WDT : CULTIVATOR
Wheeler del Torro is a food anthropologist who specializes in building relationships in a digital world through healthy eating. For over 20 years, del Torro has utilized food as a catalyst for dialogue in corporate, academic, and social settings. At every event, del Torro emphasizes the wide range of benefits that come from sharing healthy meals.
Described as "infectiously passionate" with a "reputation for innovation," del Torro has worked tirelessly to address business and personal relationships going digital. He emphasizes that, while social networking has exploded in the modern relationship landscape, cultivating a database of relationships on a personal level remains critical for success. From pop up events to lectures on networking, del Torro creates environments for people to meet, share experiences, and help each other to grow.
On an organizational level, del Torro help companies to increase productivity, recruitment and retention by improving their employee experience through food and wellness. His lectures, group facilitation, food competitions, and team building events blend learning, growth, and shared experiences. Participants leave a del Torro event feeling closer, more trusting, and more knowledgeable.
WDT : SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR
Over the years, del Torro has created, owned, and operated a wide range of lifestyle businesses. He began his professional career hosting pop ups around the world. He has owned a number of restaurants and food shops, including the innovative, dairy-free ice cream line Wheeler's Frozen Desserts Co. He has published books on topics from cooking to entrepreneurship in order to share the knowledge he has curated with others.
WDT : LECTURER & CONSULTANT
In addition to running his businesses, Wheeler del Torro is sought after for food-related classes, business-related lectures, and consulting services for businesses and authors. During his appearances, del Torro shares his inspiring story, unique perspective, wealth of experience, and insight into building innovative green businesses. Del Torro particularly enjoys bringing his message to students and entrepreneurs, encouraging them to create their own paths to success in the ever-changing business world.
WDT : RESEARCHER
Wheeler is a perpetual student, continuously seeking new educational opportunities to further his knowledge about people, culture, food, and business.
Wheeler's educational background is in Psychology and African American Studies. His research interests focus on both the central role food plays in the African American community and in our society as a whole. In minority communities, a relative lack of recognition and support from the wider society has led to an increased focus on the support network of the extended family unit. Food, and the passing on of traditional recipes, is often a way of preserving both family and culture.
Historically, preservation of culture through food was vital in the face of extreme hardships from slavery onward. Gathering family and communities around the kitchen table was a way of coalescing strength and lending support, often pairing the sharing of literal nourishment with that of stories and advice.
Traditional foods were shaped by access, and by the desire of a community to establish their own identity. The central ingredients of soul food were items accessible during slavery. In the decades following slavery, there have been movements to reject these foods in an effort to reject the state of discrimination and oppression under which the recipes were created, as well as movements to reclaim time-honored meals as important cultural foundations.