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Costa Rican chef Randy Siles
and the staff at
Hotel Tropico Latino
Playa Santa Teresa!
The star chef and that hotel’s Shambala Restaurant were featured in a recent article in Costa Rica’s important cuisine magazine Sabores. The full-page article features Siles’ fusion style called “Author’s Cuisine” – a freestyle way of cooking that lets Siles create original recipes from his imagination.
Like an artist with a blank canvas, Siles skillfully creates gourmet art fusing flavors from different cultures into delicious, fresh and healthy dishes that tantalize your taste buds. Shambala’s specialized menu is geared toward Hotel Tropico Latino’s international guests and the active, healthy lifestyle that the hotel promotes with its yoga and surf retreats and classes, and natural spa. There is a unique mix of completely organic vegetarian dishes and high quality local meats and fish.
Siles, 30, from the San Pedro area of Costa Rica’s capital city San José, says his main cultural influences are from India with curries and five spices; Asia with touches from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Japan; and Costa Rica with its typical ingredients of hearts of palm and plantains. Perhaps best known for his fish dishes, he uses locally caught fish like tuna, snapper, sea bass, mahi mahi and “congrio,” taken right from the Pacific Ocean by the neighborhood Santa Teresa fishermen. One of Siles’ signature plates is “Tuna Tataki,” serving seared tuna with eggplant “baba ghanoush” and tempura jumbo shrimp with a sauce of soy, ginger, mint, lemongrass, honey and oysters.
Educated at ACAM University in Costa Rica, Siles credits his real training to working with Michelin 2-star chef Richard Neat at Park Café in the San José neighborhood of Sabana Norte. The British chef is owner of the exquisite fine dining restaurant, a not-to-be-missed experience when visiting San José.
Set near the sleepy beach town of Santa Teresa on the Pacific’s Nicoya Peninsula, Shambala highlights the peace and tranquility of the area being right next to the beach with a long view of the horizon – perfect for watching sunsets. The restaurant is open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7 am to 10 pm. Hotel Tropico Latino, a beautiful beachfront resort, is a Certificate of Excellence winner by Trip Advisor in 2011.