Meet Chef Paxx Caraballo Moll, one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs of 2019. Royal Caribbean sat down with Paxx to discuss life as head chef at the popular Jungle BaoBao in San Juan, Puerto Rico and his 19-year journey of pursuing his passion to create not only something delicious, but beautiful.
That’s not surprising, considering he attended art school until he discovered his love for cooking, saying: “I thought this was much better. It’s still art, it’s just that you eat it.”
With a focus on precision cuts and inventive, ever-changing fare (perhaps best seen at the restaurant’s Instagram @junglebirdbar until you can see it firsthand) like his enoki bloom dish, it’s easy to understand why Paxx was recognized by Food & Wine, which he describes as “something you dream about.”
But for Paxx, restaurant life has meant more than incredible and tasty food. Running a supportive, inclusive kitchen for LGBTQ cooks has been a priority. He’s proud to have fostered a safe work environment where others can be themselves while doing what they love. The Puerto Rican chef has also taken a hyper-local focus for sourcing ingredients, so he can sustainably create dishes and help Puerto Rico’s farmers still recovering from life-changing events like Hurricane Maria.
Take a look at how Paxx is breaking barriers in and out of the kitchen: