Paola_Front1.jpgPaola Tello
Culinary Director

Paola grew up in Queens, NY, the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world, where she was fortunate to have consistent and easy access to great food from around the world. Surrounded by so many cultures--and immersed in her own family's Costa Rican and Argentine roots--she came to develop an early appreciation for the intricate way food and culture are connected, the manner in which food can literally teach us how to better understand our community and neighbors. This appreciation only intensified upon arriving in Houston, where she was immediately taken with the bayou city's eclecticism.

Following four years in Houston, where she worked at several local favorite restaurants, she moved to Austin where she continued working in the restaurant industry, attended Culinary School, volunteered for various community initiatives, and honed her own cooking skills. The bond between food and culture and community never left her thoughts, however, and she became increasingly interested in finding a way to use her skills and evolving passion towards a larger purpose. Specifically, she wanted to find a way to engage and inspire her community to develop an intimate connection to where their food came from, while learning how to use that knowledge to live a fuller life through healthy eating. When she returned to Houston in 2013, and was introduced to Recipe for Success Foundation, she knew she'd finally found what she was looking for, and has been immersed in the organization's mission since.

In her time with Recipe for Success, Paola has served as lead educator for our Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ program, delivering educational programming to various HISD schools, including our Showcase operation at Sylvan Rodriguez, as well as to community partner programs. She has also served as our Volunteer Coordinator, recruiting, training, and helping to place a team of volunteers to meet the our wide ranging needs.

In 2018, she began her new role as Culinary Director, responsible for developing and testing and delivering the Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ culinary curriculum content for both school programs and Hope Farms, delivering the Foundation's Worksite Wellness programing, curating RecipeHouse, and collaborating with our Chefs Advisory Board members to further engage them in the work of our mission to change the way children eat.