Prior to even dreaming of a performing career in the arts, Raúl Orlando Edwards’ first love was cuisine. Starting at home at the age of 8, he was exposed to the many influences that comprise the food of his native Panamá: Indigenous, Spanish, African, Asian, Caribbean and others, to name a few. These strong cultural and gastronomical ‘forces’ played a role in the development of his unapologetic and adventurous use of ingredients and spices. By age 15 he began selling birthday cakes, cooking special meals for gatherings, and by age 20, began catering for small private events. A music scholarship brought him to Oklahoma (United States), and in 4 months went from working in the dishroom to being the closing cook at the campus dining facility under ARA (now Aramark). There, he acquired mass production food preparation skills and banquet logistics experience. A music scholarship brought him to Houston, and outside of school, he worked in several restaurants; learning the other side of the food industry: service! This well-rounded experience prepared him to engage in bigger events that included weddings, home gatherings, and special occasions; in all, over 30 years of food and service experience that have molded his approach that ranges from traditional to avant-garde - always fearless and forward thinking in his treatment of food; yet, respectful in celebrating and maintaining the integrity of dishes. His vision is to use food to expose people to other cultures, to promote healthy eating and to nurture unity; all achieved from enjoying a meal with flavors as diverse as the people who take part of it. In the end, Raúl’s collective stage and food industry experiences affect his views on what presentation and taste can be: they should capture the eyes, stimulate the senses, and trigger the body to move and 'have a bite' - Bon Appetite!
"...reliable...has worked in many areas...and has had no problem being a 'master' in every way..."
Scott Koepke, Director, Campus Dining Services, ARA (Aramark), Shawnee, OK
"I recently attended a private event...Raúl provided us with a fabulous gastronomical experience..."
Pauline Mitchell, Chef, Houston Baptist University, Houston, TX
"...some of the best food I have eaten...fresh, nutritious, beautiful to look at..."
Lloyd Gite, Owner, The Gite Gallery in Houston, TX
"The food photos are phenomenal! But the actual meal you sent is even better!..."
Patrice Hightower, Owner, Pathway Real Estate Advisors/Pathway Management Group, Houston, TX