Meet Dayanny de la Cruz, the Dominican Chef in Charge of Super Bowl Menus
On game day this Sunday, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira won’t be the only Latinas shining. The Super Bowl chef this year is Dayanny Cruz, and she is Dominican. Cruz — a mother of three and ovarian cancer survivor — will be part of the Centerplate team at Hard Rock Stadium and will oversee the menu for the popular sports event in Miami.
Her grandmother made her fall in love with cooking and taught her the ropes in the kitchen when she was growing up. Cruz began her career in hotel management after earning a hospitality degree from the Dominican Republic’s Universidad Central del Este. She quickly realized she wanted to become a chef and got a master’s degree in culinary arts from Grand Rapids Community College.
Cruz really stood out as the executive chef of the Hard Rock Stadium, becoming the first Latina to hold this position at this restaurant. On Super Bowl Sunday, she will oversee the menus for seven kitchens, 25 concession stands, 167 suites, and seven all-inclusive clubs and restaurants. Cruz and her staff will feed over 25,000 people. No pressure or anything!
The menu this year will have a touch of Latino flavor, including empanadas, ceviches, lobster rolls, barbecue pulled pork, fresh guacamole, ribs, and Argentine asados, among other delicacies. “It’ll look like a bomb went off in the middle of every kitchen,” De La Cruz told Miami New Times about taking on this challenge. “The energy is intoxicating. It is such an amazing rush — it’s beautiful.”