A NEW CULINARY ADVENTURE AT EL TIGRE VESTIDO

Are you up for a new culinary adventure through the highlands of Costa Rica? Now you can have one without leaving Finca Rosa Blanca. Our newly appointed chef, Ruben Villegas, has brought creative Latin fusion cuisine to our resort’s acclaimed restaurant, El Tigre Vestido.

Chef Ruben’s culinary journey has been extraordinary. He began at the age of 17, working in a large hotel kitchen and attending culinary classes. He worked his way up to sous chef in several notable kitchens and then moved to Peru to study at the Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Lima, where he graduated with the highest degree, Master Cuisine. In Lima, Chef Ruben worked with Virgilio Martinez, the star chef and owner of Central, consistently rated as one of the world’s top restaurants. He recently returned to Costa Rica to pursue his career as an innovative chef using the latest techniques and trends from his work abroad, and blending them with the abundance of fresh ingredients to be found in Costa Rica.

Finca Rosa Blanca was built with the goal of creating an ecological haven and a sustainable tourism destination in an aesthetic environment for visitors who want to experience the biodiversity of Costa Rica. Sustainably sourced food served at El Tigre Vestido is one of the most attractive aspects of staying at our resort. Now Chef Ruben has taken the culinary offering up a notch with his novel interpretations of Costa Rica’s heritage recipes.

“I love the slow food movement, which combines sustainability and good management of Costa Rica’s raw materials to create a Latin fusion cuisine. My approach is to apply the new culinary tendencies found in European gastronomy to Costa Rican and Latin mainstays,” says Chef Ruben. “The idea is to showcase the right pairing of textures and flavors that also looks beautiful.”

Most everything that the restaurant uses to create Chef Ruben’s dishes is handcrafted and locally sourced, except for the impossible (like olive oil and wine). We tap nature’s bounty for ingredients – think Surinam cherries, sugarcane, avocados, soursop, beans, breadfruit, star apple, chayote, chiles, mangos, water apples – the list is endless… We even make our own banana vinegar from guineos, a type of banana used for stews in Costa Rica.

Chef Ruben has brought exciting twists to El Tigre Vestido’s menu. One of his signature dishes is chifrijo soup based on the namesake Costa Rican classic typically eaten in bars to keep the alcohol at bay; this popular layered dish of rice topped with black beans, chicharrones (twice-fried pork bits) and pico de gallo (tomato salsa with onion, cilantro, and lemon) is served with fresh tortilla chips and avocado. Chef Ruben has also taken the traditional casado (which translated literally means “married”) and given it a Latin fusion twist. Found in nearly any small restaurant serving typical Costa Rican dishes across the country, it is usually a pairing of white rice with a side of savory black beans, a picadillo (chopped and sautéed potato or other root vegetable) and fish, chicken and beef smothered in sautéed onions or a fried egg.

The Chef has added a roasted beet and chayote salad, plantains sautéed in coffee and molasses and a picadillo replete with pulled beef and papaya root. Another exciting reinterpretation is Chef Ruben’s version of Costa Rican tacos called gallos; these soft handmade tacos are topped with a choice of fresh sea bass or chicharrones and crowned with a citric salad of fennel, cabbage and chayote. Another highlight is his octopus carpaccio and the tiraditos featuring fresh sea bass with fresh lime juice and capers.

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Find your fitness ‘Pura Vida’ in Costa Rica

chefpreparing_square_smallJoin Michele Shorter, founder and owner of The Shorter Approach for a week-long experience in Costa Rica which will include goal-setting, cardio and strength training, and nutrition planning mixed with a myriad of activities at Finca Rosa Blanca; coffee plantation tours, cooking demos and tasting menus, hikes up a nearby volcano and through the Cloud forest, and salsa dancing with locals every day.  The week will be shared between the coffee growing highlands of Costa Rica to the beaches of Arenas Del Mar in Manuel Antonio.

Here at Finca Rosa Blanca, you will get flexible, strong, and energized, set goals and create a focused plan while enjoying:

  • Early morning yoga with the birds.
  • Salsa lessons with Diego our dance instructor who has the most captivating Latin moves.
  • Hike to the Volcano and find the foot prints of a jaguar and a quetzal nesting far above in the Cloud forest.
  • A tour of the organic coffee plantation at Finca Rosa Blanca and a class on Cupping Coffee.
  • Wildlife and Bird-watching with our resident Wildlife Guide.
  • Cooking demonstrations with Chef Gustavo using the fresh local and seasonal ingredients of Costa Rica.

On your first day experiencing the wonders of Finca Rosa Blanca,  we will share with you our  chef Gustavo who will prepare an artesanal salad, with organic ingredients from the Finca Rosa Blanca Farm and Greenhouse.  You will help harvest the ingredients and then watch and learn as the chef prepares your salad at a Cooking Demo in our main dining room  He will prepare his renowned Citrus salad, with organic field greens, fresh herbs, and three different citrus fruit from our gardens and orchards, red onion, crispy garlic croutons, fried leeks, and passion fruit dressing.

Space is limited. People may register or learn more by contacting GreenSpot’s Costa Rica travel expert Irene Edwards at irene@greenspottravel.org

 The Shorter Approach is based on 18 years of training clients from all fitness levels and backgrounds. Through The Shorter Approach, Michele delivers proven expertise, guidance and support to help you achieve your fitness and wellness goals, nourish yourself and live the life you want.

_EQF9789 For more information, visit www.theshorterapproach.com.

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El Tigre Vestido Celebrates Semana Santa with Easter Treats

The Costa Rican population is predominantly Catholic and retains many of their  traditions in the celebrations of Easter Week, including meals. Just go to the provincial markets, supermarkets or farmers’ market to see many of the special products of the Holy Week, including a greater variety of fish and seafood, fruits and vegetables for the preparation of traditional dishes, including chiverre, heart of palm or the itabo flower and sweet sugar cane or sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, raisins, corn meal and other basic ingredients to prepare traditional Holy Week meals.

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Delicious Easter Treats at Finca Rosa Blanca

We invite you to share our Easter Week traditions, both culinary and cultural, with our Semana Santa Daily Menu of Heritage Dishes.  Each day we offer a special Main course and a special for breakfast in the morning and afternoon coffee.

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Gourmet Edible Flowers at the Resort Restaurant

If you wander down to our organic green house, you will find hanging hydroponic baskets of edible flowers which can be found gracing the plates of our restaurant.

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