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Franco Noriega is the next big thing. He models, cooks, sings, dances and did I mention he cooks? The 30-year-old Peruvian also happens to have close to one million followers on his social media. And sure, it might be because he cooks at home shirtless (seriously), but it's also because he's incredibly inspiring. He's part of the next wave of Latinxers who are using their platform to transform the world we live in. And Franco is making sure to do that with a bit of flavor. "I truly believe that [your country’s] flavors and spices are not only for food but should also be part of your communication and personality," he tells HOLA! USA.
Before opening his mega-successful restaurant Baby Brasa in the West Village in New York City, Franco was a professional swimmer and an amateur model until he was eventually discovered by world-renowned photographer (and fellow Peruvian) Mario Testino. His modeling career reached new heights, where he worked with highly-coveted brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein and Louis Vuitton. Afterwards, he turned a different leaf and got into the food industry. Mentored by Martha Stewart herself, Franco began to get social media famous for his home cooking videos. Now, he runs a two-story flagship where he serves delicious and contemporary Peruvian cuisine, fusion dishes and signature cocktails.
With his success, Franco feels a responsibility to young Latinxers, especially with the legions of followers that he has online. "Everyone who has a strong voice on social media, has the responsibly to do something positive with it," he explains. Part of his positive impact is teaching others how to eat healthier. "Talking about 'no filters,' in my case, I am a chef and 'you are what you eat,'" he says. "I promote organic food, which is like 'no filters' in food."
Next up for the young restauranteur? "To be a world-renowned gastronomic brand," he reveals in the latest issue of HOLA! USA. So whether you're following his modeling career or learning new healthy recipes, you can count on Franco Noriega living out his dreams and inspiring the next generation to do the same with (obvi) a side of Choclo.