Interview with Carlos Barrera Cancun’s Elite Chef and Book Author -2023

Chef Carlos Barrera, originally from the State of Merida Yucatan, Proud Yucatecan. Raised the first part of his life in Yucatan and developed in the State of Quintana Roo, in the area of ​​Puerto Morelos in his youth teenagers’ years. Moved at the age of 18 to United States, stayed in Philadelphia, Washington DC, New York.

Learned how to cook and eat local’s dishes, as he was doing other things. He didn´t really click at that age and time all the passion for food and was just natural cook.

Carlos was very big on the environment helping support the ecology in preservation of sea life as turtles from the State of Yucatán.

When Cancun was growing and there were no more possible activities to keep doing that he decided to move and open a new page in his life, and moved to California looking for a new opportunity in his young life., Carlos was very lucky he got a job offer from Chef Jose Chavez, Called Sabor in the area of Santa Monica. Chef Chavez opened and taught Carlos teaching his first dishes in Cajun south Latin flavor cuisine.

After that Carlos worked for a Food Factory, that provided food, for Trader Joe Workers in the area. Carlos was a fast learner and was introduced to learn about food catering as well as a Bartender, learning to make all kinds of drinks. Carlos also Worked in Beverly Hills, Bell Air Areas, worked in Harold & AMP a Belles Restaurant a Cajun Restaurant.

Carlos had learned his Cooking, Catering and bartending skills, well and had dreams of working as a chef in Las Vegas. So he got a job in Cesar’s palace and worked also in the Venetian, as well as working under Executive Chef Luciano Pellegrini, Piero Selvaggio’s of Valentino’s Restaurant, next door to Chef Emeril Lagasse, Warner’s Brother Kitchen at the Venetian casino, Zeffirino Italian Restaurant, and other important places Carlos learned his Culinary skills.

Carlos was well on his way living his American Dream, he was very happy with his progress and being an elite executive chef, learning from of the best chef’s in the world. He also got married to Nora Espinoza.

All his life changed 360 Degree’s when he got a call from his family member that his father was on his death bed and wanted to see Carlos. In 2002, packed his bags and headed back to Merida Yucatan the land where he was born. after the death of his Mr. Father, Maestro Carlos Barrera the person that motive him to reach his goals cooking, and he wanted to show and honor his memory, showing and sharing his experience with his family and friends, combining all the recipes and doing some new dishes. To honor his father’s legacy.

So after Carlo’s father passed away he decided to stay in Mexico open his first Restaurant call SeaFari and he had a great successful place where others like Big Locals chefs like Jhon Grey, David Laos and many others who tasted his fresh Lobster tacos, Seafood platers and Mexican Carnitas because Carlos had a big impact in the Village with his way of cooking with simple small kitchen and very creative plates. People were coming back on a regular basis and introducing their friends and family members who too were coming and eating his food.

Carlos with his wife Chef Nora Espinoza, had 3 children, Little Carlos, Mahatma and Indira. Chef Nora grew up in a family of cooks, with a father who was a Cuban chef originally from Cuidad Cien Fuegos, Cuba, and a mother from Veracruz Mexico, who learned ancient Mexican recipes from her grandmothers and taught Nora since she was a child the love of cooking and to do everything from scratch the artisan way, 2 great young Chefs  were working together at the same time  and decide do something bigger, they begin working hard to get a good position and enter the Yachts community in Cancun, services for catering and private luxury homes, work for celebrities and politician form Mexico, Ex Mexican President and Governors, as also some businessmen of large old Mexican families that visit Cancun.

Chef Carlos and Nora are known as Los Chefs as the name of the new and old Restaurants, begin a new chapter in Cancun Hotel zone, as part of a vacation Club from USA, where he currently works together with his wife Chef Nora and one of the Kids, Mahatma Espinoza in a great quiet place at the end of Pok Ta Pok Av, by the lagoon with the best view of the lagoon side hotel zone.

So when I stayed in Cancun and met Carlos, he prepared Maya Whole Fish dish with rice and salad, with Virgin Mojito’s and Pina Colada’s. It was a wonderful dish, I never personally tasted fish so good and well prepared.

So asked Chef Carlos what’s next for him he told me Los Chefs Carlos and Nora are working on few cookbooks. First book to explain in a simple way how to cook some of our dishes, so you can enjoy with family and friends.

So the next book is very interesting which I sat down with Carlos, for a few hours’ brain storming to see how this next project can be bought to life. I personally loved Carlos’s idea and will help him to make this project a super success. Is to rescue many of the old recipes from the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

Once these recipes have been saved, they will be added to to Carlo’s Cook Book, for people to try and cook. The next plan is to sell the book and share some of the proceeds with many of the family’s that are struggling and need help. Also some of the book proceeds will be given to environmental causes and natural wild life reserves in the Yucatan Mexico.

So I believe in Carlos, I believe he is a warrior, like myself never gives up and will do everything to make,  this project a success, as we will support him as much as possible, with our Humanitarians of the World Inc, org ( ) based here in New York City.

To learn more about Carlos Barrera and Nora Espinoza Los Chefs, to attend their restaurant next time you are in Cancun or to purchase his Cook Book and help or support in some way. Click here for more information.

1 comment

  1. It has been a huge pleasure meeting this outstanding person, may-God bless him and his family always, All the best in your personal and professional life !!!!

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