His Unusual Ailment Led Him to a Culinary Career

Rey Ortega, a baker from Northern California, entered the culinary arts because ordinary cookies made him ill. Ortega had an unusual food-related condition that affected every aspect of his life. He didn't start out with a culinary career in mind. In fact, his first career was in construction.

His move to the culinary arts came when Ortega discovered that animal-based ingredients, such as milk, butter, and other animal by-products, caused his body to react negatively.

From Baking Class to High Class

Ortega's explorations and studies taught him he could substitute non-animal ingredients and still produce excellent examples of the culinary arts. He decided to start with cookies.

He found ways of using items from the vegan diet--no animal products, including milk, eggs, or butter--to make delicious cookies that would be the pride of any baking class. His cookies contain plant starches and plant gums instead of eggs and dairy products.

A New Direction in the Culinary Arts

In Rey Ortega's case, he chose this direction because his body could not tolerate those products. Instead of feeling like an invalid, Ortega made his baking class skills pay off. Over the past decade, his vegan cookies have made Ortega's culinary career follow a path that seems to be paved with gold.

Rey Ortega decided a long time ago that an ailment didn't have to become and affliction. Since his physical condition was caused by a reaction to certain foods, Ortega knew he could use food to make his life better. When he saw how the people around him responded to his experiments in the culinary arts, Ortega realized that a good life awaited him in a very creative culinary career.