Yolimar Marquez Hernandez was born in Caracas, Venezuela. She is the youngest of a family of nine siblings. Growing up she was surrounded by a loving family and her cousins are her best friends. She came from a humble upbringing and her parents had only a basic education. However, her parents always motivated her and her siblings to study and work hard for their family. She recalls often being found helping her father in the kitchen.
After completing an Associate Degree in Business Administration, Yolimar entered the workforce for a major corporation. She soon found herself thinking, “now what should I do next?” In 1995, her oldest brother migrated to the United States. It was the perfect time for Yolimar to get away and take a Sabbatical year – a chance to explore her possibilities and travel for self-discovery – so she followed her brother to the United States.
During a church retreat, Yolimar met her husband. They started a family and still after almost 20 years he is Yolimar’s best friend. In 2004, Yolimar became a U.S.A. citizen and completed an ESL program at the Harrisburg Area Community College. It has been 20 years since Yolimar left Venezuela, yet connecting with her Latino roots and cultivating her life in the USA is crucial.
In 2008, after her father passed away, Yolimar honored her father’s memory of being in the kitchen by enrolling in a culinary program and following her passion for cooking. She is still currently on a journey of self-discovery, but the journey is no longer alone. Yolimar is a devoted mother to Emanuel and Isabel, a spouse to JR, a gardener in training, a Foodie, a hard working employee of Highmark, her father’s daughter, and most importantly a child of God.