When Fantastics create a gourmet brunch

The Fantastic Four
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By Margot Thomas

THEY call themselves the ”Fantastic Four” who together  have brought  a new golden touch   to  Sunday brunch and dining out  in  Panama.

The Fantastics  are in fact four chefs from different corners of Latin America whose paths led them to  Panama’s  newest  hotel venture,  The Hotel Las Americas, Golden Tower.

hotel-las-americas-620x264The 30-story iconic addition to the Panama skyline was designed by renowned Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott.

While  creating  a fine  dining reputation in the   Aurun restaurant whose ambience can be   described as  cozy-sexy modern, The Fantastic Four   decided to add some glitter to the Sunday brunch experience in the city with an ongoing series of theme events while providing one of the most eclectic and best priced buffets  in the city.

brunch-paella

A gourmet delight for paella lovers

The  weekly theme    is   created  at a Monday morning  meeting  and  assignments shared for acquiring display items , staff costumes and special ingredients for the thematic dining experience.

The team is led by Executive Chef Miguel Angel da Pelo, whose path to the Golden Tower began in Peru after a confrontation with his father  who threw him out  for frittering away  his time in university as an agronomy student.

brunch-bread

A variety of freshly baked breads

Ejected from the family home he went to live with his grandmother who ran a small restaurant in a coastal town where his  passion for cooking  was  born.

When the rift with his father was healed he went back to school, to study the culinary arts leading to 14 years with the Marriott Hotel chain ending as head chef in Medellin’s Country Club  before being recruited for his current post.

brunch-sea

A seafood servery

El Salvadorean  Sous Chef Diego Rodriguez  followed the culinary path  of his father. His career has taken him via  major hptels  to  the  Caribbean and Italy before  arriving at the Golden Tower.

Marco  Mesa’s, 22 year career as a pastry chef  got off to a rocky start.

From  delivering bread by bicycle he became a dish washer.

brunch-postres

Desserts to die for

An early chance to work with the pastry chef lasted two days until he sliced a cake the wrong way and returned to the dishes

With his  second chance, his career moved forward  and  upward including the Intercontinental chain and  a leading Costa Rican Hotel as head Pastry Chef,

At brunch and at the restaurant  during the week  you will find him and his three amigos meticulously checking the quality of the products from the kitchen and the way they are displayed.

Christopher Nunez, the Panamanian member of the team, is responsible for coordinating the design projects for special events, including Sunday brunch, and for the maintenance and smooth running of kitchen equipment.

A  gastronomic tour of  the multiple food stations at brunch with some thoughtful added touches like a bottomless champagne  glass of a fruit based ” eye opener”   and rows of bowls loaded with candies and scoops calculated to lead you to dining return for specialities  in the restaurant during the evening giving added   legitimacy  to their chosen name  “Fantastic ”

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