The 2018 James Beard Awards Gala will take place on May 7th at the Lyric Opera House in Chicago, and on March 14th the foundation announced it’s final nominees for all categories. Among them, nominated for “Best Chef: South” is St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort’s very own acclaimed Puerto Rican Chef, Jose Enrique. He found himself in good company in this category with chefs such as Nina Compton of Compère Lapin (New Orleans), Brad Kilgore of Alter (Miami) and Vishwesh Bhatt of Snackbar (Oxford, MS) to name a few.
This honor is nothing new for Jose Enrique who was chosen as a Semifinalist for the 2013 James Beard Foundation award in the "Best Chef: South" category, marking the first time in history a Puerto Rican chef has participated in this award. He has been a semifinalist or nominee for the best chef of the South category each year since 2013.
Enrique trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and worked at Café Centro in New York, Riche in New Orleans and elsewhere around the world, before returning to Puerto Rico and taking over a restaurant in an old house in San Juan's La Placita de Santurce. His restaurant, Jose Enrique, opened in 2007, and has been a driving force of the Puerto Rican local food scene ever since.
In 2017, his culinary empire continued to grow when he took over the culinary helm here at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort. The Beach Club by Jose Enrique features a menu reflecting Enrique’s seasonal, ingredient-focused approach. The restaurant and pool bar offer a selection of rum-based drinks curated by the chef, and all rums on the menu are produced in either Puerto Rico or the Greater/Lesser Antilles.