Hhm Ruben

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Meet Ruben Rivero, Sous Chef in Training

Telling stories is one of the most powerful means of connection and communication between people and ideas. These stories are a way to convey the values that unite and celebrate the differences we respect. As a way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at FLIK, we're sharing the stories of our Hispanic and Latin associates. 

Check out the Spotlight section of the FLIK Blog for more associate spotlights

And while you're here, enjoy new our Spotify channel, including our Hispanic Heritage Month playlist -- an eclectic playlist of songs submitted and curated by our associates by artists from their culture that they feel everyone should add to their personal playlist. 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. Uruguay is a small country in South America of only three million people and more than a million and a half outside the country living all over the world. 

What does being Hispanic mean to you?

It means never stop learning and in every opportunity. Hispanics can share our culture in a food dish, in a menu we will show a little of who we are and where we come from.

Ruben Picture

If there’s one thing you wish other people knew about your culture, what would it be?

We are multi-cultural; we are mostly descendants of Spain and Italy. The food is so diverse.

How do you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?

Traditionally on the 29th of each month there is a dish that is consumed in all parts, homes, restaurants, etc. called "Noquis de Papa."  There are many different stories that try to explain this tradition, but one of them comes from an Italian migrant farmer who cultivated potatoes and tomatoes. In Uruguay, the work salary is paid at the beginning of the month and it's very common for employees to be completely broke at the end of the month. The story then goes on to say that this farmer, seeing that his employees no longer had money, invited them and their family members to eat dinner at his house. That day he cooked potato gnocchi for them. The particular thing was that under each plate he placed some money. When the employees finished eating and returned their plates, they were amazed at what their boss had left for them. Money for each one to finish out the month. To this day, that tradition is maintained and every 29th of the month in every house in Uruguay and in every part of the world where there is a Uruguayan, they are eating gnocchi with a coin under thier plate as a sign of prosperity for the month that begins.

What is your favorite Hispanic dish and why?

Potato Gnocchi with Chicken. 

Chicken Gnocchi

Gnocchi with Chicken Thigh

Serves 10 portions, 8oz Gnocchi 4oz Chicken


5 potato, peeled and diced
4 c. flour
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. olive oil
8 qts. boiling water
1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
2 lbs. chicken thighs
1 medium white onion
1 green pepper, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
6 oz. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
24 oz. marinara sauce
1 tsp. dry basil


To prepare the chicken: 

  1. In a large pan heat 1 tsp olive oil, add onions and peppers. Cook till onions are transparent. 
  2. Add tomato paste and mix well. 
  3. Add the chicken thighs and cover, cook turning occasionally until the skin turns golden brown. Remove the chicken and save the remaining sauce.

To prepare the gnocchi: 

  1. Peel and cook potato in  boiling water. 
  2. Smash potatoes in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved boiling water, flour, and 1 tsp salt and mix altogether to make the dough. Add 1tsp oil in the dough. 
  3. On a flour surfaced table roll dough to 1/2 inch cylinders about a foot long. Cut dough to 1 inch pieces and roll the pieces on a fork to make indentations. 
  4. Add  gnocchi to 8 qts of boiling water and cook until they float. 

Finishing the dish: 

  1. Layer 1/2 gnocchi into a casserole dish, top with sauce. Repeat step with next batch of gnocchi.
  2. Plate gnocchi and place chicken thigh on top and garnish with chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese.  


At FLIK Hospitality Group we believe in great food, great service, and great people. Our wellness first approach ensures our food supports healthy and delicious choices, specially curated by our team of culinary experts and registered dietitians. At FLIK, we believe in seasonality in sourcing our ingredients and providing a customized approach to the culinary and hospitality needs of each client. Our dedication to providing quality hospitality service is unparalleled in the industry.

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Have feedback or questions for our team? Email us at flikblog@compass-usa.com.