Executive Chef Jorge Oliveira – Reinventing Excellence

Visitors to a Rosen Hotel are immediately impressed by the class, style, and luxury that has become synonymous with the Rosen brand, and “Rosen – Shingle Creek,” in Orlando, Florida, is the cream of the crop!

Overseeing the preparation of award-winning cuisine in the many restaurants and eateries at “Shingle Creek,” Executive Chef Jorge Oliveira credits the success of his culinary creations to a strong foundation in the basics and a life long love of cooking.

“My earliest memories of cooking begin when I was a kid at my aunt’s diner. She had the same customers every day, ordering their favorite dishes, and everything was made from scratch, every morning, from the freshest ingredients. Making everything fresh in the kitchen was the basis for the food served there… it is what the guests expected and what kept them coming back, and it is the foundation of the lessons that I learned about cooking when I was young.”

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Having piqued his interest for cooking in his aunt’s kitchen, Chef Jorge went to culinary school where he began to see his life’s path unfolding before him. “My true calling happened during my time at culinary school, because I was hired to be a kitchen manager and I trained under a wonderful woman who was a chef from Italy. She introduced me to all the fine flavors of Italian food and I really built some very strong roots there.”

After graduating from culinary school, Chef Jorge began working at the Hilton Hotels Corporation, where he enrolled in their management program, and he spent two years training under a Master Chef before landing a position at a casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

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After moving to the Central Florida area in 1986, Chef Jorge began working for the Rosen Company in 1991. “When I interviewed for the Rosen Company, it was between another Chef and me, and they hired him… but, apparently it didn’t work out, and within two weeks, I was called in for the job and it has been a wonderful 28 years working for this fantastic company.”

“As an Executive Chef, you have to meet your guests expectations, and then surpass them. If your guests expect fine dining, then that is what you must give them, you have to be an upscale restaurant, with all the finest meats and seafood, have signature dishes that will inspire your menu, table side cooking, an array of fresh desserts… you do not let them leave without knowing they received the best of everything. Satisfying expectations is how you build your business and the only way to grow your reputation as the best.”

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When asked about his personal favorite dishes, Chef Jorge is both nostalgic and forward thinking, “I love the old classics! My foundation training is both Italian and French, so I enjoy the flavors, ingredients, and the process of preparing those classic dishes… but you have to keep in mind the new trends in cooking and also the fact that upwards of 10% to 15% of your guests have food allergies or other specific food needs, and you need to create your menu with this in mind. That means you often have to relearn how to prepare those classic dishes, reinvent the flavors, re-engineer the ingredients, and re-imagine the entire process… that is the biggest transition throughout my career, keeping up with and anticipating the changing needs and trends in the dining experience, and being open to the process of reinventing yourself.”

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It is this process of reinventing himself that Chef Jorge loves about the Culinary business, and he sums up his kitchen philosophy simply by saying, “Guests love food… and you have to love preparing it for them. A restaurant is not a ‘food factory,’ it is a place for guests to have a special time in their lives, to have that special meal, and to leave feeling they were treated in a special way. If you lose sight of that, then you have missed the mark… and we work hard to never miss the mark here at Rosen, Shingle Creek.”

If you have not had that “special meal experience” for yourself, then make it a point to visit one of the many restaurants and eateries at “Rosen – Shingle Creek,” Orlando, Florida… and perhaps you will “re-invent” what you believe a dining experience should be!

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Produced by: Irina Pabis
Photo/Video by: Richard Pabis
Written by: David Morizot

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