Latin Times Magazine: Tell us about your family, and your background
Oscar Funez: I am from Honduras, I grew up in a small town till I was eighteen then I decided to move to the city to start my career. I have 3 sisters and a brother, my sisters also live in The United States. My mother and my brother are still living in my country Honduras.
Latin Times Magazine: When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
Oscar Funez: It is interesting because my dream was not being a chef but being a lawyer, I was in college when I decided to quit my career and move to this country without knowing absolutely anything about food besides what my mother had taught me. When I moved to Tampa from Los Angeles I started working at The Columbia Restaurant then I knew that my real career was to be a chef because I felt the passion for this.
Latin Times Magazine: What is your most favorite dish to create?
Oscar Funez: In my country we have a traditional dish, it is called ” sopa de caracol ” wich is sea snail with bananas, yucca or cassava, platanos and coconut milk so that’s my favorite dish to do because it reminds me of home.
Latin Times Magazine: What advice can you give to young aspiring Chefs?
Oscar Funez: That if you have the ambition for it do it with love and passion because it’s not just cooking, that everything is possible when you want it.
Latin Times Magazine: Who is YOUR favorite Latino Chef?
Oscar Funez: I could say that my boss Chef Jerry Bayona, he has taught me how to discover flavors, techniques and the art of cooking that I didn’t know existed, I am who I am now because of him.
Latin Times Magazine: Every year since 2012 you have helped create the World’s Largest Cuban Sandwich, what was the length this year?
Oscar Funez: On behalf of the Columbia Restaurant Group we helped to make the BIGGEST Cuban Sandwich of the Century, at 100 Feet!