Carlos Ortega Juan 350x350 - Carlos Ortega, Juan

Juan Carlos Ortega

Biography

A native of Ecuador, Juan Carlos Ortega remembers meals at home being prepared by his mother and paternal grandmother with ingredients grown locally and often right in the family’s back yard. He developed a keen interest in cooking himself and became increasingly more involved in the preparation of the family meals, something which was welcomed by his mother who had her hands full with four children. This early introduction to cookery is something for which Chef Ortega is now extremely grateful, as it not only afforded him the opportunity to learn a host of skills... READ MORE

A native of Ecuador, Juan Carlos Ortega remembers meals at home being prepared by his mother and paternal grandmother with ingredients grown locally and often right in the family’s back yard. He developed a keen interest in cooking himself and became increasingly more involved in the preparation of the family meals, something which was welcomed by his mother who had her hands full with four children. This early introduction to cookery is something for which Chef Ortega is now extremely grateful, as it not only afforded him the opportunity to learn a host of skills that would, unbeknownst to him at the time, later prove invaluable in his career as a chef, but also planted the seeds that would eventually lead to his relocating to New York City at the age of 18, to pursue a career in the culinary arts.

Upon arriving in NYC in 1995, Ortega was poised for success. Initially, he took a position as a line-cook in a small Italian restaurant on East 62nd Street. In 1996 he joined the team at a busy restaurant just across from the Museum of Natural History on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Shorty thereafter, he landed his first job with BR Guest as line-cook at the company’s newly opened Blue Water Grill, which is to this day touted as one of the hottest and trendiest seafood restaurants in NYC. Ortega’s indisputable talent for innovative cooking, indefatigable enthusiasm, impeccable work ethic and professionalism impressed both his co-workers and those above him; after rigorous training, he was promoted to Sous Chef and Executive Sous Chef, respectively, at Blue Water Grill. In 2003 Chef Ortega took the helm of Ocean Grill, yet another BR Guest restaurant, as Executive Chef and in 2010 he was entrusted with the opening of Atlantic Grill West, just steps from Manhattan’s iconic Lincoln Center, which he set on a course to indubitable success. April 2014 saw Chef Juan Carlos accepting the position of Executive Chef at Blue Fin, in the flagship W Hotel New York. This BR Guest Hospitality restaurant has been hailed by Forbes as the “answer to those who lament the lack of good food in Times Square.” Now, Chef Ortega’s prowess and the raw energy of Times Square promise to be a winning combination, bound to thrill even the most discerning palates!

When not hard at work, Chef Juan Carlos can be found concocting scrumptious salads, his son’s favorite food, researching new dishes, or traveling the world and sampling its many cuisines with his wife and son.

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