Ambition is In: Celebrity Chef Adrianne Calvo is Queen of the Kitchen

The Miami-Based Chef Balances Business, Success, Creativity, and Charity

Miami-Based Chef Adrianne

Ambition is characterized by a strong desire to achieve something, but it might as well be synonymous with Adrianne Calvo. The celebrity chef has penned four cookbooks, appears on the weekly television segment Maximum Flavor, and is the Executive Chef and owner of Chef Adrianne’s Restaurant and Wine Bar in Miami, Florida. In fact, Calvo has been going full-speed in the culinary industry since she was sixteen, and she doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

Calvo’s big achievements have humble beginnings. She recalls discovering the world of food by accident, of all things. A scheduling mistake put high-schooler Calvo in culinary class instead of journalism, paving the way for a new passion. Since then, Calvo has poured every ounce of energy into her career. At 19, she was the youngest chef to cook at the United Nations in New York City. Calvo opened her own restaurant in Miami at just 22 years old, which has now become a world-renowned destination for inspired, upscale American cuisine and a sultry dining experience. The restaurant offers a monthly event of “Dark Dining”––the trendy dining experience where guests enjoy their meals in the dark, or rather, blindfolded. Calvo’s well of creativity, enthusiasm, and motivation never seems to run dry.

But the journey hasn’t been easy, and Calvo’s success has always come from a serious amount of hard work. As a woman in the kitchen, Calvo can attest to the gender gap in her industry. She remembers competing as the only woman in a class of men in culinary school, and the constant barrage of the boys’ club reminding her that “she didn’t belong.” Despite the negative messages and even briefly reconsidering her career choice, Calvo persisted. Now, she’s her own boss (and has been for ten years) and can add successful business woman to her growing list of accomplishments.

“I’m not just the chef at my restaurant, I’m the owner,” Calvo says. As Executive Chef, she has to balance her creativity in the kitchen on one hand and balance the books on the other. Gender doesn’t play a role, she says.

Calvo’s talents in the kitchen are remarkable, but not her only passion. She’s also an avid philanthropist for children’s charities and cancer research centers. After losing her own sister to cancer at a young age, Calvo was inspired by her sister’s dedication to “make it count” every day in life. In 2007, Calvo founded the Make It Count Foundation, which benefits children suffering from cancer. Additionally, Calvo makes a point to work with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital each year. Calvo’s success has given her the opportunity to provide her talents and advocacy to these programs in memory of her sister.

Clearly Calvo is following her sister’s sage advice. With a tattoo of "Make It Count" on her bicep, Calvo lives every day to the fullest. She’s currently a Culinary Ambassador for Diamond Resorts International, and she’s previously appeared on Food Network’s reality cooking show Chopped, as well as Beat Bobby Flay. She is also a part of Reebok's Perfect Never army with Gigi Hadid. Ambition abound, Calvo’s talent for taste is leaves her with a hunger for bigger things to come. We can’t wait to find out what’s next.

For more information about Adrianne and her restaurant, visit Chef Adrianne.

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