Ana Plana comes from a family of caterers and grew up working alongside her mother, catering from their home kitchen to their well-established business, Fete Cuisine. At the same time, she gained valuable experience working in the kitchen of various restaurants as The Blue Door at the Delano Hotel, The Elephant Walk at the Sandestin Resort. Ana earned a BBA degree in marketing and international business from Florida International University in 1994 to manage the marketing of their family catering business as well as capitalizing on their diverse international clientele in Miami. She then continued her education at Johnson & Wales graduating Summa Cum Laude, Silver Key/Honor Society and Governor Christopher Del Sesto Trustee Award for Academic Excellence with an AS in Culinary Arts in 1996 to hone her skills in the kitchen.
Ana’s career continued to evolve as she moved to Seattle where she worked for the prominent caterer Lowell-Hunt Catering. She was fortunate to experience events at various top executives’ residences including those at Microsoft, wineries including Chateau Ste. Michelle & DeLille, as well as large corporate clients like Microsoft, Nestle, and Boeing. Ana returned back home and briefly establish a small cooking school and gourmet store in 2005. She then turned to teaching culinary arts, accepting a position at MAST Academy in 2007 and an additional position in 2003 as an adjunct professor at the Miami Culinary Institute and in 2016 Florida International University. In order to become a more complete teacher, she received an ME in Career and Technical Education with a concentration in Culinary Arts & Hospitality Curriculum from the University of South Florida in 2012.
Her dedication to teaching is evident in the awards and accolades that she has received. These include 2009 Rookie Teacher of the Year, 2010 FENI Teacher of the Year, 2014 CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award, 2014 Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Wisconsin Dairy Tour Recipient, the 2015 Teacher of the Year award and 2017 Stone Barns Teacher Institute. In addition, she has been a member of the Dames D’Escoffier Miami Chapter since 2007; contributing as past president, board member and director at large for education. Ana continues her passion for education, focusing on inspiring and enriching the lives of her students’ and others by educating them on issues such as sustainability, the creation of a better safer food system, and the ever-evolving culinary world. Currently, Ana is a professor at the Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality, Miami Culinary Institute at Miami Dade College and at MAST Academy.