OWNER | EXECUTIVE CHEF
Having been born in Puerto Rico and moving to the Southern United States at an early age, I got to experience first hand the different foods from my native home to my adopted new surroundings. Both have many similarities, such as the love of fried foods and heat, and subtle differences from the tropical flavors of the Caribbean to the bold flavors of the south. I didn't know it at the time but it instilled in me the thirst and wanting to learn more and taste more of the world around me.
I started a culinary journey throughout the nation. Traveling and cooking and eating from Baltimore to Charleston, Austin to Honolulu, New Orleans to Las Vegas, Boston to Miami, and Alaska to my new home of Portland, Oregon! I was able to learn and get to know the people of the area and region having worked in their kitchens and eating at their table. Through the journey I missed having a place where I can rest my bones. To be able to put my travel bags and knife roll down and get a sense of place. It is here in Portland, I decided to call home. And it's a return to home I want Carlito's Cocina to feel and be! Where all the flavors of my past can be put onto a plate in the present.
"It's a beautiful thing to find yourself in that wonderful space between meals, looking at the world through the eyes of a cook; where food, people, and culture intersect. That's where you really see both the things that are different about us and what we share. Food brings all people to the table, both literally and figuratively."