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Meet Victoria “Vick” Vannucci | Chef & CEO

We are thrilled to be connecting with Victoria “Vick” Vannucci again. Victoria “Vick” is a Chef & CEO and is also a content partner. Content partners help Voyage in so many ways from spreading the word about the work that we do, sponsoring our mission and collaborating with us on content like this. Check out our conversation with Victoria “Vick” below.

Hi Victoria “Vick”, thank you so much for sitting down with us again. For folks who might have missed our initial interview, can you start by briefly introducing yourself?
I’m a former Pro Tennis player for Argentina and after an injury led to an early retirement in sports I became a TV host and model. After a huge life change and moving to the USA, I now own and operate Pachamama Restaurant. Pachamama is also a mission to support the community by making sustainability accessible to everyone.

What prompted your change to live a completely sustainable lifestyle?
Something that pushed me to a big change was the fact that I wasn’t aware. I think awareness is something you have around you, and when you grow up in a place where there’s no awareness it makes it difficult. Something I learned was I made mistakes because I wasn’t aware of my place and impact on this world. When you are a mom, you are always trying to be a good example for your kids, and honesty is something that is and natural when you set an example in your actions.
Every day I try to educate my kids, but most of the time they educate me on how aware they are of their surroundings and their vulnerability in this fragile world.
Now I want to see my kids grow up and I can’t do that if the Earth’s health is in continuous decline. So not only am I making sustainable changes, but I’m trying to educate others to do the same, since it’s not only about me anymore.

What is your mission with Pachamama restaurant and what do you hope to achieve with it?
My mission with Pachamama restaurant is to build awareness everywhere Pachamama is. Our job is to create awareness and build a community space in where customers and employees can all come together to learn and share the love we have for Mother Earth (Pachamama’s namesake) in every single aspect from the food to the outdoor garden.
Pachamama makes organic food from scratch with intention and love, but goes beyond the kitchen to donate and fix this planet and give an example on how a company should be. I try to conduct business with utmost respect for the Earth and animal welfare by partnering and fundraising with local charities and the Humane Society, so that others don’t have to make the same mistakes I did out of ignorance, and so that everyone can see that a business can operate sustainably as the norm, and not as an exception to the rule.

How has becoming a chef changed your life?
Becoming a chef changed my life because being in contact with ingredients, having the possibility to create my own garden and having all those veggies in day to day use allows me to see the growth from beginning to end and be an active part of it. I can put intention to planting my own seeds. I can cook these same veggies with intention. Every time I harvest and plant I see the effect and the difference it has when I share the same simple ingredients with customers, friends and family. I see the difference when a chef gives food to customers simply because his job requires it, and how the effect changes when respect is given to the dish from prep to presentation. I made connections with part of myself and with the earth that I never had with any of my jobs before.
Whenever a customer loves a dish, i take home and fills my heart. When they don’t love it, I take that home and find a way to improve. It’s my favorite career; having the result in front of me is amazing and it encourages me to keep going, cooking, researching and finding new flavors.
I like the relationship i have with customers, I like to surprise them, and I like what they have to say because they’re always so honest. I can talk to them, receive feedback and see how passionate they are about proper food, and I get to be the one to serve them, which is something bigger than just myself.

What is one problem you hope to fix through spreading your mission?
1. Hunting for sport

After my own experience, I realized how much of a mistake the sport hunting business is. We are not entitled to kill something that is alive. I couldn’t understand that at 20 years old, but watching it made me feel so uncomfortable I knew I had to change.
No matter who you are, no matter what tradition, we are supposed to be stewards of this world NOT its owners.
I cannot change my past, but I learn from it by living with it every day. Since I cannot change the world myself, I stand for a mission that involves a community that will look to each other and make the right choices. This is why Pachamama is so dedicated to supporting nonprofits like San Diego Humane Society, so that good actions will prevail with the support of a community that understands how precious animal welfare is to sustainability activism as well.

How can Pachamama Restaurant and mission inspires others to become better?
I believe you become better from hearing stories. One of the many ways of getting better is accepting a problem that you have and fixing it with new information. When you have experiences in your life, you can talk about it and others can learn from that story. I try to be super open about my own mistakes and how Pachamama is a resource for the community. After something dark in your life, the answer is only to shine light on it. That same mistake gives me a new mission and meaning because tomorrow I can proudly say I’m doing something for my planet and my people. You need to make mistakes to learn how to ammend them — even if it’s for the rest of your life — at least you are doing something about it. In my next life, I prefer to make no mistakes, but that is an impossible scenario. We do what we can, and we cannot do it without a community.
I hope Pachamama restaurant can serve as a reminder of growth out of service to a community, because of the community.

What’s an exciting project you’re working on?
I have two that take up most of my excitement: 1. I’m building green gardens in several elementary schools so that children will learn how to grow and harvest their own seeds. They always get excited to see that sometimes things grow slowly, but growth will come when taken care of. This also gives schoolchildren a resource for food that they can practice at home, or snack on some fruits and veggies from the school’s garden.
2. Bee Leaf USA and Pachamama are partnering to save bees that must be relocated, by building a functional beehive and garden. The bees will pollinate the space, and in turn provide honey for the restaurant, all while Pachamama provides a fancy new hive that can serve as an educational aspect for customers and business owners alike.

Thank you so much again for sharing all of this with us. Before we go, can you share with our readers how they can connect with you, learn more or show support?
Personal Pages: IG: @vick_im
TikTok: @vick_vannucci
Website: www.vickvannucci.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vickvannuccireal/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vick-vannucci-65b4a2192/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/vannuccimedia/_created/

Pachamama Pages:
IG: @whoispachamama
TikTok: @whoispachamama
Pachamama website: www.whoispachamama.com
Pachamama Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whoispachamama

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Photographer: Arielle Kai Taramasco for Linda Vista Studios

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