9/11 Remembered: Julian Medina

We're featuring the personal stories of several chefs from New York City and around the country to see what they went through on that morning 10 years ago, and how 9/11 has affected them as people and as chefs.

Julian Medina is Executive Chef at Toloache, Yerba Buena and Coppelia.

Where were you and what happened on the morning of 9/11?

I was at home where I used to live in Astoria. I remember my friend Patricio Sandoval, chef/owner of Mercadito, called me and said that a small airplane or helicopter hit a Twin Tower. I turn on the TV and started watching the worst day on my life. I went to the roof of my building and watched the second tower collapse. A few hours later I rode my bike to the city to work at Sushi Samba Park Avenue, where I was the chef. After that day I couldn't sleep as I used to.

What kind of lasting effect has 9/11 had on you?

When I talk about this I get goose bumps and I get scared! I would never forget the feeling of me cooking that night. There was tension from everyone and, personally, I was devastated. It took me a year to get back normally to my life and sleep through the night.

More memories from September 11: