Chef Douglas Rodriguez Biography
Chef Douglas Rodriguez, gloabaly acclaimed Godfather of Nuevo Latino Cuisine, has been taking the nation by storm, opening award winning restaurant across the United States. His culinary creativity has changed the image of Latino food in America. His restaurants are featured in some of the most cosmopolitian cities including his home town Miami, Philadelphia, Arizonia, and the most recent, D. Rodriguez Cuba at the Astor Hotel in Miami Beach.
Chef Rodriguez, 47, a son of Cuban immigrants, was raised in Miami. He grew up with the sights, smells and tastes of Cuban/American cuisine and developed a passion for food early on. By the age of 13, he had a collection of cookbooks, pots and pans, and was developing and preparing original concepts. At 14, he landed his first restaurant job as a summer apprentice at The Four Ambassadors Hotel in Miami. After high school, he gained more experience at the prestigious Fontainebleau Hilton Hotel in Miami Beach before honing his skills and techniques at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI.
Returning to Miami, Mr. Rodriguez worked at the Sonesta Beach Hotel and Wet Paint Cafe. In 1989 he opened Yuca, an upscale Cuban style restaurant in Coral Gables. Yuca was a success, and at age 24, Douglas was a celebrated Miami chef, winning the "Chef of the Year, Miami" award from The Chefs of America and receiving his first and second "Rising Chef of the Year" nominations by The James Beard Foundation. While Yuca served distinctly Cuban cuisine, Douglas constantly studied new flavors, ingredients and ideas from his staff, which hails from United Nations of Latin American countries. Soon after that Douglas headed straight for New York City.
Mr. Rodriguez became the executive chef and co-owner of the phenomenally successful Patria, which opened in 1994 in New York City. It was the laboratory for his new cuisine, which he called "Nuevo Latino". Patria received a three star review in the New York Times and accolades from The New Yorker and Gourmet among others. After Patria, Mr. Rodriguez opened Chicama, a Peruvian Ceviche bar, to 2 stars in the New York Times followed by Pipa, a Tapas bar that became one of the favorite spots for New Yorkers.. Longing for his hometown, Rodriguez headed back to Miami Beach and opened OLA in 2004 followed by De Rodriguez Cuba at The Hilton Bentley Hotel in October 2010. Recently, D. Rodriguez Cuba was awarded with “The Best Ceviche” in The Miami New Times’s Best of Miami 2010.
Recently, Newsweek selected Douglas Rodriguez as one of the 100 Americans that will influence the coming millennium. People magazine featured him in an article titled "Douglas Rodriguez - Superchef Makes Latin Food Haute Haute Haute." In 1994, the Fine Beverage and Food Federation elected Mr. Rodriguez as the Culinary Master of North America and the New York Culinary Master. He received the prestigious 1996 James Beard Foundation's Rising Star Chef of the Year Award. In May 1998, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree from Johnson and Wales University. Most recently, Rodriguez was nominated again by the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef South Florida in 2008 and 2009. In 2009, Rodriguez was one of the distinguished culinary elite to be on the First Season of Top Chef Masters on Bravo. In July 2010, Rodriguez received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Flavors of Passion Awards. Rodriguez is a member of the Chef Conclave for American Airlines.
Mr. Rodriguez is the author of Nuevo Latino (published in October 1995), Latin Ladles (published in November of 1997), Latin Flavors on the Grill (published in 2000) and has been signed by a major publisher to complete a four book series. In March 2003 he released his fourth book, The Great Ceviche Book. Mr. Rodriguez has been featured in myriad national publications including Food and Wine, The Metropolitan Home, Esquire, and Bon Appetit, and has made numerous television appearances including Late Night with David Letterman, Good Morning America, The Today Show, and CBS Weekend This Morning.