W Hotel Restaurants: Meet the Chefs
W Hotel Restaurants: Meet the Chefs. At the newly opened W Costa Rica — Reserva Conchal, the details are everything, and nothing has been overlooked. The ambiance is laid-back cool, with a curated music list and haute decor. The views are unbeatable, the rooms and pools are playfully luxurious. The food is some of the best in the area, and the hotel restaurants are truly doing something unique: they are elevating Costa Rican cuisine.
The Howler will be featuring each of these W hotel restaurants in our upcoming issues. No matter what flavors you crave, the restaurants of the W have you covered. Before you go, here’s your chance to meet the ultra-talented men and women bringing you this amazing food.
Breakfast: Mon-Fri, 6:30-10:30am
Sat, Sun 6:30-11am
Special Event – W Brunch
When: First Sunday of each month
Julio César Valdivia
The esteemed head chef at the W hails from Peru — arguably the foodie capital of the world — but says that Tico flavors are influencing his kitchen a lot. Valdivia has loved cooking since childhood, preferring cooking shows to cartoons for entertainment. After studying in Peru, he cooked in fine dining establishments all over the world.
Overseeing all of the restaurants and menus at the W, the chef stays humble and credits his staff for helping him learn Costa Rican customs, techniques, and supplies.
“I am proud of the team I have, grateful to have come to this beautiful country,” he says. “Day by day my team teaches me new things and always give me their 100 percent best.”
The chef at Cocina de Mercado is also from Lima, Peru, and takes pride in mixing the best from both Peruvian and Costa Rican cuisine. But the integrity of the flavors of the food always shine through, and this is foremost in the chef’s mind when creating his dishes. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Bueno gets satisfaction from cooking, saying, “I love how I can make our guests feel with the presentation and flavors of my food.”
“Mixology Dining Experience” – includes 4 signature cocktails paired with 4 L10N dishes
Erick Agüero Zúñiga
The most upscale dining option at the W, Latitud 10° Norte, serves up an amalgam of Costa Rican and Thai foods — both countries are located on the same latitudinal lines. Chef Agüero studied culinary arts right here in Costa Rica, training under Asian chefs to also learn their techniques.
His love of Costa Rica and its food is evident.
“I’m proud to be a Tico head chef at one of the best restaurants in Costa Rica,” he says.
Detox Retox Repeat
What: A bottomless brunch at
the beach club
When: Sundays, noon – 5pm
Roy Trejos Solano
Chef Trejos of Zona Azul grew up in the Central Valley, but his menu is from all over the world … well, the places in the world where people live the longest. He and his team were inspired by the world’s “Blue Zones” (apropos the restaurant name, Zona Azul), so the cuisine boasts flavors of Greece, California, Italy, Japan, and of course, Costa Rica. This chef’s secret ingredient, though, is that Tico kindness. When I find him in his kitchen he is writing down a recipe for a guest.
Trejos’ resume reads like a list of the top hotels in Costa Rica, but the W is his favorite.
“I get to use my imagination,” he says, “creating combinations of flavors from around the world.”
The pastry chef for the W hotel restaurants is in charge of crafting recipes and making desserts for all of the restaurants. Carla Reategui originally went to culinary school in her hometown of Lima, Peru, but when she moved to Switzerland she started working as a pastry chef.
“I love to cook, but when I bake, I feel like a fish in the water,” she says with a smile.
The W managed to recruit Carla after she had spent years teaching at a pastry school.
In true playful W style, she says, “I like playing with textures, temperatures and flavors. It’s so fun to create, change and try new things.”