During her 14 years as a chef, Puerto Rican Yoly Lazo has been responsible for adding Puerto Rican flavors at Walt Disney World, preparing popular desserts like quesito and flancocho, as well as the famous coquito season at Christmas.
For the woman from Yabucoa, having these dishes on the menu of one of the most visited places in the world is part of her mission to expand visitors’ palates with different and unique flavours. When diners encounter the Puerto Rican dessert, the reaction is “sensational,” she describes.
— RJ (@thecuesito) December 9, 2022
“In Orlando, we have mostly Puerto Ricans, and many of them, when they visit us in the parks, are happy to be in a place as big as Disney, where there are no Latinos, and there is Puerto Rican food,” she said.
Lazo studied electronics at the University of Puerto Rico’s Humacao campus before moving to Orlando in 1994. Although he was on vacation in central Florida, he never returned to Puerto Rico after getting a job as a dishwasher at Disney. But her career at the company took off after a chef asked her if she wanted to learn how to cook.
She started out making pizza, then became a chef and then a pastry chef, which took her to represent the company in countries such as Japan and China. Her work at Walt Disney World also included Disney’s Boardwalk Resort and Epcot theme parks, where she transformed all of the restaurant’s desserts.
Lazo continued at Amorette in Disney Springs until her recent appointment as pastry chef at Magic Kingdom Park, where she managed a staff of 80 divided between three kitchens. She manages restaurant operations, organizes finances, purchasing and inventory, among other things. Likewise, she is responsible for developing new desserts and displays for special occasions.
“I’m not a computer geek, I like to teach them hand in hand with my employees, let them know that they have a future, they can be better than me,” when asked what is the key to his growth and success.