Chef Fernando Sánchez was born in Puerto Rico and as a child moved to Sebring, Florida. From an early age, Sánchez felt a calling to cook. He began his culinary career in 2005 as a Prep Cook at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, Florida. As a result of this experience, he entered the hospitality industry with interest, enthusiasm, and under a great management team that cultivated his appreciation for the artistry. Within the Hard Rock he worked at several different restaurants. Upper management quickly noticed Sánchez’s talent and worth ethic and offered him the chance to open and operate the VIP Plum Lounge as a Showroom Chef. This, he feels, was the experience that solidified his “calling” as a chef. He was inspired to work diligently, experiment with diverse cuisines, and created innovative menus. After six years at the Hard Rock, Sánchez ventured out to an exciting opportunity as he was offered the Executive Sous Chef position at Emeralds Green Country Club in 2011, where he continued to learn and expand his culinary and management knowledge.
In 2012, he relocated to upstate New York where he became the Executive Sous Chef at the Capital Region’s elite Albany Golf and Country Club. This experience allowed him to use his creativity and knowledge, as well as mentor his team. In 2016, he was offered the Executive Chef position at Café le Perche, a fine dining French cuisine restaurant in New York’s Hudson Valley. Later that year he and his wife would return home to the Tampa Bay Area, where he accepted a position at Boca Kitchen Bar Market as the Executive Chef & Corporate Training Chef.
Now, as Executive Chef for Forbici Modern Italian with Next Level Brands hospitality group, he utilizes his creativity and culinary prowess at the popular neighborhood concept, ideating contemporary, yet authentic dishes and menus.