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Roth: Beach beats big-city cooking

Roth: Beach beats big-city cooking

In 2007, Kevin Roth traded the bright lights of the big city for the tranquil and starry nights of the Caribbean. After traversing the country and cooking at such establishments as Lark Creek Inn, Postrio and Quilty’s as well as working as a private chef for Ronald Perelman and Ellen Barkin, the Culinary Institute of America graduate and his wife moved to Puerto Rico, where they turned a former gas station into La Estación. Now, Roth’s kitchen is truly open — it’s an outdoor grill where he gives island specialties an elevated twist.



Are the pressures different in Puerto Rico than they are in New York?

Coming here from New York City the talent pool is different. Up there it’s easier to find great cooks and purveyors with a phone call. The first year I spent talking with fruit stand [owners], fishermen. That’s an aspect I love. I get a pig right from the farm. If you want those products you have to hunt, finding them is harder. But the reward is the products.

When we were on vacation no matter where in Caribbean, this is the place we hoped to find, with lounge furniture, the hammock. I don’t know if it was intentional or unintentional, but it evolved into a place where my mom and the baby and we can find something to eat and everybody’s happy. It’s romantic and there are children running around.

That’s a current restaurant trend anyway. Even in New York City it’s not expense accounts any more, it’s service and value, it’s the fine dining without the restrictions and stuffiness.

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