Lesley Lopez has worked in TV journalism and as a personal chef. She even hosted her own cooking show before joining the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
But her culinary endeavors didn’t end there. Lopez also worked as a personal chef while she was studying political management as a graduate student at George Washington University. One of the clients she worked for was Dal LaMagna, who founded Tweezerman tweezers in 1980 before attempting to start a career in politics. Lopez remembers cooking for LaMagna and his guests, who included members of Iraq’s parliament and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio).
Lopez said she was able to remain successful as LaMagna’s personal chef by sticking to his favorites.
“As long as he has pound cake, he’s a happy man,” she said. “I can make a mean pound cake, and that’s the extent of my baking abilities,” she joked. Then she added, “I’m much more accomplished at consuming baked goods than creating them.”
She looks back fondly on her endeavors in journalism and the culinary world. “It’s always good to be an entrepreneur, and it’s always good to have marketable skills,” Lopez said. “But I think, in a long-term sense, I’m always going to be involved with politics and communications.”
She is confident that these varied experiences and responsibilities have prepared her for what she does today. “Every day was a different mosaic of jobs,” Lopez said, explaining that her current job is similarly structured.
“No two days are the same. You can have a general idea of what’s on the legislative calendar and what’s going on with the news cycle, but you never know if something’s going to pop up,” she said.
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Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.