There's a distinct reason Sonia Salazar chose the name Barracuda for her New Haven bistro – she sees herself as "the small, aggressive fish."
"That's me, swimming with the sharks in New Haven," she says, listing some of the Elm City's most popular and established restaurants. "I'm the little fish here."
But Salazar, with 20 years' experience in restaurants, has a few of those very institutions on her culinary résumé. The Colombian-born chef initially came to the United States to go to nursing school, but fell in love with the food and beverage industry while working part-time in kitchens as a student.
Nursing "wasn't for...