Making herstory at Super Bowl LIV, Chef Dayanny de la Cruz becomes the first female chef to lead Super Bowl! She was in charge of seven kitchens, 167 suites, seven all-inclusive clubs and 25 concession stands.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Chef de la Cruz eventually immigrated to the United States. Here, she worked her way through the culinary program at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After graduating, her career began to take off, she went from an executive chef at a hotel to working big sporting events like the NBA All-Star games and U.S. Open Tennis Tournaments.
In 2011, Chef Dayanny took on a new challenge, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Like a lot of cancer patients, she continued to work through the doctor visits and the chemo rounds. With the support of her husband and her kids she is now cancer-free, after undergoing surgery in 2012.
“Every morning I had something to look forward to,” she said. “That’s what you need to find: what is that thing that’s going to make you get up every morning? I’m very blessed I was able to get up each morning and have that.” [Chef de la Cruz – Forbes 2020]
Chef Dayanny de la Cruz has now officially taken her place in sporting events history as the first female, first Latina chef to lead the Super Bowl; blazing a new trail and opening the door for those that will come after.
(Chef even got a photo with Queen Bey!)
Chef Dayanny has been very vocal about giving thanks to her team and sharing the love and this moment with everyone involved. “It’s about the people you surround yourself with, the team you have. I’m surrounded by amazing chefs. This is not just me. I’m just the lucky one to be taking the torch onto the field.” – [Chef de la Cruz – Forbes 2020]