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Lorena Garcia from "Top Chef Masters" is one of the chefs competing in Season 4 of the Bravo reality cooking competition series. She was also recently one of the judges and investors on NBC's reality competition series "America's Next Great Restaurant."

One of the country's leading Latina chefs, Lorena Garcia was born and raised in Venezuela and credits her many gatherings spent entertaining family and friends as her career inspiration. She says, "Bringing loved ones together to enjoy wonderful
Lorena Garcia in "America's Next Great Restaurant"
Lorena Garcia America's Next Great Restaurant
food is something that has always fulfilled me." Lorena completed her law studies at the Santa Maria University in Caracas, and moved to the United States to complete her Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies. Making her dream to become a chef a reality, Lorena traded her law papers for a cutting board and chef's knife to study culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University.

Inspired by her education and burgeoning creativity, Lorena set out on a world tour of countries known for great cuisine. She worked as an apprentice chef in France, Italy, Japan, Korea,Thailand, and China; and worked alongside world-renowned chefs such as Pascal Audin. Her next step was to establish Food Café, and later Elements Tierra, two successful restaurants in Miami's Design District that featured menus defined by an eclectic blend of Latin and Asian-inspired dishes, later sold in 2008.

Lorena's charismatic personality and contagious enthusiasm have helped her secure vnumerous roles as host on nationally syndicated shows including "Vida Gourmet" on the Gems network; "Co/cine Mun2," Mun2 network; "El Arte del Buen Gusto," "MGM Casa Club TV"; "Sazón," Univision Radio; and currently "Sazón con Lorena Garcia" on Utilisima. Recently, Lorena was featured in CNN's "Latinos In America," broadcast globally to millions of viewers. Lorena has also been featured as a guest on NBC's "The Biggest Loser."

Lorena's dynamic appeal has also been recognized by global brands. Moving into her third year as a Nestlé spokesperson, Lorena appears on "Cocinando con Nestlé," a weekly segment on the Univision morning show, "Despierta America," where she prepares popular and traditional dishes from Latin America. Every year Lorena showcases her culinary talents on behalf of Nestlé brands during a multi-city North American tour of Latin street festivals and fairs.

Lorena has taken on the challenge of combating childhood obesity. She developed "Big Chef, Little Chef" as a comprehensive program to help children and their families take control of their eating habits and ultimately, their lives. More than simply promoting healthy eating, it is a lifestyle modification plan that educates children of all ages and their families about the benefits of nutrition and of living a healthy, happy, and positive life.

Lorena teamed up with HMS Host Marriott Services to provide travelers a healthier alternative to Latin cuisine at Lorena Garcia Cocina Restaurant located at the Miami International Airport. In the heart of the Miami Design district the Lorena Garcia production headquarters and studios are scheduled to open in early 2011. Featuring a 5,000 square foot space, the studio will allow for TV production, brand development, educational workshops and all media relations.

The Lorena Garcia empire continues to grow.

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Birthplace: Venezuela

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Who is Lorena Garcia dating? What do you think of Lorena Garcia?

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