Valentina Cordero Davila is a professional chef specialized in plant-based cuisine & gluten-free vegan baking. Valentina’s passion for cooking started at an early age. “I always loved the magic that happened in the kitchen” says Cordero who asked her parents for a cooking course with a top Venezuelan chef as a gift on her 9th birthday. With the help of her parents who were supportive of her path, Valentina was able to further expand her culinary studies in Switzerland & France. At the age of 15, Cordero became a vegetarian and was reluctant about cooking with animal products, which made it a challenge to work with top French chefs. This inspired Valentina to move towards pastry to later land a job in Napa Valley working for Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery.
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Miami?
After working in various restaurants in Los Angeles and New York, Valentina, settled down in Miami in 2006 where she discovered veganism. “It really resonated with me and it was a really easy transition for me” says Cordero, who became a vegetarian at age 15 inspired by her father’s travels to India. “When he came back to Venezuela, he was a vegetarian. When I asked about this change he told me animals suffer just like humans, and when they die all that suffering stays in the meat. We eat that and we are eating a form of suffering that is not going to help us move forward in our spiritual journey. That stuck with me and I never ate meat again”.
After embracing a vegan lifestyle, Valentina knew she needed to adapt her traditional French culinary training to plant-based ingredients that are both healthier and better for the planet, and that is how The House of V was born—an exclusive plant-based and gluten-free bakery. Valentina’s passion for her craft and respect for the planet are remarkable and an example for all of us to follow. Get to know our girl of the month of July!
I'm from Caracas, Venezuela. I came to live in The United States in 2005. I have lived in Miami, Napa, New York and Los Angeles but Miami is home.The last thing I cooked:
Arugula & watermelon salad with crispy chickpeas and masoor spiced lentils. Can't leave my home without: Rescue Remedy / Flower elixirs Favorite food: I can't name just one thing but I really love Ramen. Best way to decompress at home: low lights, candles, mate & good music. What's on your reading list: My reading list long, My good friend Valerie recently gave me DisrupHEr by Miki Agraval (highly recommended), Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman, Judgment Detox by Gabrielle Bernstein, Relaciones by Mia Astral, Flowerevolution by Katie Hess & Louie Schwartzberg, Bright line eating by Dr Susan Pierce Thompson.
How do you usually start your mornings: giving my husband a long hug. What was the first thing you thought of this morning? it's starting to get hot, the plants might need more water. What is your approach to nutrition: I think there aren't any rules that apply to everyone except drinking plenty of water, especially in a city like Miami that is so hot! I'm a vegan and this type of nutrition makes me feel good. Figuring it all out takes time. I still learn every day what works and what doesn’t. We are living in a complicated time regarding food and nutrition with too much information available and too many ideas that contradict each other. My approach is to keep it simple, buy good quality ingredients and cook at home as much as you can with as much fresh food as you can. Don’t obsess and remember to enjoy food!What are your lifestyle must do's and absolutely no ways?
Must do's drink plenty of good quality water. Sometimes we get caught up in buying organic vs conventional and we forget about water. We are 80% water and drinking good quality water is so important. I recommend buying a filter and avoiding water that comes in plastic bottles.
No ways.. Microwave, I stopped using a microwave many years ago, I use mine to store my spices, I have a very small pot for when I want to heat up something tiny or fast, forget about your microwave please :)
What is your relationship to food: I love food, I love plants and I think it’s fascinating what we can do with them. Food heals, food makes us happy, food unleashes creativity, food is amazing.
What's your passed down from mom beauty secret? My mom taught me the love for perfume. Perfume is her beauty secret. Scent is a very special thing. My mom always smells amazing.
Best beauty tip you ever received: Less is more. Keep it natural. What is a beauty secret you want to share with us: Try a natural hair mask with strawberries, papaya , rosemary oil, olive oil , almond milk and brown sugar. What is your philosophy about beauty: take care of yourself, everything starts with self love. Respect your body.
Favorite app: Audible , Ovia, M1
Favorite social media platform: Instagram
Last google search: How to clean my Nikken water filter
Person you text the most: My two sisters Vicky & Valeria
Favorite city in the world: my favorite city will always be Caracas where I'm from. It's a very magical place with an amazing energy is guarded by the most beautiful mountain. My second Favorite is Bogota, I'm always happy there. Where do you want to travel next? I really want to go to Arizona, & New Mexico. Last trip you took: Colombia. I went to Villa de Leyva I had a beautiful time. What words you live by: Hoy puedo ser un mejor Ser Humano. We can be better every day.
If you could offer your 18 year old self advice what would that be? The journey starts with loving yourself, you have to learn to love yourself before learning to love another person. What's the secret to a healthy relationship/marriage? Make each other laugh and always think the best of the other person. They are doing the best they can and so are you. Become best friends and take this opportunity that life has given you to love with all your heart. Be grateful every day for your partner. Be independent but make sure there is room to share. Support each other and be patient. Treat each other with love & respect. Communicate- if there is something on your mind tell your partner. Always speak with kindness but don't hold anything in. Do you have any upcoming projects you want to share with us? I'm working on a book for people that want to embrace a vegan lifestyle and aren't sure how to start. And the second project that I'm really excited about is an online vegan pastry course for people that want to start a business like mine. I will share my experience and information not only on recipes, but also how to start and the business side of it as well.