The culinary scene of Las Catalinas is getting quite a makeover over the next few months. Town is welcoming the arrival of Ponciana, the Santarena Hotel’s restaurant, adding a town bakery, and enjoying the continued growth and evolution of Sentido Norte, Limonada and the Beach Club, all following the arrival of Copper & Stone at the end of 2018. It’s a excellent wave of additions and improvements to town, and with it comes Guanacaste Nights, a food festival to celebrate all that the region has to offer and look to the culinary future of the area.
Despite occupying only 0.03% of the earth’s surface, Costa Rica is home to almost 6% of the world’s biodiversity and with this tremendous biodiversity comes a strong culinary tradition that features diverse, local ingredients and flavors. However, until very recently Costa Rica lacked an international reputation as a food hub, and was often overlooked by the world culinary community.
This has all started to change in the past 15 years or so, as there has been a slow shift of international chefs recognizing the tremendous potential of Costa Rica’s natural world, and local chefs returning to the country after honing their trades all across the world. The result has been a slow but steady blossoming of Costa Rica’s culinary scene, as restaurateurs embrace the uniqueness of Costa Rican ingredients.
Two such returning Chefs are Las Catalinas’s own Gilberto Briceño and Jose Lopez, to whom the desire to cook with Costa Rica’s ingredients has never been in doubt. At the end of January, Briceño and Lopez will be joining up with internationally renowned chefs Deuki Hong, John Mooney, Justin Smillie, and Monica Phillips as they bring the flavors of the region to life in the Guanacaste Nights food festival.
Guanacaste Nights is a pair of events — the Culinary Celebration at Sentido Norte and the Fiesta en la Plaza down in Plaza Lucia — in which each of the six chefs will put their skills, style, and creativity to the test as they bring to life dishes inspired by the ingredients and traditions of Guanacaste. Expect the unexpected here — these chefs are bringing a fresh new take to Costa Rican cuisine, and we’re excited to see what they come up with.
Interested in being a part of celebrating Guanacaste’s cuisine? You can find out more and sign up here