Q & A with Yoly Colon – Amorette’s Patisserie at Disney Springs (Puertorriqueña)
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Hispanic Lifestyle is pleased to share stories of Latinas making their mark In The Marketplace. Spotlight, Yoly Colon, Amorette’s Patisserie at Disney Springs
What is your hometown?
Yabucoa, Puerto Rico
Professional and Personal Certifications/Awards:
2017 Walt Disney World Legacy Award honoree, bestowed on cast members who embody the values of “dream, create and inspire.”
2004 Walt Disney Partners in Excellence Award
How many years as a chef?
How and when did you become interested in becoming a chef?
I was a dishwasher at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort, when a chef asked if I would like to learn to make pizza. From there, I wanted to learn everything.
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
I love keeping up with new trends and desserts styles. I enjoy the development of a new dessert from a single ingredient, to being on the plate.
Why do you continue to be a chef?
Because I love what I do.
What are you known for professionally?
I get along with people and always try to be a team player. I enjoy the camaraderie, working with other chefs to make the perfect meal.
Year started with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts?
Why did you choose to work for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts?
I came here on vacation from Puerto Rico and never left.
Current role with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts? Describe your responsibilities:
I’m a pastry chef at Amorette’s Patisserie at Disney Springs. I manage all phases of operations, from the development budgets, to monthly financials, to purchasing and inventory management. I execute the creation and development of new desserts, memorable holiday displays, and VIP amenities throughout the seasons. I work side by side with my cast members mentoring and developing them to be the pastry chefs of the future.
How did you arrive at your current position? What was your path?
After working hard as a pastry sous chef at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, I became a strong and creative leader and was promoted to pastry chef. In 2012, I was asked to be the pastry chef of Epcot. I revamped all of the desserts for the restaurants that Epcot supports, as well as developed the desserts for the International Festivals. From there, I was asked to take over Amorette’s Patisserie.
Who is your biggest inspiration or culinary idol and why?
Chef Stefan Riemer, master pastry chef, culinary development, Walt Disney World Resort. He saw something in me, and he shared his knowledge of baking and pastries. He made me believe in myself.
What are you most passionate about professionally?
I am most passionate about learning new techniques and teaching others.
What is one problem you are best at solving in the workplace?
I am best at getting the product finished on time and improvising.
What three words would your co-workers use to describe you?
Giving, creative, passionate
Describe your culinary style and where your influences come from.
Modern. I love colors maybe because I came from a tropical island.
What are some of your favorite dishes to prepare in your restaurant?
Mousses, cakes … I really like to prepare everything as long as it makes people happy.
Favorite kitchen gadget?
Favorite spice and why?
Ginger. I love the spiciness.
Favorite junk/snack food?
Twix and Kit Kats
You run a restaurant, but what do you cook for your family?
What food or beverage holds childhood memories for you?
When you’re not working, what do you enjoy?
I enjoy gardening and spending time in nature.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be and why?
Any secret culinary indulgences? Beverage indulgences?
Cheese platters and red wine
What’s always in the fridge at home?
Eggs and water
Are there any volunteer activities you’re involved with?
Give Kids the World
Is there a nonprofit organization you specifically support? Why?
I support Give Kids the World, United Way, Coalition of Homeless, and Girl Scouts.
What would be impossible for you to give up?
People would be surprised to know …
I love going hunting with my brothers. Also, I have a cosmetology license.
What advice would you give young women wanting to get into the food and beverage industry?
Never give up. Always put passion in the desserts that you create. Learn from the constructive criticism. Make time for yourself.