Chef Manuel Gonzalez of Society Cafe at Walker Hotel Greenwich Village | My culinary career started in Ames, Iowa. I left Puerto Rico at the age of 18 with the goal of moving to Iowa to study veterinary medicine. My friends and I were always hosting parties at our house and I loved the rush that I got from these events. My first restaurant job was at a small 30 seat Brazilian restaurant close to campus. I distinctly remember being nervous, but very aware of everything that was going on around me. It was thrilling, and I was hooked.

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