Chef Israel Calderón, WCMC, CEC, CCA

Israel Calderon has been appointed as the new Executive Chef at El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

Chef Calderon is the first Puerto Rican and Latino to achieve the certification of World Certified Master Chef with the World Association of Chefs Societies. He also possesses two other certifications with American Culinary Federation, Certified Executive Chef and Certified Culinary Administrator. He has 30 years of experience in the culinary and hospitality industry, having worked at renowned Hotels like: Caribe Hilton, Chicago Hilton & Towers, Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach 5 Diamond Hotel in Cancun, Sheraton Old San Juan, Mundo Imperial Resort in Acapulco, The San Juan Water & Beach Club, Hilton Trinidad, El San Juan Resort and Casino, The Peninsula Hotel in NYC, Crowne Plaza Hudson Yards NYC and Standard Hotel in NYC. In addition to his extensive hotel experience, he has ventured into entrepreneurship creating one of the most tantalizing Latino restaurants in Chicago, Rumba, and Café Calderon in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In the short months since he has been with El Conquistador Resort, he has already opened 6 restaurants in addition to Banquets; Bella Vista Restaurant, Brisas Restaurant, BoNo Italian Restaurant, Oasis Grill, Palomino Island Grill and Cafecito. Opening in the next few weeks we have Ballyhoo Bar and Grill and many more outlets in the coming months.

Calderon has had the opportunity of cooking for many personalities, celebrities and dignitaries. One of his most memorable moments was when he was invited to the White House by US President Barrack Obama and First Lady, Michelle Obama, for the launch of Chefs Move to School program.

Chef Israel Calderon studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and the Instituto de Educacion Universal, as well as Specialty Programs in Italy, France and Switzerland. He is an active member of the American Culinary Federation and the World Association of Chefs Societies. He is passionate about culinary competitions, having won multiple gold medals, as well as Jack Daniel’s BBQ championship.
Chef Calderon is a firm believer of Mentorship; he feels very strongly about helping build a solid foundation in our young chefs so that they can become excellent professionals tomorrow. Many of Chef Calderon’s apprentices are now day Executive Chefs, excellent professionals and above all great human beings who understand the meaning of passing along our knowledge and mentoring to others.

He takes great pride in the presentation of his dishes, and in using top quality products. Chef Calderon’s style can be described as creative, innovative, chic and classic.

One of his famous saying is:
“As a Chef, it is very important to have passion and love for cooking; and the ability to create extraordinary dishes out of the simplest ingredients, but of the highest quality.”

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