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Panama restaurant makes Latin America top 50

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Congratulations to Chef Mario. Next time we are in the area, perhaps we will give it a try.


Panama restaurant makes Latin America top 50

Posted on September 27, 2016 in Panama

Chef Mario Castrellon has spent seven years experimenting with local foods
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A PANAMA restaurant has been named one of the top 50 restaurants in Latin America.

It’s the first time that a Panamanian establishment has appeared on the annual list and the honor goes to Maito, in Coco del Mar.

Maito was ranked 36th on the list. compiled by the web site theworlds50best.com

The ranking is  determined by the votes of over  250 experts from the region.

The countries included are Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guyana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Mario Castrellon, owner and chef at Maito, told his team about the award on Monday, September 26.

Castrellon, 33, developed a taste for the kitchen during family barbecues. Reports La Prensa.

He studied in Barcelona and worked in La Posta in Panama before opening Maito.

“When I opened Maito, I wanted to achieve excellence, not to be better than my colleagues, but for personal satisfaction,” Castrellon said.

“The key: to improve little by little constantly changing the concept and the story that we want to show to the diner.

“When you go to a restaurant that does not have a compass, without a theme to express itself, you eat well and come back if everything is perfect. But our mission is to tell a story that defines the Panamanian cuisine.

“We have been slowly finding it. It is not only presenting traditional recipes and presenting them in the best way.
It is understanding where the local cuisine came from, and the influences on local gastronomy.”

The number one restaurant in Latin America  was “Central”  in Peru. Three of the top ten were from Peru, with Mexico City also having three in the top 10. Two were from Brazil, while Chile and Argentina each had one on  the list.


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