The Early Years: A Passion Kindled
Jessica’s fascination with cooking started at a tender age. With her mother working long hours as a police officer and her stepfather often absent, Jessica had to learn how to prepare meals for herself and her sister. She began experimenting with essential dishes like rice and beans without a recipe or explicit instructions. Despite the occasional mishaps, such as hard rice or watery beans, Jessica’s mother encouraged her culinary pursuits. She realized at that moment how powerful and free it is to hustle and be self-made.
As a child, Jessica Pinto gained invaluable survival skills in the concrete jungle of New York, which became her guiding light. Jessica honed her culinary skills throughout her teenage years, turning to YouTube tutorials to master dishes like Spanish beans.
Her love for cooking was infectious, as she began cooking for friends, relatives, and anyone who visited her. At the age of 17, she moved out of her childhood home and into her own apartment, continuing to experiment in the kitchen.
The Dream: A Culinary Entrepreneur
Jessica’s passion for cooking transformed into a dream of becoming a chef and owning her own catering hall. When she became pregnant with her first child at 23, she worked at Home Depot but never let go of her culinary aspirations. Her own initiative led her to make empanadas for her coworkers and even prepare food for family gatherings and parties of her own volition for free. Jessica’s unrelenting passion for food and people drove her work ethic.
After the birth of her second child, Jessica noticed a growing demand for her food. Motivated by public clamor and fearless energy, Jessica took the necessary steps to turn her desire into a profitable business venture. Jessica’s Frituras Catering was born after obtaining the required licenses, marketing herself on Instagram, and launching her business.
It was hard for Jessica to leave her full-time job for fear that she wouldn’t succeed or be unable to support her three children. However, she still believed in herself and her dream. Investing every penny she made back into her business, she began catering weddings.
In pursuit of her dream, Jessica moved her family and business to Florida in 2019. Jessica worked tirelessly in Florida, cultivating strategic business relationships and building her brand. Assisted by her husband Robert Castellano, a local business executive, Jessica was able to generate enough capital to buy a customized food truck. Robert Castellano always knew his wife was destined for greatness in the culinary and food service industry.
“My food truck was very personal for me because I’m a Lupus warrior. It resembled everything about it. It resembles where I was born and raised, resembles where I’m from, resembles my Lupus warrior stuff,” Jessica stated.
She was just a step away from realizing her dream, but a devastating accident temporarily destroyed it. A driver cut off the truck pulling Jessica’s food trailer on the way to their first event at Nona Adventure Park in Orlando, Florida, causing it to swerve, snap off the hitch, and overturn three times. The accident left Jessica’s brand-new appliances, plumbing system, and food for the event in ruins.
“It’s sad because I worked really hard. I sold empanadas and Southern plates; I did whatever I had to do, and now it’s gone,” Jessica revealed. “I’m not giving up. I’m still selling plates. It’s not going to be easy to get back up because it’s a really, really big loss … years of saving. But it’s time to continue.”
Jessica Pinto is a natural-born soul survivor who has experienced a lot in her life. Despite her significant life challenges, she has never quit or run from them. The tragedy that Jessica experienced became the fuel that drove her closer to God’s plan for her life.
The Manifestation of Jessica’s Frituras Catering, LLC
On October 28, 2023, Jessica Pinto is having a public event filled with food, live music, community leaders, and the electric spirit of the Greater Orlando area. Jessica created this event to unite people of all races, genders, and ethnicities. Her chief focus is providing a community-oriented and safe environment for people. The event starts at 8pm (Eastern Standard Time) and ends @ 1am. All attendees require a minimum age of 18, and the vent is taking place at 1612 Orange Avenue in Orlando, Florida.
This story is not just about a woman’s love for cooking; it’s about resilience, perseverance, and the power of passion. It’s about turning tragedy into triumph and not letting setbacks define you. It’s about believing in yourself and your dreams, no matter how many obstacles you face. Jessica Pinto is more than just a chef; she’s a beacon of hope and inspiration.
Jonathan P-Wright is a senior writer for 24HIP-HOP and CVO of RADIOPUSHERS.