Yvonne Ortiz-Haney was born in New York City and grew up in Cayey, Puerto Rico. She received a B. A. in English and art history at the University Of Puerto Rico. In 1981, after completing graduate studies, she relocated to New York City.
In 1982 Ms. Ortiz-Haney obtained her first culinary degree with a major in dietetics and food management from the New York Institute of Dietetics. In 1987 she obtained her second degree with a major in commercial cooking and catering from the Culinary Arts Institute, Hudson County Community College.
Yvonne has been an active participant in various professional food related organizations like the American Institute of Wine & Food and the James Beard Foundation. She was a founding member of the Felipe Rojas Lombardi Scholarship Fund, which helps Hispanic young people to obtain a culinary education.
Yvonne has had a rich and diverse work history, from corporate catering and consulting to food writing. She has written for food trade publications as well as daily newspapers. She contributed a weekly column for The Jersey Journal. She also wrote a weekly column in Spanish for El Diario/La Prensa, the country’s largest daily publication in the Spanish language. Yvonne worked with the world renowned musician Tito Puente at his restaurant. Ms Ortiz and Mr. Puente started a cookbook project which will be a tribute to “The King” and will donate part of the proceeds for young Hispanics who want to pursue a career in the music industry.
She has had her first cookbook published A Taste Of Puerto Rico (Dutton; 1994; paperback Plume; 1997) which received great reviews by the New York Times. Yvonne is working on The Puerto Rican Table: Grandma’s Recipes & Memories. This book documents how migration patterns affected the island’s culinary history and folklore in the early to mid 20th century. Recipes will be gathered through grandma’s kitchen talk.
Now at age 49 Yvonne has embarked in a brand new field: the banking industry joining Wachovia as a Financial Specialist. She has two sons and makes her home in Jersey City, NJ.
Interests: puerto rican food anthropology and history