chef-name: Douglas Rodriguez

Douglas Rodriguez, who claims to be the Godfather of Nuevo Latino Cuisine, is the son of Cuban immigrants, raised in Miami. He grew up with the sights, smells and tastes of Cuban/American cuisine and developed a passion for food early on. At 14, he landed his first restaurant job as a summer apprentice at the Four Ambassadors Hotel in Miami. After school, he gained more experience at the Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami Beach before attending Johnson and Wales in Providence.

In 1989 he opened Yuca, an upscale Cuban style restaurant in Coral Gables, which is where Great Chefs first became aware of his talents. Yuca was a success and at age 24, Douglas was a celebrated Miami chef, receiving his first and second “Rising Chef of the Year” nominations by the James Beard Foundation. In 1994, he opened the successful Patria Restaurant in New York City, and it was the laboratory for his new cuisine, which he called “Nuevo Latino”.

In 1997, Great Chefs caught up with Chef Rodriguez in San Juan Puerto Rico at the El San Juan Hotel, where he was preparing to open a new restaurant, “Aquarella”.

Longing for his hometown, Rodriguez headed back to Miami Beach and opened De Rodriguez Cuba in the Hilton Bentley South Beach in 2010 and was awarded with “The Best Ceviche” in the Miami New Time’s Best of Miami. Great Chefs of the Caribbean features two of Douglas’s ceviches.