March 11, 2013 – Today FOOD & WINE® magazine invites the dining public to select The People’s Best New Chef®, a program now in its third year, so we are encouraging Puerto Rico’s many haute cuisine aficionados to vote for Executive Chef Raúl Correa, creator of Zest restaurant in the San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel.
The award, an extension of the FOOD & WINE® Best New Chefs program, honors talented up-and-coming innovators who have run their own kitchens for five years or fewer. Restaurants’ devotees will determine The People’s Best New Chef® winner via online vote on http://www.foodandwine.com/peoples-best-new-chef/gulf-coast beginning today and continuing through March 18.
The field of 100 nominees for The People’s Best New Chef® award includes 10 chefs in 10 regions across America, including Puerto Rico. The chef with the most votes in each region will be named a finalist and the finalist with the most votes overall will be named The People’s Best New Chef®. The People’s Best New Chef® finalists and winner will be revealed on March 19 online at www.foodandwine.com; the winner will also be featured in the July 2013 issue of FOOD & WINE®, the same issue that profiles the Best New Chefs. (Note: Nominees for The People’s Best New Chef® award remain eligible for a Best New Chef award.)
Recently, Chef Correa, the Water Club and Zest restaurant were featured in an article published on the FOOD & WINE® website called “Puerto Rico’s New Promise,” written by journalist Josh Eells; the piece served as the inspiration for this important nomination.
About FOOD & WINE®
FOOD & WINE® is the modern, stylish, trend-spotting, talent-seeking epicurean brand. Created by American Express Publishing, the luxury lifestyle authority, FOOD & WINE® includes a monthly magazine with a circulation of 925,000; digital editions on the iPad, Kindle Fire, and Nook Color; a books division; and a website, www.foodandwine.com, with updates on Twitter (@fandw) and Facebook reaching over 500,000 followers and fans.
About Executive Chef Raúl Correa
Raúl Correa Soto has literally been in the kitchen for 17 years. He began his culinary journey as Kitchen Supervisor at the Marriott Hotel and Casino, working his way up quickly through the ranks to Executive Chef at some of the finest hotels in Puerto Rico, including the legendary Normandie Hotel, thanks to his strong leadership skills and excellent ability to work as part of a team. His knowledge of local and international cuisine as well as every aspect of kitchen operation and restaurant management made him a top consultant at Boutique Cuisine Catering and Kitchen Management from 2009-2011. Correa was also the 2008 Cattlemen’s Chef Challenge Champion. In 2011, he became Chef-Instructor at Puerto Rico’s renowned Escuela Hotelera, until taking over at the San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel’s culinary operations as Executive Chef. In 2013, Chef Raúl Correa was among the 100 nominees nationwide for FOOD & WINE® magazine’s The People’s Best New Chef® award.
About the San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel
Also known as the Water Club, the San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel on Isla Verde Beach is the ultimate playground for grownups and the local Mecca of hip, with music designed by international DJs and celebrity stopovers. The hotel takes its cues from the sapphire-blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and incorporates them into its swanky décor. Renowned as the hot spot for local residents and tourists, Mist offers comfortable seating areas for rooftop relaxation, swimming pool, and signature cocktails. Created by Executive Chef Raúl Correa, Zest offers an eclectic menu combining local flavor and haute cuisine, the precise definition of Puerto Rico’s new culinary era. For business travelers and small groups, the hotel offers an ocean front business center, a variety of meeting and a 24-hour front desk service. The hotel is the latest addition to Dallas-based Aimbridge Hospitality’s growing resort division. www.waterbeachhotel.com