March 8, 2024

Orlando Sentinel names Chayote “Best New Restaurant” in 2024 Foodie Awards

Congratulations to Chef Mario Pagán, David Tyson and team on the major honor of Chayote earning the Best New Restaurant title in the Orlando Sentinel’s 2024 Food Awards, with the Sentinel saying, “this glamorous yet divinely comfortable venue is my pick for the 2023’s best.”

Pagán spoke with Orlando Sentinel, sharing how his varied hospitality career experiences led him to this moment. His mentor, the late Alfredo Ayala, founded the original Chayote in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where Pagán began working in 1996 and ended up purchasing in 2000, his first restaurant. While the restaurant closed during the recession 10 years later, Pagán was able to honor both his mentor and the original Chayote with the 2023 opening of Winter Park’s Chayote Barrio Kitchen.

Chayote Barrio Kitchen is Pagán’s “nueva mesa Latina.”

“It’s an homage to the Latino community,” he told Orlando Sentinel. “I want to make you think about Latin food in a way that you haven’t before. Is it the best? I don’t know. But it is going to be different. It is going to be enjoyable. It is going to be fun.”

We’re proud of our design partnership with Pagan and the Chayote team, creating a vibrant space worthy of the forward-thinking concept and menu. The Sentinel shares, “Vibe wise, it’s glamor through a Caribbean filter that makes it all warm, open, relaxing. Sexy nooks and low, loungey areas give way to more formal dining spaces. Outside, a lush patio beckons. The music hits. As do the cocktails.”

Orlando Sentinel shares more in an Instagram video

Chef Mario Pagan celebrates the team

Orlando Sentinel has the full story

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