Catalina Monsalve was born and raised in Medellin, Colombia. At age 21, Catalina moved to Miami on 2000 where she began her career in the hospitality industry. On her way through college at Florida International University, she joined the Hilton Family as a Food and Beverage Manager in Sunny Isles Beach. During this experience, she realized that what she enjoyed the most was to assure the happiness of the personnel she worked for. Catalina considers herself a very lucky person since she found at an early age what she enjoyed the most in life.
Catalina was impressed by the excitement that food can bring out in people, and by how special it was to create wonderful experiences to others within her job.
Afterward, Catalina made a smart move and started working at China Grill in the
Management department, where she controlled the catering department of China Grill and Tuscan Steak Miami Restaurants, serving sophisticated and authentic Fusion cuisine in an elegant and modern set up. The high volume customer demand of such
restaurants required a well prepared and knowledgeable staff which Catalina properly trained and instructed, making of China Grill a place that provided to every guest a superb and unforgettable dining experience. Meanwhile, Catalina tried to get close to people who she considered extremely valuable, people that were making a difference among others; she was mentored and inspired by them in her formation as a restaurant manager. Such lessons combined with her everyday experiences complemented her academic education and made of her a very capable employee.
Due to the Latin boom in Miami and the economical expansion of the area at the time, Catalina joined the Novecento group as the Sales director for the Miami restaurants, where she created from scratch the corporate sales department, incorporating to the brand one of the most innovative and successful dining experiences in some of the hottest spots of Miami (Coral Gables, Brickell and South Beach).
After many efforts and great accomplishments in the hospitality industry, Catalina had the opportunity of meeting the entrepreneur Nicolas Hoyos at the club Macondo in South Beach, one of the most famous and recognized Latin spots of Miami at the time. Catalina saw in Macondo a great opportunity to use all the skills she acquired throughout her years of experience in the industry and at the same time a chance to showcase the Latin culture in the United States. Highly motivated by the new challenge, Catalina decided to work along Nicolas Hoyos in developing the Baru Urbano project, in which she is the leader of the management team. Currently, Baru Urbano is positioned among the most concurred Latin clubs in Miami with over two hundred employees that work towards the creation of unique dining and entertaining
Baru Urbano is now expanding to five locations, all in the Miami area (Brickell, Midtown, Doral, Kendall and Weston) they are focusing on the Latin Market, and she is currently making history on the Latin market.
She ultimately co owner of EL PATIO WYNWOOD, named best new bar in Miami, by the Miami Times, as well as PUNCH, located in Mimo. Currently, a new concept called LA PODEROSA will be opening its doors in Wynwood. Once again under her direction, there is no doubt this will also be a huge success.