For her defense of Human Ideals, Chef Verónica Tatiana Gómez, founder of the restaurant “La Casa de Vero” was chosen as the winner of the 2nd edition of the Entrepreneurs of Ideals Award.
Her transformative work as an “apprentice of traditional cuisines,” creator of the restaurant -La Casa de Vero- and founder of the cooking schools initiative made her worthy of the Award.
By Manolo Betancur
Friends, I am happy to tell you that the Ideales 2023 Entrepreneurs Award in the category -Ideales Humanos- was granted to Chef Verónica Tatiana Gómez in the municipality of El Carmen de Viboral, Antioquia, Colombia.
The Award is a recognition to people like Verónica who, with her constant and valuable defense of human ideals in every activity she has been involved in around her restaurant “La Casa de Vero” and the “country cooking schools” manages to connect with the women of the distant villages of her municipality, admirably:
“It is a school where we do not teach, but where we share knowledge.” –-said Vero during the EMPI Awards ceremony.
As you well know, this is the Award I founded in 2022, and as president of the jury, I have the honor to inform you that we are going ahead with the second edition in August 2023.
Veronica likes to refer to herself as an “Apprentice of traditional cuisines,” but she is much more than this poetic definition of herself. The restaurant’s founder, “La Casa de Vero,” is a relevant Chef in Antioquian gastronomy. Her work is increasingly known and appreciated in Colombia. Her “Mountain Cuisine, made with love” conquers more people daily. Vero and her team make a valuable contribution to putting the municipality of El Carmen on the Colombian culinary map, with a beautiful social emphasis.
With her work in the “Escuelas Campesinas de Cocina” initiative, she has managed to recover the memory and flavors of the ancestral recipes of the mountains of Antioquia. What is most valuable for this Award, she has managed to establish a respectful and reciprocal relationship with many traditional cooks in remote and often forgotten places.
Minutes before presenting her with the Award, Verónica explained the essence of her restaurant and what her work means to the group of guests who visited her restaurant that night:
“We are dedicated to making mountain cuisine made with love. Nothing that is far from traditional Antioquian cuisine. Those traditional flavors, those of our mothers and grandmothers, make us feel like a family and allow us to gather around a table and have a conversation and a good plate of food.-Véronica Tatiana Gómez – Chef La Casa de Vero-.
Previously, together with a group of friends, we had reserved a table at her restaurant to celebrate the second edition of the Emprendedores de Ideales award. We had never told her before that she was one of the candidates.
She continued her explanation without knowing our intention.
“So the biggest compliment for us is to be told: I remembered my mom or grandmother. That’s what we are looking for here in our restaurant.”-Véronica Tatiana Gómez – Chef La Casa de Vero-.
It was at this moment that I took Veronica by surprise. I took the floor after highlighting Veronica’s vision’s importance and local impact around how to build community and business simultaneously. I told her that for the jury and me, she was also a great entrepreneur of ideals. I was very happy to know the masterful and wise woman. I was proud to see her work flourish in the town where I was born, El Carmen de Viboral Antioquia.
Then I announced to her that the award winner would not arrive because she was already there and it was her:
“I have a confession to make to you. You are the entrepreneur of ideals. We need millions of -Veros- around the world. We need people like you everywhere in this country”.Manolo Betancur – Idea Entrepreneur
Then I presented him with the Entrepreneur of Ideals award number four, since three entrepreneurs from the Municipality of El Carmen already have it, having won it the previous year:
“You have human ideals,” I told her. The accountant scolded her because she keeps taking money out of the business to help others: for the schools. It is evident that for her, money is not an end in itself, it is a work tool, and she uses it to defend Human Ideals.
“For you, people, women, mothers, creating these moments and creating that story are more important. So you are the Entrepreneur of Ideals. You put those values above. And this is a check so that you can continue with this project for the schools.Manolo Betancur – Idea Entrepreneur
Congratulations to Veronica and her team.
If you are in the El Carmen de Viboral municipality in Antioquia, Colombia, do not hesitate to visit La Casa de Vero.
About the EMPI Awards:
I take this opportunity to tell you a little more about El Premio Emprendedores de Ideales, which recognizes and stimulates entrepreneurs who shine for their contribution to the community and their business model, especially those who do not renounce the most human ideals to achieve their goals.
The Ideals Entrepreneurs Award was founded in 2022, mainly as a desire to connect with my people. Before being an entrepreneur in the United States, a recognized philanthropist and social activist in Charlotte, North Carolina, I am a son of the municipality of El Carmen de Viboral, Antioquia.
These awards are a dream come true after emigrating to the United States more than 20 years ago. It is the seed I want to show, and I am pleased to invite you to know and spread this initiative. For 2022, three awards were given: human ideals, contribution to the community, and business model. For the year 2023, only one Award was given.
This year’s winner for the year 2023 was: Verónica Tatiana Gómez. Her Restaurant is called: La Casa de Vero, and in her Instagram you can contact her: https://www.instagram.com/lacasadvero/
About Manolo Betancur
There is a lot I can tell you about my life, but for this article, it would be valuable to say to you that I am still working on the mission to honor the Award I received. I was named “The Bread Hero” after winning the World Bread Hero USA 2021 award, an award given by International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE). Then I realized I could take my purpose to the next level by helping my colleagues and people. As owner and CEO of Manolo’s Latin Bakery, we have done that for 26 years. In life, everything serves you. Everything shapes you. That’s why I remember being a retired Navy officer in Colombia, a graduate of King’s University in Tennessee, and a winner of the Latino Entrepreneurship Scholarship at Stanford University in California.
Entrepreneur of ideals
CEO Manolo’s Bakery / Artisen Vegelato
Partner of Titas Cake House and founder of the Ideales Entrepreneur Awards.