How Gloria Jordan de Cabral Became Fort Myers Restaurant Royalty

Colorful, driven and beloved, the chef has won many followers to her restaurant and tours of her native Cuba.

  Chef Gloria Jordan de Cabral strides into the kitchen of La Trattoria Cafe Napoli wearing a flounced black skirt stitched with silver thread and gleaming with rhinestones. On her feet are a pair of silver-tipped ankle boots, and on her head sits a glittery bandana that keeps her long hair off her face. Her white chef’s jacket glows against a backdrop of cookware and spices. As she chops cilantro with a heavy chef’s knife, the silver bangles on her wrist clink together and the silver rings on her fingers catch the light. She slips effortlessly between Spanish and English as she talks first to her cook and then to her server. Ingredients are fanned out in front of her—sun-dried tomatoes, garbanzo beans, fresh basil—and her movements are precise, controlled and confident. “You need your own cooking show,” someone says. Jordan de Cabral laughs. “Yeah, yeah. Like I have time for that.” Diane Meyers, a longtime friend of the chef, accurately sums her up this way: “You have to drink a lot of caffeine to keep up with Gloria. She’s hilariously funny, and she can easily hold three conversations at one time. She is highly intelligent and highly ambitious. She’s a fabulous business woman. She really embodies it all. It’s amazing to watch. In her restaurant, she walks around and sits at tables and talks to people. It’s like everyone wants to be with her; they’re flagging her down, saying, ‘Gloria, come sit with us.’ She’s just so ful
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