7 Chefs Tell You Where (And What) to Eat in Puerto rico
By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
CJ Travel Editor
SAN JUAN — If you’re in an unfamiliar destination in search of authentic cuisine, who better to ask than a chef? On a recent trip to San Juan I seized the opportunity to quiz seven kitchen wizards – all headliners at the city’s annual oceanfront food festival, Saborea Puerto Rico – on the places where they love to chow down; the local delicacy you simply can’t leave island without eating; and the one thing you have to try on their own menus. Here, from tostones to top sirloin, are their picks. Check ‘em out, and save the date for the next Saborea yum fest, scheduled for April 2015.
Visiting chef Jiminez’ multi-culti background (Mexico-born, California-raised, living in Aspen and Houston) informs the cuisine at Houston’s Trenza.
Favorite Restaurant: I’ve been invited to eat at all the headlining chefs’ places, but La Jaquita Baya ((www.facebook.com/lajaquitabaya) was a standout.
Puerto Rico Must-Eat: Pasteles (plantain mash stuffed with meat, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed) are the Puerto Rican take on Mexican Tamales. I loved chef Efrain Cruz’ version at the Intercontinental San Juan.
Must-Order at My Place: Our mixed seafood ceviche features chunky vegetables tossed in lemon, lime and orange juices, and is served with a jalapeno mousse.