Mario Pagan

Mario Pagan’s passion for cooking began while watching his mother and grandmothers prepare Caribbean influenced meals in his childhood. In 1994, while in his second year of Architectural school in Miami, he decided to pursue his passion for the culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University.

He then went on to hone his skills in the kitchens of known chefs such as Carmen Gonzalez, Pascal Oudin, and Norman Van Aken. Mario’s first and last experiences were under Alfredo Ayala, Mario’s mentor and founder of Chayote in San Juan. Since then, Mario has always been dedicated to introducing Puerto Rican-Caribbean influenced cuisine to the rest of the world.

Now locally and internationally recognized as one of Puerto Rico’s top chefs, Mario Pagan is the owner of two of the finest restaurants in San Juan, Puerto Rico: The Laurel Nuevo Caribe Kitchen Art Bar located at the Puerto Rico Museum of Art and the newly opened Sage Steak Loft at Olive Boutique Hotel in Condado.

Pagan has been featured in many publications such as Food and Wine, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Esquire Magazine, and Travel and Leisure. In 2014, Pagan was also a guest chef at the James Beard House.

Chef’s Roll Profile:

Olive Boutique

Laurel Kitchen/Art Bar

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