Hernandez, 38, began his career at age 15 in his native El Salvador,
working as a butcher in San Salvador's most elite market, catering
to international business clientele.
He came to the US five years later and began
working in the kitchen of the four-diamond Morrison House in Alexandria,
VA. It was in that kitchen when Chef Jim Papovich discovered Fredy's
skills with a knife. Fredy was immediately moved to the prep station
and then behind the line as a cook in the nation's top-rated inn.
When Papovich opened the prestigious Lucie in
the Embassy Row Hotel on Washington's historic Massachusetts Avenue,
he asked Fredy to move with him, working for two years as poissonier
(fish chef) and studying under the twice named Washington, D.C.
Chef of the Year, turning out the restaurant's signature nouvelle
cuisine to ambassadors, Hollywood celebrities, and international
and local businessmen and politicians, including first ladies Barbara
Bush and Hillary Clinton.
Fredy returned to the Embassy Row Hotel and the
newly-created Bistro Twenty-Fifteen, which featured New American
cuisine with an international flair. In 1994, he was named the restaurant's
Executive Sous Chef and less than a year later, named Chef de Cuisine.
During his tenure, he received the hotel's highly coveted Pride
Team Award, given for leadership and excellence in management.
in 1996, Fredy relocated to Chicago and joined Emilio Gervilla's
distinctive family of restaurants, beginning as Executive Sous Chef
at La Perla del Mediterraneo, where eight months later he was named
In addition to his operational responsibilities
at La Perla, he began teaching cooking classes both in and out of
house at popular culinary stores and markets, such as Williams Sonoma.
His cooking classes, featuring a variety of cuisines and topics,
became so popular they were often sold out months in advance. Over
the past year, Fredy became an instructor in the degree program
at Kendall College, helping to educate the next generation of chefs.
After a brief stint with Lettuce Entertain You
Enterprises to help open the new Latin American restaurant Nacional
27 in Chicago's River North, Fredy started his own culinary venture,
Chef Fredy Cuisine. It is through Chef Fredy Cuisine that he creates
private dining experiences, cooking classes in clients' homes, as
well as full-service corporate and celebratory catering. His clients
are some of Chicago’s top citizens, and have included members
of the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, and White Sox.
He has served as Co-Chairman of the 1998, 1999,
and 2000 March of Dimes West Suburban Chef's Auctions and Co-Chairman
of the 2005 West Suburban Meals on Wheels Celebrity Brunch, helping
raise thousands of dollars for the charities.
He is married to Mary Ann, and lives in Chicago,