Zest: A Culinary Revolution with a Puerto Rican Twist. Puerto Rican cuisine is at the top of its game: while it’s true that the abuela’s recipes have not lost an iota of popularity, chefs such as the well-regarded Raúl Correa are elevating them to new gastronomical heights.
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|Dirección||San Juan Water Club Hotel 2 Tartak Street Isla Verde, Carolina, Puerto Rico 00979
|Horario||Domingo a Miércoles 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Jueves a Sábado 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM
|Tarjetas de Crédito||Si|
Zest: A Culinary Revolution with a Puerto Rican Twist
Puerto Rican cuisine is at the top of its game: while it’s true that the abuela’s recipes have not lost an iota of popularity, chefs such as the well-regarded Raúl Correa are elevating them to new gastronomical heights. Today you can find this new, definitely stellar cooking on full display at Chef Correa’s Zest restaurant at the San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel in Isla Verde, where the recurring theme of the eclectic menu is that unique mix of island cooking and haute cuisine. It’s the very definition of this new era of dining in Puerto Rico.
At Zest, the bread basket comes with a serving of the traditional pan sobao, that slightly sweet staple of bakeries all over the island, only Chef Correa has given it a makeover: his version is similar to the German baker’s Pumpernickel, made with brown sugar, cocoa powder and silky duck fat, a tasty and rare ingredient. Butter? Yes, please: made daily with fresh cream, cilantro and roasted garlic, it’s the perfect complement to the pan sobao.
Those who’ve experienced a little bit of Island cooking know that many times pan is served with chicharrón, that crispy fried pork rind made famous by the city of Bayamón. At Zest, this down-home delight is transformed into a sophisticated amuse bouche, a crispy, perfectly seasoned snack served with a few drops of fresh lime juice.
For the main course, Chef recommends a classic—poached salmon—, enhanced, of course, with his special recipe of tradition meets gourmet cooking. For this dish, Chef prepares a mixture of dark rum, anise and brown sugar (the traditional recipe for ron chichaíto) and marinates the salmon until it is thoroughly “cooked.” Once it’s done, it’s served in very thin, nearly translucent slices, and accompanied by a fragrant cilantro and coconut rice with guava sauce.
So what exactly defines this new Puerto Rican cuisine? Let’s just say it’s bold, innovative, sometimes irreverent but never, ever disrespectful. And every single bite is absolutely… Delicious.
Raúl Correa Soto has literally been in the kitchen for 17 years. He began his culinary journey as Kitchen Supervisor at the Marriott Hotel and Casino, working his way up quickly through the ranks to Executive Chef at some of the finest hotels in Puerto Rico, including the legendary Normandie Hotel, thanks to his strong leadership skills and excellent ability to work as part of a team. His knowledge of local and international cuisine as well as every aspect of kitchen operation and restaurant management made him a top consultant at Boutique Cuisine Catering and Kitchen Management from 2009-2011.
Correa was also the 2008 Cattlemen’s Chef Challenge Champion. In 2011, he became Chef-Instructor at Puerto Rico’s renowned Escuela Hotelera, until taking over at the San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel’s culinary operations as Executive Chef. In 2013, Chef Raúl Correa was among the 100 nominees nationwide for FOOD & WINE® magazine’s The People’s Best New Chef® award.