Patrice Cleary’s passion for cooking came at a very young age. Born in the Philippines to a Filipino mother from Bicol, and an American father from Massachusetts, her family moved to the U.S. when she was still a baby. Her mother’s desire to acclimate herself and her children to the American way of living but still hold onto her Filipino roots was a challenge but ultimately she did it through food.
Not having other Filipino families around to talk to or share stories with, she turned to cooking as her outlet. It did not take long for Patrice to realize that the kitchen and food was a way for her mother to hold onto her identity. She soon found herself right alongside her mother helping her prepare dishes for family and friends and then catering for big parties. She remembers her mother telling her when she was very little that one day she would cook for her and thousands of people.
Cooking has always been a passion and in her blood. Her Lebanese uncle owned a restaurant and she spent her summers helping him. He taught her about sustainability and growing your own vegetables and fruit, as well as the importance of having a garden and feeding yourself and your family from it. Although this was a big part of her life, it wasn’t until later that Patrice turned her passion into a reality. After spending 8 years in the Marine Corps, and also working for a Venture Capital firm, she turned to the restaurant industry as an escape. She spent the next 8 years bartending and helping
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