Hotel Tropico Latino
Tripadvisor - Certificate of Excellence - 2016

Innovative, healthy and sustainable, Santa Teresa chef Randy Siles shows off the new style of Costa Rican cuisine to the world.

Chef Randy Siles Hotel Tropico Latino Costa Rica
Chef Randy Siles creates delicious, innovative Costa Rican cuisine at Hotel Tropico Latino on the beach in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

It started as a dream, as many things do.

Chef Randy Siles dreamed of living on the coast in Costa Rica and creating innovative Costa Rican cuisine that emphasizes freshness and sustainability.

Fifteen years ago he came to the beach town of Santa Teresa, felt he needed to stay, and has been living his dream ever since.

The international award-winning Costa Rican chef is based at Hotel Tropico Latino in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. The hotel is the flagship for Costa Rica’s National Plan for Sustainable and Healthy Gastronomy, for which Siles is the country’s ambassador. Siles travels around the world representing Costa Rican cuisine at international travel shows like the New York Times Travel Show in January 2017 and­ the Food and Wine Festival in Miami in February 2017.

costa rican cuisine
Chef Randy Siles represents Costa Rica as the Ambassador for the National Plan for Sustainable and Healthy Gastronomy at a travel show in USA earlier this year.

In one of the Blue Zones of the world where people live longer, healthier and happier lives, Siles focuses on sustainability in his menu for the hotel’s Shambala Restaurant by using native produce and products and buying locally as much as possible, especially organic. He mixes new and traditional techniques in a unique fusion style called “Author’s Cuisine”.

“We have the freshest products here in Costa Rica – fish from two oceans and thousands of rivers, fresh vegetables and fruits, and fresh meats farmed locally. Our climate allows us to grow anything and everything,” explains Siles.

Equally important, Siles is dedicated to the Santa Teresa beachfront restaurant’s team of 13 with 8 waiters and 5 in the kitchen. Most are local residents, ensuring sustainable employment in the small community.

Hotel Tropico Latino restaurant
Sustainable in cuisine and staffing, Hotel Tropico Latino is the flagship for Costa Rica’s National Plan for Sustainable and Healthy Gastronomy.

Hotel Tropico Latino's restaurant offers beachfront dining in Santa Teresa, serving a unique mix of high quality local fish, meats, and vegetarian dishes. Siles tailors his menu toward the active, healthy lifestyle that Hotel Tropico Latino promotes with its yoga classessurf retreats, and natural spa. The restaurant is open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Now in September and October, Hotel Tropico Latino is offering big savings of 30% off room rates. It’s the perfect opportunity for a much-needed vacation in Costa Rica or a quick getaway. Costa Rica beach vacations in green season are the best … fewer crowds, great deals, and still plenty of sunshine.

Article by Shannon Farley

Randy Siles at Tropico Latino Hotel

Is Costa Rica the world’s new hot culinary travel destination? Hotel Tropico Latino Chef Randy Siles takes the world by surprise showing off Costa Rican cuisine.

Hotel Tropico Latino Chef Randy Siles shows journalists how to
Hotel Tropico Latino Chef Randy Siles shows journalists how to "Cook Like a Tico" at a travel show in the USA.

 

Award-winning and gaining international celebrity status in his role as Costa Rica’s Ambassador of National Gastronomy, Randy Siles is loving life as a top chef in Costa Rica. He lives and works steps from one of the country’s prettiest beaches, sharing his passions of surfing with creating inventive sustainable cuisine at Hotel Tropico Latino in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

Yet lately, Siles is spending almost as much time on an airplane as he is in the kitchen.

As Costa Rica’s Chef Ambassador for the National Plan of Sustainable and Healthy Gastronomy, Siles has been traversing the globe giving cooking lessons at international travel shows like the New York Times Travel Show in January. Food bloggers from around the world have been invited to “Cook Like a Tico” with Siles, who surprises them with innovative Costa Rican recipes using traditional and sustainable ingredients.

“The squash and farro salad was one of the best dishes I have ever eaten. The fresh mint and basil really make the flavors pop. The crunch of the cashews, with the cucumbers and squash add to the wonderful texture,” wrote food blogger Lisa Johnson from Massachusetts, who attended a “Cook Like a Tico” food blogger event at Boston University.

Costa Rica's Chef Ambassador, Randy Siles, shows the world how innovative Costa Rican cuisine can be.
Costa Rica's Chef Ambassador, Randy Siles, shows the world how innovative Costa Rican cuisine can be.

 

At the New York Times Travel Show, Siles was showcased on The Taste of the World stage along with other internationally celebrated chefs and culinary personalities, allowing him to rub shoulders with lifelong heroes and to show off Costa Rica as a delicious culinary destination.

