Chef Don Pepe
decades ago, the 1970’s, a young man of Spanish ancestry came to the USA with a
very strong desire to travel throughout the country that he had heard so much
about, but never seen. His name was Jose’. Upon stepping foot on the shores of Florida’s
coastline, Jose’ fell in love immediately with the people, the foods, and the
traditions. He wanted to work really
hard. Without knowing a word of
English, he was hired on as a janitor, bellhop, and doorman in an upstate New
York hotel. His love for the hospitality
industry grew by leaps and bounds, especially for the foods.
inspired by a nearby and prestigious culinary institute, Jose’ honed his skills
for the preparation and presentation of foods with a particular interest in
Paella – the national dish of Spain. In
a trip back to Spain, he came under the “teachership” of the head chef for the
Castellana Hilton Hotel of Madrid who taught the basics for Paella – and then
some. From a colorful Paella brimming
with choice seafood. The presentation
was an instant “hit”.
Jose’ presented this outstanding dish in his own hotels – especially in his
Catskill Mountain restaurant called Café’ Ole’.
Jose’ is affectionately known as the “Paella King” to those who dine
love for the special Portuguese olive oils which he uses in his food
preparations. The olive trees in
Portugal are primarily grown in alkaline soil rather than acidic. The Portuguese oils are well known for the
fruity and nutty flavors which produce a smooth, rich aroma and flavor – prime qualities
for dipping, salad dressings, grilling, and marinades, and sautés.
hugely popular and public presentations given by Jose’ (aka Chef Don Pepe’) on
the uses, purchasing, and storage of olive oils is a wonderful
The company was originally founded in 2005 in NY as Carpa NY, LLC