As a team, we competed in multiple cooking competitions where we could showcase our love and creative ideas with food. I then went on to college where I studied Hospitality and Tourism. I learned the business side of the industry, but was still able to take part in the creative side when it came to food. I volunteered at multiple events, like the South Beach Wine and Food festival where I was assisting amazing chefs to create thousands of dishes to showcase and for people to enjoy. In 2018, I began posting pictures of all the delicious food I was eating! I started to get traffic and engagement on my page which put a huge smile on my face. Restaurants began re-posting the pictures I took of their food which made me so excited and happy to see that they were truly seeing my pictures! I then began working in the catering and events side of the hospitality industry where people would come to us with their grand ideas for an event and we would make them come true. It was always amazing to see the outcome after weeks and months of planning. The hospitality industry can be challenging but so rewarding in the end. The industry took a huge hit in 2020 when the pandemic hit, and unfortunately events were not taking place which meant I did not have a job. It was a rough couple of months, but I took that opportunity to spend more time in the kitchen cooking and working on my page. It was a hard hit, but I learned that if you want something, you have to work hard for it. Thankfully, the industry is slowly getting back on its feet and I was able to get back into it while still posting delicious food pictures!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I have lived in Miami my whole life and yet, there is always something new to see and even places I have not visited yet! I would start by taking them to a cuban restaurant for breakfast. You can’t be in Miami and not have a tostada, croquetas, and cafe con leche for breakfast. Maybe Versailles (classic) or Islas Canarias (the best croquetas). The beach is always a must when in Miami! A day at the beach with some delicious sandwiches from La Sandwicherie, followed by a delicious seafood dinner and drinks at Stiltsville Fish Bar or Joe’s Stone Crab! In between these meals, snacks and sweet treats have to be eaten! So visiting The Salty Donut, Azucar Ice Cream, or Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop would be on the itinerary. There will be a pizza and wine day because who doesn’t love that combo, especially from Mister 01 Extraordinary Pizza. A spot I would definitely make sure to take them to is Casa Tua, I love the style of restaurant, food, and energy when there. Ordering a bottle of wine, charcuterie board and pasta will make any night great! Also, for Sunday Brunch, Bachour would be a must! Miami is a great place with amazing restaurants and people, no matter where you are there will be something to do. You can be in Brickell, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove and will always run into something new and delicious!
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?
My family has always supported my passion for food and cooking. From a young age, I wanted to be the one to cook all the family meals and they never hesitated to let me in the kitchen to put together these delicious dishes. When we go to a restaurant, they always wait before digging in so that I can take a picture of the food (which I know is hard, because even I want to immediately start eating!) But they are always patient so I can get the perfect shot. So shoutout to my family for supporting my food adventures!