About The Curator: José Pablo González
Owner & Chef Al Mercat Restaurant , SJO CR.
Hotel Belmar´s Chef – Monteverde, CR.
For each of our destinations we engage in exhaustive “curatorial” work, not only do we evaluate each hotel and tour we want to recommend but also every spot where we find great food. From local “sodas” to big name restaurants, also cafes, little places on the road, hidden treasures…We devote ourselves to this “hard work”, we have tried every single of this spots and now we want to share them with you. Let’s eat and bon appétit!
Because of his grandmother’s way to share love via her delicious dishes, from early childhood José was exposed to Costarrican traditional cuisine, and that instilled in him a profound respect for authentic traditional flavors and gastronomic diversity. Later on he enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu Academy in Paris, where he graduated with honors and went on to work in several Michelin starred restaurants and travel the world.
Coming back to Costa Rica in 2011, he opened Al Mercat, and more recently became the executive chef at Monteverde’s Belmar hotel.
The beautiful plating of his dishes, made with seasonal fresh traditional ingredients grown at his “finca” or acquired at traditional farmer’s markets, sets and example of how to rescue traditional regional cuisine through investigation, incorporating inventive new ways of preparing them applying his education and a profound respect for team work.
José became part of the team that “curated” the itinerary that we present now to you. Our intention is to present you the unique ingredients and gastronomy that dots every beautiful region visited, from home cooking at firewood stoves, mountain inns, eat-while-standing snacks at local fairs or first rate restaurants in San José or at the coast.
Us at Localista and José had very much fun putting together this gastronomical journey that sometimes took us back to our childhood comfort food and sometimes surprised us in new ways. We want to share it with you and hope you will find it as inspiring as we did!