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Success Story: Illinois

February 9, 2015
Blind Chef Restaurant Startup

La Diosa restaurantIllinois SBDC at NORBIC
SBDC Advisor – Andrew Fogaty
SBDC Client – Chef Laura Martinez, La Diosa Restaurant

Chef Laura Martinez was born in Mexico and has been completely blind since infancy. She learned to love cooking in her grandmother’s kitchen and years later, through hard work and determination, became the first blind student at Chicago’s prestigious Le Cordon Bleu.

Shortly after graduation, while serving an internship at an area non-profit, local celebrity Chef Charlie Trotter tasted her cooking and immediately offered her a job in his restaurant.

Chef Martinez thrived in the position until August of 2012, when Trotter closed the restaurant and she found herself unemployed.  (more…)