Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa is pleased to welcome Saul Umaña as the new Culinary Director. Returning to his native Costa Rica with five years of international culinary experience, Umaña is tasked with elevating the gastronomy offering, positioning the resort as a top culinary destination firmly rooted in Costa Rican flavors and traditions.
In his role as Culinary Director, Umaña will execute what he is best known for: marrying delectable flavors with stunning presentation and exceptional service to create a unique haute cuisine experience. Umaña will develop new food and beverage projects including new menus and sustainable initiatives to highlight the rich culinary offerings of Costa Rica. Using locally sourced and traditional ingredients with top international techniques, Umaña and his team will develop big flavor with a small footprint.
A native Costa Rican with over a decade of culinary and hotel experience, Umaña previously held positions as head chef for Marriot St. Kitts and Santarena Hotel in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Towards the beginning of his career, Umaña worked at Kokotxa, a Michelin restaurant in the Basque Country that first piqued his interest in contemporary culinary techniques. Most recently, Umaña held the position of Culinary Director for Islas Secas Reserve & Resort in Panama where he led all culinary operations including staff training, menu development, and kitchen management for the luxury resort. He successfully spent two years enhancing the food and beverage concept highlighting sustainability and seasonality.
“I am excited to implement a new vision as Culinary Director and join the talented team at Tabacón,” Umaña says. “That vision is to help to position Costa Rica as a gastronomic destination for international visitors. Here we are blessed with a living, edible, green country from coast to coast that gives us fresh and healthy produce year-round. By blending these classic ingredients with modern techniques, we can celebrate our past and still surprise even the most demanding palates. I am proud to join a team that believes in supporting the local community and protecting the environment while creating unique dining experiences for guests of Costa Rica’s finest hot springs resort. I am elated to return home to Costa Rica with international experience and fresh ideas to share our history and flavorful heritage with the world. ”
Andrey Gomez, General Manager says: “We are pleased to welcome Saul as Culinary Director to the Tabacón family. His impressive experience will help strengthen Tabacón’s position as a top culinary destination. I look forward to working closely with Saul to develop creative ways to elevate the Tabacón experience for our guests.”