Lee Cordova was born in Veracruz, Mexico and moved to the States with his family as a little boy. They originally moved to Texas and then settled in Oxford, NC. His Latin roots are deep, but his love for North Carolina and the Raleigh area are just as deep. Lee has always loved food and very early in his life watched his mom, Yolanda, cook in the family's kitchen. He loved to mix sauces and spices together to add to his food and claims "secret sauces are my specialty"
To learn the food and hospitality industry Lee started working at McDonalds as a teenager. He says that he owes a lot of what he initially learned to his time there. He wanted to learn all sides of the business, from cooking to management. He did just that from running the grills, working the window, to being moved into a management position in his early twenties because of his intense work ethic and drive to succeed.
Cordova was at a great spot within the McDonalds Corporation but he was young and looking for an adventure and a challenge. Lee took a huge leap and purchased a mobile food stand, with a friend, deciding to embark in the concession business. It started as a weekend gig, but very quickly turned into a full time job. The business, Chester's Gators and Taters, became a huge hit selling Alligator kabobs and his famous Mac and Cheese, as seen on the Food Network. Lee's business became one of the most popular concessions on the fair circuit and was featured on The Food Network, on several occasions, as well as local news and newspapers along the fair routes over the years.
In 2017 Cordova was again looking for a change and was also ready to leave the traveling behind and come back home to his beloved NC with his entrepreneurial dreams of becoming a restaurant purveyor. Tenedor will be Cordova's first foray into a Brick and Mortar establishment but he hopes to bring his fast/fresh experience from the concession business, his family recipes and his love of mixing special sauces and seasonings to Tenedor and beyond.