Chef Vincent Carvalho brings the passion of an entire region with him to the Westin La Cantera Hill Country Resort. Born in Biarritz, France, perched in the Pyrenees Mountains of southwest France, and just 20 minutes from the boarder of France and Spain, Carvalho experienced the rich culinary traditions of the Basque region from an early age.
Carvalho began his culinary journey with his family in a restaurant owned by his uncle. The experience exposed Carvalho to the cross-cultural influences of a region that is known for its blend of French and Spanish cuisine.
“I am inspired by the cuisine of the Basque region,” says Carvalho. “My favorite is ‘Pintxos’, also called ‘Tapas’ in Spain. These small dishes allow ingredients to shine,” continued Carvalho. “I like to respect an ingredient by highlighting natural flavors.”
After training in his uncle’s kitchen, Carvalho began an apprenticeship at Hotel du Palais, a Leading Hotels of the World property. He put his culinary education on hold to pursue his other passion, Jai Alai. Carvalho played professional Jai Alai in Europe and the U.S. for two decades.
When he retired from the game he focused his energy on his culinary career. Professional Jai-Alai had landed him in Miami, where he became a Chef at the Le Meridien Hotel at Sunny Isles Beach. Carvalho was also a chef at the Sheraton and Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach before moving in to the Executive Sous Chef role at The Westin La Cantera Hill Country Resort.
While in Florida, Carvalho became actively involved with public schools in South Florida to teach children about good nutrition. Carvalho continues his effort to teach and introduce healthy eating through the Shane Diet and Fitness program at The Westin La Cantera Hill Country Resort. Carvalho creates menus and dishes and leads cooking classes for resort guests participating in the Shane Fitness program.
“Chef Carvalho brings a rich and exciting perspective to our culinary team,” said Stuart Meyerson, General Manager of The Westin La Cantera Hill Country Resort. “We think our guests will enjoy the unique combination of ingredients and flavors he brings to our kitchen.”
Images Courtesy: Westin La Cantera Hill Country Resort
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