Hotel Tropico Latino
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Costa Rican Chef Randy Siles Big in International News

Get the latest news on Costa Rican Chef Randy Siles from Hotel Tropico Latino, including his joining the most prestigious gastronomy club in France.

Costa Rican Chef Randy Siles
Costa Rican Chef Randy Siles of Hotel Tropico Latino in Santa Teresa.

Article by Shannon Farley

From being featured in the January 2018 edition of Forbes Magazine Central America, to cooking alongside Michelin Star chefs at an elite event in France and being invited to join the most prestigious French gastronomy club, Chef Randy Siles is skyrocketing this year as the most celebrated chef in Central America.

Siles is master chef of the Shambala Restaurant at Hotel Tropico Latino in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, and Costa Rica’s first Chef Ambassador for the National Plan of Sustainable Healthy Gastronomy the past four years. He is also the founder and president of the Artesanos de la Gastronomía, or Artisans of Gastronomy Academy, that rescues young people at social risk in the tourist area of Santa Teresa and trains them in different branches of culinary arts.

“It is extraordinary what has happened to me over the past several months! I am really happy to be meeting and cooking with top chefs from all over the world. Gastronomy is my life. I live for this,” said the 36-year-old Tico chef.

As the country’s Chef Ambassador he regularly shows off his innovative Costa Rican recipes at key gastronomy tourist industry fairs, including the New York Times Travel Show, SOBE Miami Food and Wine, Montreal Travel Show, and other events around the world. He also does research with working visits to Michelin starred restaurants in Europe and Asia. Last autumn he traveled through Spain, France and Italy cooking with celebrity chefs, giving media interviews, promoting Costa Rican cuisine and looking for new culinary experiences.

Chef Randy Siles Les Toques Blanches
Chef Randy Siles, left, with master chefs in France when he was invited to the prestigious French Les Toques Blanches gastronomic club in April 2018.

In April, the esteemed French gastronomic travel guide Petit Futé invited Chef Randy Siles to Provence to participate in the launch of their new edition for the Var region in France. At the elite event on April 12, 2018, Siles accompanied three French guest chefs, including three Michelin Star Chef Christophe Bacquié, to cook for more than 300 persons at the Hotel & Spa Du Castellet. Siles was the only non-French international chef invited.

“This was extraordinary for Costa Rica. Petit Futé knows thousands of chefs and hotels, and that they invited me was a great opportunity for me and also for the country,” Siles said.

During the event, Siles was surprised to be inducted as a member of the most prestigious gastronomy club in France, Les Toques Blanches.

“I am the first Central American to be a member. This was a big surprise for me,” said Siles. “Normally you have to apply to be included, and they surprised me with the membership at the end of the event based on my curriculum. It is a great honor.”

Siles now will oversee all future chefs in Latin America to be invited to Les Toques Blanches, he said.

In May, Siles also was nominated the new Costa Rican ambassador for Cook & Chef Institute, the first chef in the country to receive the distinction. The Cook & Chef Institute is a foundation comprised of figures from the world of international haute cuisine and Bergner Group, the leading kitchenware items company in Europe, who have joined to share strategic thinking about cooking and technological innovation in kitchenware.

Chef Randy Siles Master of the Craft judges
Chef Randy Siles was a judge at the Master of the Craft culinary competition of the Americas in Costa Rica in June 2018.

Siles was a judge for Cook & Chef Institute in Panama in May on a live TV program akin to MasterChef. And again in June, he helped judge the finals of the “Master of the Craft” culinary competition of the Americas at the Costa Rica Marriott Hotel.

In June, Siles was invited to Germany to cook at the birthday celebration of famous German photographer, Juergen Wegner, who owns a house in Costa Rica in Montezuma by Santa Teresa. The two became friends in December 2017 after Wegner dined on Siles’ cuisine at Hotel Tropico Latino. Siles also starred in a guest chef event at a restaurant in Hannover, Germany.

Chef Randy Siles cooking in Germany
Chef Randy Siles cooking at a guest chef event in Germany in June 2018.

Besides being featured in the January 2018 edition of Forbes Magazine Central America as one of the Five Most Creative Persons in Central America and the Caribbean, Chef Randy Siles has been heralded this year in the media from France to England, Germany and Latin America. Siles and his Artesanos de la Gastronomía Academy were spotlighted on the Costa Rican TV station Teletica twice in May.

Even with all of the international travel and recognition, Siles says he is always ready to return to Santa Teresa.

“I am always happy to come back to the beach in Santa Teresa,” he said. “It is my home.”