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Wilo Benet

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Restaurant(s): Pikayo
Position: Chef / Owner
Cuisine focus: Global/Local
Notable Awards: Entrepreneur of the Year Ernst & Young


Chef Wilo Benet has redefined Puerto Rican cuisine and in that process he has put the island’s enchanting flavors on display for the whole world to admire. Chef Benet defines his culinary style as contemporary global cuisine, a concept that combines traditional Puerto Rican ingredients with Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Spanish, Italian, French and Arab influences. This fusion of flavors, together with Wilo’s artistic emphasis on style, transports customers through an unforgettable culinary experience.   After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Wilo gained experience at prestigious restaurants in the United States, including The Maurice Restaurant, The Water Club and Le Bernardin Restaurant in New York. In 1988, he returned to Puerto Rico to begin a successful career as Chef De Cuisine at the Governor’s Mansion. This set the way to the opening of Pikayo in 1990, a world-class restaurant that has received ravishing reviews both locally and internationally.   Chef Wilo Benet is in a class of his own; an expert chef that goes beyond the traditional in many ways. He is a talented chef, a keen businessman and a natural leader. His extraordinary vision has taken him to new heights, setting standards in the restaurant industry and contemporary cuisine worldwide.

1. What’s your regular comfort meal?

Burgers.

2. Tell us about one Kitchen Disaster story.

Leaving some partially raw chicken on a party for lots of A-listers in Hollywood in an attempt to get it as juicy as possible.

3. Do you have any kitchen battle scars?

Not a lot of hair left on my head.

4. If your last day was tomorrow, what would be your last meal? 

Pastrami from Katz’s Deli in NYC.

5. What is and who makes your favorite knife?

Hand made serrated 6″ pairing knife by Misono.

6. Finish this sentence:

If I wasn’t a Chef, I would be a graphic artist because it allows for my creativity.

7. After a long work day, what do you do to decompress?

Ride my bike.

8. What do you wish you had more time to do?

Nature Photography.

9. Besides cooking, do you have any other talents?

Photography.

10. What is your culinary “best case” scenario?

The best ingredients, great wine, beautiful china, small portions, and sophisticated palates. 

Fotos by Elysanta Photography | www.elysanta.com
Fotos by Elysanta Photography | www.elysanta.com

Learn more about Chef Wilo Benet on his Chef’s Roll profile here.
Chef Wilo Benet will be participating at Puerto Rico Meets NYC in October, 2015.  To learn more about the event please click below.
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