“It is just incredible! I never dreamed all of this would happen,” Siles remarked.

Siles said he is thrilled to promote Costa Rican cuisine and culinary tourism. “We are rescuing recipes from our traditions and history and reinventing them with local, native products,” he said.

Chef Randy Siles shows off fresh red snapper before he expertly turns it into delicious Costa Rican ceviche.
Chef Randy Siles shows off fresh red snapper before he expertly turns it into delicious Costa Rican ceviche.

 

Specialty dishes he has created at the travel shows include fresh fish ceviche with mango, rice pudding (arroz con leche) in crème brulee style with pineapple, picadillo of chayote with indigenous purple corn and pork, and his squash and farro salad. Check out Siles’ very creative menu at Shambala Restaurant in Hotel Tropico Latino on the beach in Santa Teresa.

Why should tourists come to Costa Rica for the food? Siles says: “We have the freshest products here in Costa Rica – fish from two oceans and thousands of rivers, fresh vegetables and fruits, and fresh meats farmed locally. Our climate allows us to grow anything and everything. And we are a small country so we can easily move products from one place to another.”

Spilling the Beans on Costa Rica’s New Celebrity Chef

Chef Randy Siles of Hotel Tropico Latino in Santa Teresa is Costa Rica's rising star celebrity chef.
Chef Randy Siles of Hotel Tropico Latino in Santa Teresa is Costa Rica's rising star celebrity chef. 

 

International fame aside, who is the man underneath the chef hat and how did Siles get his start as a rising star in the kitchens of Costa Rica’s gastronomic scene?

Growing up in Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose, Siles said he first learned to cook from his mother, Elizabeth, who helped teach baking and pastry-making. Starting when he was about 8-years-old, Siles said he would climb up on a chair in their kitchen and help her make cakes.

“I was always was fascinated with cooking. When I was older and would travel around with friends, I would always cook for the group,” he remembered.

Siles received a diploma in gastronomy from the ARCAM Gourmet School in San Jose in 2007. Luck and talent led him to work for one year with two Michelin Star chef, Richard Neat, in Park Café in San Jose. “He helped me form my style and awakened my interest and talents in cooking,” said Siles of his mentor.

Then, Siles’ life changed forever when he accompanied friends to the remote beach paradise of Santa Teresa on Costa Rica’s southern Nicoya Peninsula. “I loved it. I vowed to return, and did, to work in a hotel,” he said. “I loved the lifestyle and the spectacular beauty of the place. Surfing was always a dream in my life and I moved to Santa Teresa for that.”

Now, at age 35, Siles has been chef at Hotel Tropico Latino on the beach in Santa Teresa for six years. He focuses on using fresh, locally sourced, native products in his healthy menu that compliments Tropico Latino’s active Santa Teresa surf and yoga retreats, and natural spa

Chef Randy Siles at Hotel Tropico Latino in Santa Teresa Costa Rica.
Chef Randy Siles at Hotel Tropico Latino in Santa Teresa Costa Rica. 

 

When Siles is not cooking at Hotel Tropico Latino or traveling as Costa Rica’s Chef Ambassador, he loves to surf, run on the beach, and spend time with family. His daughter, Tamara, who turns 2-years-old in May, is “the light of my life,” he boasts.

He also likes taking “working vacations” where he offers to work for free as a chef in order to learn. So far, he has “vacationed” in Michelin star restaurants in Spain, France, Italy and Japan. And just this month in Santa Teresa, Siles began inter-exchanges with cooking universities like the Montreal School of Catering and Tourism (École des métiers de la restauration et du tourisme de Montréal). Twelve students from Montreal are spending the month at Hotel Tropico Latino to learn about Costa Rican cooking and techniques.

Chef Randy Siles and waiter Marco Rojas at Hotel Tropico Latino take a break from Shambala Restaurant to go surfing.
Chef Randy Siles and waiter Marco Rojas at Hotel Tropico Latino take a break from Shambala Restaurant to go surfing.

 

Siles hopes to continue expanding his horizons and popularizing Costa Rica’s cuisine around the world, while at the same time keeping his paradise home in Santa Teresa close at heart.

He said, “I work hard and always focus on my dreams, remember where I’m from, and keep shooting for the stars.”

Article by Shannon Farley

 Hotel Tropico Latino restaurant cuisineDining is avant-garde at the Shambala Restaurant at Hotel Tropico Latino in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.
Now, the restaurant section of the Hotel Tropico Latino website matches the creativity coming out of the kitchen.
Large high-density images flow across the top of the restaurant webpage.
Caution: the images of sample dishes may induce drooling. Photographed in such full color detail,
you can almost smell and taste the tantalizing cuisine. A video shows off the restaurant of the
Santa Teresa beachfront hotel to give you the experience of what it’s like to dine there.