LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Chef Brenda Villatoro has a passion for baking and also a passion for our country's heroes, so every Christmas, she combines her two loves to spread some Christmas cheer. The chef has a hefty professional resume; from teaching at Le Cordon Bleu to creating sweet masterpieces for most of the local casinos on the strip, she's a professional.
While her resume is impressive, it's a batch of something much smaller that excites her. Every Christmas, she bakes thousands of cookies and sends them around the world to United States military members so they can have a tase of home while they're away for the holidays.
"The people here they get to go home, they can talk to their family, but the people in the trenches, they don’t have that liberty," said Chef Brenda.
She started Cookies for Troops in 2006 and still continues the tradition now. Although, she admits she's had problems with funding recently. She formerly worked at Le Cordon Bleu so she was able to use many of their resources, but she no longer has that luxury since they closed, so it's harder to make as many treats. The most the chef ever made was 25,000 cookies to be sent around the world.
She said she'll still continue to bake as long as the donations continue.
"I know this is small but if I can get some sign that people are willing to work with us and help, I will lend my expertise a few more years longer," said Chef Brenda.
Despite the obstacles, she loves what she does.
"This is the greatest country on Earth with our liberties and our freedoms and we have to fight for it to keep it. If you want something that’s worthwhile, fight for it and keep it and support the people who are fighting for us," she said.