Bringing the Vibrant Flavors of Nueva Mesa Latina to Orlando: A New Culinary Journey with Chef Mario Pagán

Chef Mario Pagán Energizes Winter Park’s Food Scene at Chayote Barrio Kitchen with the Nueva Mesa Latina Movement.

Nestled within the heart of Winter Park Village,
quiet rumors have begun to circulate that Mario Pagán — the celebrated Puerto Rican chef of Food Network fame and Next Iron Chef — is coming to Orlando and opening a new restaurant concept.

A Culinary Ambassador

Chef Pagán’s distinguished culinary journey began in South Florida during the culinary renaissance of the ’90s — working in the most prominent restaurants of the time. Diving deeply into the various influences and nuances of Latin cuisine, he chose to then invest in his native Puerto Rico and has since opened venue after highly successful venue, helping grow a culture of profound appreciation for Latin culinary heritage.

More than just an award-winning chef, Mario Pagán has served as culinary ambassador throughout his extensive travels in the Caribbean, Latin America, the US and Europe — always dedicated to spreading awareness and appreciation for Latin American gastronomy. His passion, talent and dedication have led to numerous partnerships including the James Beard Foundation and The New York Food & Wine Festival, and landed features in publications like National Geographic, The New York Times, Food & Wine, Gourmet Magazine and Esquire, amongst others.

Now, Orlando residents will have a taste of Chef Mario Pagán’s new vision:

Chayote Barrio Kitchen
in Winter Park Village and the
Nueva Mesa Latina culinary movement.

A Fusion of Flavors and Traditions

Nueva Mesa Latina, as Chef Mario Pagán sees it, encompasses his new approach to culinary expression. It pays homage to Latin roots and traditions but also embraces new flavors gleaned from his experiences as one of Puerto Rico’s most prominent chefs. The ingredients in the menu come from every corner of the Spanish-speaking world, both the old and the new.

When asked about the menu at Chayote Barrio Kitchen, Chef Mario Pagán smiled:

“We are not going to reveal the menu until the last minute. Our approach to innovation is to create and craft until the very last minute that we can. We try to achieve fierce, vibrant flavor profiles by pushing ourselves to our utmost ability challenging every dish. Especially the ones we ourselves make.”

“Our promise is that every one that sees it will see something they would recognize, then be blown away by how we’ve combined it in a different way with something new, surprising and unexpected. We call this Latin-forward.”

A New Experience

Chayote Barrio Kitchen promises to be a new adventure in and of itself. Like the menu, the restaurant itself is crafted to reveal something new for everyone.

The warm, organic harmony of the space is crafted to cleanse both the palate and the imagination before the first delicious bite takes place. Built from the ground up, Chayote Barrio Kitchen is designed to transport guests to a different world creating an experience that is exotic and lush while inviting guests to be inspired before they sit down for dinner.

The restaurant will accommodate up to 200 guests at a time and feature a unique craft cocktail bar designed for lively conversation balanced with the best vantage spot to absorb the energy of the place. The dining room, with both booth and table seating, will showcase a custom-made, see-through rotisserie where guests will see succulent items being prepared from scratch to be used in the semi-open kitchen.

A Flavorful Future

Chayote Barrio Kitchen will be open for dinner only and is currently slated to open in early October of 2023. Reservations will be strongly recommended through

Under the Nueva Mesa Latina approach to Latin cuisine, Chayote Barrio Kitchen will not only be captivating palates and redefining the dining experience in Winter Park Village, but also evolving the haute Latin genre in Orlando and beyond, one delicious dish at a time.

“To me this is much more than just a beautiful new space;
it’s a new audience and thus, a chance to reinvent
Latin cuisine; and redefine it for a new generation”. — Mario Pagán.

ADVERTISEMENT. Orlando Weekly news staff was not involved in the creation of this content.


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