William Ledesma

Fabulous People: William Ledesma

William Ledesma is the restaurant chef for Veranda at Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, serving modern American cuisine with a Mediterranean twist. On the weekends, Veranda’s famous brunch offers a wide selection of decadent options along with a signature morning mixology menu. Learn about William Ledesma…

Hometown: Tepic, Nayarit, México

First job: My first job was as a line cook at a sushi restaurant in Puerto Vallarta when I was 19 years old. My love for Asian cooking started there.

Favorite ways to spend your free time in NV: Going out to eat and seeing movies. I like exploring local restaurants off the Strip. Some of my favorites are Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana, Zabb Thai Spice Kitchen and Soho Japanese Restaurant.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: Besides my children, I would say what I’m doing now as a chef. I come from a small town in México and didn’t grow up with a lot. Now I live in another country, speak a new language and work for one of the biggest luxury hospitality brands in the world. It’s an incredible accomplishment.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: I was definitely my own biggest obstacle. When I was a child I was afraid of fire, so I didn’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen. My grandmother and my mother were great cooks, but even if I was helping with something as simple as making tortillas, I would wrap a napkin around my arm because I was scared of the heat. As I got older, I realized cooking is something I’m good at that I also love. I needed to take risks and dedicate time to overcoming my fears to pursue my goals of cooking professionally.

Someone who inspires you and why: My mother is a huge inspiration. She was never negative, always stayed positive and kept a happy household. And she never knew the word “tired.” Even as an adult she still inspires me with her positivity and energy.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: This is a career that requires commitment, passion and practice. Repetition is essential. When you think you’ve mastered a skill or a dish, do it again. Most importantly, don’t get discouraged. Not every day is going to be Wednesday and not every day is going to be Sunday, meaning they won’t all be easy days, but they won’t all be hard days either.

Favorite quote: “Más vale ser cabeza de ratón que cola de león.” (It’s better to be the head of a rat than the tail of a lion.) This is a very old quote and has a few possible meanings. For me, it means it’s better to work hard to achieve your goals than to work hard achieving someone else’s.

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I love hiking, I can play the piano and I spend a lot of my free time reading psychology books. I am very interested in how people think, how they communicate, how to interpret body language. I’m drawn to learning how to better understand my fellow humans.

What makes someone fabulous: You have to have a great attitude. Positivity in thoughts and actions in all situations makes someone fabulous.

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