A proud Ecuadorian, Salazar came to the United States in 1971, where his hospitality career began with Helmsley Hotels in New York City. In his pursuit of excellence, Salazar quickly advanced through the hotel ranks working for Westin Hotels and Resorts, Omni Hotels and Resorts and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts as Vice President of Food and Beverage-ultimately advancing to Senior VP for Interstate Hotel and Resorts throughout a 30-year period. During his time with all four hotel chains, Salazar helped accrue over $975M in annual food and beverage revenue.
He was awarded the Culinary Institute of America Gold Medal as well as the Royal Academy of Spanish Gastronomy and both named him Universal Ambassador. Salazar is currently the Executive Vice President of E-Spain, a company he co-founded in 2017; an international multidisciplinary company that specializes in the creation of international culinary competitions and culinary internships in the best restaurants in Spain.
Fernando is also the co-creator of The World Tapas Competition as well as the International Black Truffle Competition, both which are typically held in Spain.