Celebrity Chefs of South Florida: Executive Chef Camilo Cuartas of Chef’s Kitchen and Smokehouse

Chef’s Kitchen and Smokehouse is the brainchild of Chef’s Annie Robertson and Troy Sheller, along with their highly trained culinary staff, and Parent company En-Flux Enterprises and Chef’s Table Produce. Finally after researching the market and looking for a proper catering kitchen, landed in West Palm area to create a one of a kind experience.

Recently, Palm Beach Happening caught up with their Executive Chef, Camilo Cuartas, to talk a bit about this new venture, his culinary heritage, and more!

000fq1

How did you get started in the food industry?
I have been cooking for as long as I can remember. As a child it started out of necessity as I did not have anyone around to cook for me. However, that was a blessing in disguise because it started the craving within my passion and palate to see what possibilities are out there in the culinary world.

Can you tell us a little more about your Restaurant?
Chef’s Kitchen and Smokehouse is everything you could expect and more… Texas style BBQ at its finest. I am proud to say that it is also one of the few faith based restaurants around which makes it a very pleasing environment to create in. It is quite humbling to be part of an organization that prides itself on community outreach and giving back. Every menu item that comes from this kitchen is truly from the labor of love. We take our time and create with the utmost passion. There is no rushing, everything is smoked low and slow to give it that something special you would expect when taking your taste buds out to eat.

Of all the dishes on the current menu, which is your favorite?
The Quad Combo is my favorite because it gives you a little taste of each of the different meats available. This paired with the Brisket Bacon Truffle Mac and Cheese makes it a dish that is unforgettable.

Are you enjoying your time in South Florida?
Although I am not a South Florida native, this paradise has been my home since 1988. I enjoy everything about living here in paradise. Welcome home!

Can you tell us a little bit about your previous experience in fine dining?
The majority of my background, approx 17 years has been in fine dining. There is just something so exciting about the art that goes into each creation and seeing the artistic explosion on the plate and palate.

What is the funniest thing to happen to you in your cooking career?
I have always taken my profession very seriously, but I do like to have fun with the guests who are enjoying my creations. During my time working for Mr. Trump at Mar-a-Lago, I enjoyed meeting the celebrities, dignitaries and socialites. It wasn’t so much because of who they are in the public eye, rather the idea of knowing these people can eat anywhere in the World and here they are enjoying what I have put my heart into creating and getting the utmost positive feedback on the dishes I have served them. That is truly a culinary honor.

I know that many restaurants in South Florida now focus on using more local cuisine. What foods are you planning on highlighting this season?
Because we are strictly a BBQ restaurant, it is difficult to play with alternative cuisine. However, everything we use in our restaurant is fresh and derived from local growers.

More and more chefs in the Palm Beaches have become involved in cooking contests featured on the Food Network. Do you have any interest in that?
I would absolutely love to be on a show like Hell’s Kitchen or Chopped at some point. I have actually looked into the application process before, however missed the submission date to be considered. I believe I would be a great candidate as I enjoy the idea of testing my culinary skill up against the best of the best. I also believe that I am at the point in my career where I could be a top competitor. We will just have to wait and see what the future brings in that arena I suppose.

What new and exciting plans do you have for your restaurant?
Because we are such a new restaurant, we are at a pivotal point of consistent growth. Right now we have a weekly radio show on Talk of the Palm Beaches, 900AM, that is bringing many exciting opportunities. We are going to events, being featured in events and with our partner En-Flux we are catering lots of events as well. If that is not exciting enough, we are also expanding into the private sector with our recent addition of A Perfect Package which is a personal chef service featuring gourmet meal plans prepared using all of the finest ingredients either weekly, bi-weekly or catering to your special events. We also customize menu writing, food shopping, and prepare individually packaged meals. It is an exciting time for sure.

 

Chef’s Kitchen and Smokehouse is a Dallas Style BBQ Joint with a Twist.  From traditional TEXAS BBQ to house ground blended burgers, gastro infused chef inspired sandwiches, and house made literally everything. Your taste buds will not only be confused a tad, but also craving the Texas gold that is BBQ done the right way.

We’d like to thank Chef Cuartas for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat with us, and hope to be making a trip out there soon!

If you’re a local chef whose cuisine matches up to the best out there, we’d love to talk to you. Contact us and perhaps you can be the next celebrity chef!