Ronaldo Linares (31) – New Jersey

Ronaldo Linares is all about heart and showing “la gente” (people) how his passion for Latin-inspired cuisine promotes love, life, and happiness. His father was born in Cuba and his mother is from Colombia, where Ronaldo was born and raised in his early years. Ronaldo and his family then moved to the States, 20 years ago. He believes his childhood taught him to “learn from the ground up and that you have to work hard to achieve your goals in life.”

Once in the States his father’s restaurant Martino’s Cuban Restaurant was born. Ronaldo worked at the restaurant during his teens in order to stay out of trouble and he is still the executive chef and part owner. His culinary skills are a result of formal training, self-teaching, and guidance from his father. His cooking uses the foundation of Latin food and he adds his owns flavors, resulting in a modern-style, healthy Latin cuisine.

Throughout his twenties, Ronaldo took some time out of the restaurant and decided to attend the Marine Corps, focusing on food service and received multiple accolades.  Following that, and in order to develop his culinary skills, he then attended formal training in the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, graduating with high honors. Both experiences, Ronaldo is very proud of.

Ronaldo very recently got married and now lives back in New Jersey with his new wife. He works hard at the family business but still has time to give back to the community. Ronaldo helps out with charities such as the Jersey Battered Women’s Community and stays active through local fund raisers. He believes “Chef Race: U.S. vs. U.S.” is the perfect opportunity to push himself to the limit and to prove to himself and his peers that “he still got it!” This natural born leader who will “always go above and beyond to get the job done” is tough, strong and determined, but underneath all of this he has huge heart and is willing to give everything he’s got to make it to the finish line!

Previous TV Appearances

-“Chopped” – Food network