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Flavors of Venezuela: Talking food with Giselle Pinto from Utilisima



As it is universally recognized, food is a photograph of a person’s cultural background that does indeed speak a thousand words or in this case –  a thousand taste buds. Whether soul food from the deep south or spicy Mexican food from California, each individual dish is a mirror of not only great flavor, but of an emulation of heritages that at times blend together and fuse to feed different people from distinct cultures.

Deriving from her Venezuelan culture upbringing, Giselle Pinto delivers gourmet desserts to Utilisima that have slowly, but surely received national attention and recognition because of how perfectly it brings together her Venezuelan recipes and the culinary knowledge obtained from different areas in the world. The “Sugar Yummy Momma” food truck owner, entrepreneur, business woman, and director has surely placed her footprint in the culinary world. Pursuing her passion for creating delicious gourmet desserts reminiscent of her country’s culinary flavor, Pinto was able to achieve the perfect fusion of her culture, her influences and her love for sugar. Gourmet desserts have always been an interest of Pinto’s and she shares that “she noticed her passion for gourmet desserts by seeing the impact that a good dessert generates on one’s mood. In whichever situation one may find themselves in, the moment one tastes a good dessert immediately a smile is seen on the person’s face”.

Though known by many that the Venezuelan dinner table is filled with arepas, hallacas or cachapas, Pinto decided to sway from the salty counterparts of her country’s native dishes and shared that her “parents exposed her to different cultures and that exposure allowed her to have a benchmark that was very developed. It is marvelous to see how traditional combinations, by adding a new ingredient, become a novelty”. Sharing her love for chocolate, coffee, Venezuelan rum and all cultures, she shares jubilantly her own vanilla extract recipe from vanilla that she was able to find from Mexico letting us know of her humble nature of being able to grasp from different traditions and implement them into her own.

Her own journey is also worth mentioning and serves as inspiration to many Latinos striving to achieve their personal and professional goals. Pinto, when asked how it feels to be able to develop her own brand and which advice she has for Latinos on how to accomplish the goal of owning their own business, she states that she “worked hard in publicity and marketing where she was able to ascend to great positions with good accounts and be part of a team where they were able to win many important trophies. With that said, it is when you finally own your own business that you feel an incomparable self-love for what you do”. The Venezuelan pastry genius brilliantly share that the goal of owning ones business comes from “trusting one’s instinct and working hard. Prepare a business plan and poner las manos a la obra”.

Culinary genius, owner of her own brand and humanitarian, Giselle Pinto prides herself in stating that her inspiration stems from her family. “El espacio donde uno crece es clave” (the environment where one grows up is key). Pinto is a great example of the fact that our cultures, at times, provide us with the tools to succeed. Recipes remain the literary wonder of cooking and when fused with one’s cultural traditions, they become impenetrable to the wear of time. She is a Latina whose desserts are just about ready to come out of the oven and I am sure she will continue to wonder many with the wonderful recipes that are about to go in.

by Being Latino Contributor, Kurtvin

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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