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Federico Barrantes

Executive Chef Monteverde & Tortuga Lodge

Born in San Jose on September 18, 1980, Federico wanted to be a fireman when he was a little boy. His father worked for the Bank of Costa Rica and his mother was a stay at home mom. Federico has three brothers

Federico says that his mother has “muy buena mano” which means that she has a very good hand in the kitchen. His parents are foodies and his father’s job at the bank took them to restaurants all over town where his parents encouraged he and his brothers to try everything.

His paternal grandmother is of German descent and she was the one that first to get Federico interested in cooking. She made a delicious “cajeta” which is a milk candy or caramel fudge, usually with the flavor of coconut or milk, sugar and vanilla. Federico remembers stirring the fudge with a wooden spoon for hours. “I’ve only gotten it right twice,” he says. As he got older, he then started helping his mom cook on weekends, today festive meals are his responsibility.

When he first graduated from High School, Federico began studying Agronomy and French. He had a brother that was an exchange student in France. and through visits to his brother; he became familiar with France and gained a new perspective on food.

He later spent a year in France as a Spanish Teachers Assistant, where as luck would have it, he lived above a Creperie. The chef at the Creperie let Federico dabble in the kitchen with him, that year above the Creperie would be a turning point for him, he learned the in-house side of food and he gained new perspective.

When Federico returned to Costa Rica, he enrolled in a local cooking school, ARCAM. In his words, it was “love at first sight”. He thrived on the intense activity of the kitchen, met other like-minded Costa Rican men and women and fondly remembers an excellent professor that made a big impression on him.

Federico splits his time between Tortuga Lodge and Monteverde.

He says his experience as a French teacher, has helped him be a better teacher for our local cooks.

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Tortuga Lodge & Gardens
Lodge : 011 (+506) 2709-8136
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Across from the airstrip 1 mile north of the Town of Tortuguero, Tortuguero, Costa Rica.
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