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Tiara & Luis Marenco

Sometimes at school, we witness more than just the professional success of our students. A beautiful love story between these two amazing students that we are proud to count in th CIL Family. 

Tiara Guard Marenco & Luis Marenco are two of our talented alumni. They graduated in Culinary Arts - respectively in October 2016 and October 2017 - and both received the Gaston LeNôtre Scholarship. Tiara has been one of our student of the month, Luis is a recipient of Les Amis d'Escoffiers Scholarship, and together they won the 3rd and 1st Prize of the Puratos Competition Sandwich in June 2017.


Name: Tiara Marenco 

Hometown:   Kingwood, Texas

Current City: Kingwood, Texas

Course of Study: AAS Culinary Arts 

Graduation:  October 2016

Gaston LeNôtre Scholarship: 2016

Position: Executive Chef at the Veranda, Kingwood

Personal Motivational Motto  


Tiara & Luis during the Puratos Competition in June 2017

Name: Luis Marenco 

Current City: Kingwood, Texas

Course of Study: AAS Culinary Arts 

Graduation: October 2017

Gaston LeNôtre Scholarship: 2017

Position: Executive Chef at the Veranda, Kingwood

Personal Motivational Motto  

Work hard in silence and let the success make the noise

As a student at CIL, Tiara said, “I love that we change Chefs each term. One thing I have learned over years of interning from surrounding Houston Chefs is that every chef does it differently. You can ALWAYS take something away from your mentor, whether it be small or life changing.” She tells us that her advice to anyone thinking about coming to CIL is “Stop just THINKING about it. Get your hands dirty! There is no better time to start than today!”.

Through everyone’s journey, there’s usually an inspiration to keep the drive going. Tiaras’ parents built a restaurant in Kingwood, Texas about 20 years ago, however, this isn’t where her inspiration to become a Chef came from.

“My greatest struggle has been competition. Not competition from other restaurants, although that is ever present, but the competition from other chefs. You see, my younger brother is also an Executive Chef, and quite a successful one, running one of the top three gastro pubs in New York. For years, I felt compelled to compete with him. And when I failed, I would spend so much agonized time beating myself up over it. One day, when I was particularly hard on myself, he turned and asked me what my obsession was? He said..”don’t you understand? We cannot compete with each other. We are on two totally different spectrums. You and I don’t even cook the same TYPE of food, much less use the same techniques or finish with the same style.” It was then that I realized… as a chef, the only competition you have is yourself. We are all different. Some cook like chemists, others like painters. You must focus only on bettering yourself. At the end of the day, if you are proud of what you’ve accomplished and satisfied with what you have created, then you are truly a success.“

“Stop just thinking about it. Get your hands dirty! There is no better time to start than today!”

- Tiara

Before choosing CIL, Luis was on the path that led to nowhere. In trouble with the law. he was struggling in his personal life.

"I decided to begin my education at CIL because of the namesake. I didn’t want to spend two years attending a no name college. In the restaurant industry, your power to position is directly linked to “who you know”. The LeNotre’s are definitely a name to know. The school is based on French tradition, which is the introduction to all classic cuisine. Culinary Institute LeNotre is also rated in the top 20 culinary schools in the United States. It was incredible to have such a school right here in Houston."

"Too often in this day and age, children are not taught by their family members how to prepare the meals that bring us together. We forget to take time and really relish in the flavors and smells that make us who we are in our culture. My mother and my aunt were incredibly influential in this aspect. I learned my favorite recipes from the two of them. I learned what it meant to slave over a hot stove all day just for the few minutes of those first looks when family saw the food on the table. And I learned that a dish that comes back clean is the ultimate compliment."

"Success is not always easy. Obstacles come and go. If you really want this, you will find a way. Never give up."

- Luis

Tiara, Luis and their little girl with Mrs. LeNôtre

We wish them all the best! 
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