Cooking up health
Title: Owner & Executive Director
Name of Organization: MCM Protein Bar
Marlen Villordo is an executive chef and co-owner of MCM Protein Bar in Pilsen. MCM (My Community Matters) is a Latina-owned nutritional coffee shop that hopes to inspire others to make healthier life choices. She is also a chef nutritionist, a chef worlds cuisine, has a specialty in molecular cuisine, and is a sommelier.
At the age of 5 Villordo knew she wanted to be a chef after seeing her mother selling baked goods in the streets of Mexico in order to provide food for her family. In 2011, Villordo and her family arrived in Chicago in search of a better life. In 2018 she received a degree in culinary arts from Chicago’s Kendall College.
During her studies she interned in Spain under the direction of the renowned chef Jose Andres and molecular chef Andoni Luis Aduriz at his restaurant Mugaritz.
Today, Villordo has more than 10 years of experience in the industry and is the first member of her family to open a business. She has worked with Rick Bayless, renowned molecular chef Grant Achatz, the Chicago Bears, the Field Museum, the Peninsula Hotel and the Allstate Arena providing catering for international recording artists.
In 2021 she opened MCM Protein Bar in Pilsen with two other Latina entrepreneurs. Their mission is to help others achieve a healthier lifestyle by providing access to protein-based healthy foods. Currently she is expanding the business by partnering with local businesses and gyms to offer healthier meal options at their facilities and making food accessible to the community.
Villordo is a single mother and hopes to inspire her 4-year-old son Daniel as her mother inspired her. She loves cooking creative delicious dishes for family and friends. Her idea of life is: Success is not achieved by accident, but by hard work, perseverance, sacrifice, and most of all, loving every battle that comes with it.
WORDS OF WISDOM: “The more you learn, the more you earn. The most important thing is to be humble, kind, supportive and to do everything with love and passion.”