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Introducing Chef Edgar Vargas Romero

chef edgar vargas romeroBy Ana Lyons

One Sunday afternoon in the sleepy village of Matapalo, while enjoying a visit with my friends Susanna and Jean-Louis Mari, owners of Express del Pacifico Restaurante, a “new face in town” entered to have a cold beverage and some conversation.  After exchanging pleasantries, we found out that Edgar Vargas is the new executive chef at Parador Hotel’s restaurants in Manuel Antonio – enjoying his day off in our little slice of paradise.

So who is this “culinary genius?”  Edgar Vargas Romero (whom we Gringos fondly call Eddie) was born in El Salvador, but moved with his family to Toronto, Canada when he was five years old.  At a very early age he was passionate about food.  He received his classical training under the wings of the famous Wolfgang Gunther, travelling around the world and working with the restaurants of the renowned and esteemed Four Seasons Hotels.  After having spent five years as a sous chef in Japan, he became the executive sous chef at the prestigious Melia Conchal Hotel here in Costa Rica.

Later he opened his own popular dining spot in Tamarindo, Costa Rica and enjoyed a profitable experience there.  Maybe it was homesickness that made him return to Canada, but he continued to use and sharpen his talents and skills at several exclusive restaurants in Toronto and at his own bistro there.

All of us who have lived here for many years really understand the call of “pura vida”… and Eddie heard and felt it too.  In 2009 he returned to Costa Rica and joined the Parador family as Executive Chef where he “continues to inspire and awe us with his creative culinary talent and distinctively delicious food.”

Thank you for coming back to Costa Rica, Eddie… we hope you will always call this home!! We are delighted to have you in our community, and I am happy to have you as a friend.

Eddie shares one of his favorite recipes with Quepolandia readers… his delicious Pad Thai.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of flat rice noodles
  • 50 grams green onions, thinly sliced
  • 50 grams carrots, thinly sliced
  • 50 grams red peppers, julienne
  • 40 grams white onions
  • 40 grams bean sprouts
  • 20 grams chopped peanuts
  • 20 grams garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch basil (purple or green – purple basil is more fragrant)
  • 2 egg plain omelet, cut in strips
  • 80 grams shrimp (pinky – baby shrimp)
  • 60 grams chicken, cubed
  • fish sauce to taste
  • tamarind to taste
  • 1 lemon
  • sugar to taste
  • 20 flakes chili flakes

Directions:

  1. Sautee the chicken and shrimp with the onions and garlic until they become caramelized.
  2. Add the peppers, carrots and fish sauce along with the tamarind juice and the chili flakes.
  3. Next add the noodles and here is the secret to this recipe – the noodles  should be soaked in cold water prior to cooking so that they become soft and you should let the sauce in the pan finish the cooking process; otherwise they are going to be overcooked.
  4. Once the noodles are translucent, adjust the spiciness of the Pad Thai and the sourness as well. Thai food is the perfect balance of sour, sweet, salty and spicy.
  5. Add your bean sprouts, basil and  the egg at the last minute and top if off with chopped peanuts.

Voila!!  The perfect Pad Thai!!


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