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The New Breed of Restaurant Owner in Latin America

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There’s a new breed in town. Flavors and flash aren’t their only inspiration. This breed wants distinction for more noble pursuits such as something so simple as making sure they serve their customers the safest food possible. Wow, what an amazing concept… This may seem like a no brainer, but these restaurant owners are turning their back on the status quo and turning toward food safety as their priority. Here are some of the trailblazers.

Claudia La Forgia, head chef and owner of Veggie Moon Surf & Turf in Casco Viejo, Panama was the first restaurant owner to see the value in joining the Cocina Verify network. Before I arrived to talk about the program, she was already concerned with providing the safest food possible to her customers. Her restaurant imports all of their meat and seafood, from approved sources. If you have ever been to the the fish market in Panama, you will understand why. At Cocina Verify, we need to validate the supply chain as best as we can and often local seafood and meat markets do not meet our standards. Claudia was already ahead of the game on that one. She is a leader in the restaurant industry in Panama and if you visit Panama, it is a must stop for flavor and safety.

Veggie Moon Surf & Turf Panama Cocina Verify

In the tourism dependent town of La Fortuna, Costa Rica, two restaurant families are leading the safe-food scene for tourists. First, Carlos, Marcela, and Andres Quesada, owners of Don Rufino Restaurante are different from the rest of the owners in this tourism-driven town. The Quesadas know that tourists demand safe food. More and more tour operators are demanding safe food and restaurants like Don Rufino have taken the steps necessary through Cocina Verify to provide the safest food possible. The Quesadas and Cocina Verify want the world to know that they care about your safety.

Don Rufino Restaurante La Fortuna Costa Rica Cocina Verify

Second, Yaneth Solano and her family own and operate Inspira Cafe Restaurante. Inspira provides travelers with a top-notch dining environment and their delicious food is perfect for adventure-minded travelers visiting the Arenal Volcano area. Their yucca fries are locally grown and produced at their own factory that is certified to ship the yucca to the United States. You have to check out their new terrace because if it is a clear day, you will have a great view of the volcano while you eat the delicious food at Inspira.

Inspira Cafe Restaurante La Fortuna Costa Rica

In such a tourism-driven country as Costa Rica, we are scratching our heads why more restaurants don’t want to join our affordable safe-food network.

Fly over to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and you will find two of the top restaurants in town - La Cassina and SBG. Vanessa Gaviria at La Cassina and Joaquin Renovales at SBG immediately saw the benefit of setting the two restaurants apart from the competition in Santo Domingo. It has been impressive to see their unwavering commitment to food safety. The restaurant scene in Santo Domingo is very competitive and other restaurant owners have followed La Cassina and SBG and are currently in the Cocina Verify certification process. Santo Domingo is quickly turning into the safest food city in the Caribbean.

La Cassina Santo Domingo Cocina Verify

SBG Santo Domingo Cocina Verify

Cocina Verify salutes this new breed of restaurant owner in Latin America. They, along with Cocina Verify, want the world to know that restaurant food safety in Latin America is changing for the better.

When visiting Latin America, choose Cocina Verify restaurants and Trust Standards, Not Reviews!