Thursday's Guest Chef is Jim Pastor of The Rusty Pelican.
Born in the Big Apple and now making a splash in the Big Orange, Chef Jim Pastor was destined to be in the kitchen. Raised by Costa Rican parents, whose love of food and natural ingredients were instilled in Chef Jim at an early age.
It was in the West Coast of Florida that Chef Pastor found his calling, the abundance of local produce and learning the recipes passed down through generations of his family, Jim began to indulge in what would become his life’s passion.
Chef Jim enrolled in the University of Johnson & Wales in both Rhode Island and Miami so he could see the different seasonal produce and cultural diversity that makes up the very fabric of American Cuisine, after successfully completing his course and obtaining his degree, Jim embarked on his career in the auspicious Ritz Carlton, Key Biscayne.
Chef Jim was part of the team that was awarded the AAA 5 Diamond Award, one of only four hotels in Miami with that distinction, Jim then became part of the award winning team at ‘Atrio’ in the Conrad Miami, where the fusion of Latin and Asian flavors won distinction of being the ‘Best Fusion Restaurant’ and ‘Best Pan Asian Restaurant’ in the Miami New Times for two consecutive years.
To continue growing his career, Jim switched coasts to become the Sous Chef at the Hyatt Regency, Newport Beach, California. There, Jim assisted in creating new menus, oversaw the hotels signature restaurant and became more involved with the catering aspects of a hotel.
This experience would prove vital as Jim was asked to return to Florida to open up the W South Beach as it’s Banquet Chef. This $28m F&B operation earned the accolade of being in the top 5 banquet departments in the whole of the Starwood North American properties. Jim also branched out in overseeing the award winning Solea restaurant and covering the Executive Chef during his absence.
Jim returned to Key Biscayne, the place where he began his career at the Ritz Carlton for him to embark on the most challenging position of his career to date. The Rusty Pelican, which after its renovations positioned him as Executive Chef for this iconic Miami restaurant. Through out the restaurant Jim is know as a strong leader and fun loving person, this in turn translates to his food. He where’s his heart on his sleeve and it shows in his cuisine. When he describes the food he has created he calls it comfort food with a twist, and wants to make the restaurant into the best seafood spot in Miami.