CHEF ROSANA RIVERA
Some chefs are pure craftsmen in the kitchen; others are good businessmen. Rosana Rivera is a rare breed of both culinary artisan and successful entrepreneur. Then again, Rivera was born at the hem of three generations of Puerto Rican cooks whose love of food and country made an early impression. There was never any doubt Rivera would become a chef.
And a passionate, scholarly, and undisputedly talented one at that. A trifecta of degrees – BS in Business Management, an honors degree from the International Culinary School at the Arts Institute of Tampa, and an MBA from Marylhurst University’s Sustainable Business program concentrating in Natural and Organic Products lends Chef Rivera an enviable skill set, both as a culinarian and a restaurateur. A near fanatical devotion to techniques, sustainability, and a global culinary perspective informs her signature cuisine, but her greatest pleasure is sharing her knowledge and enjoyment of good food with as many people as possible. Inspired by the success of their South Tampa catering company, Chef Rivera alongside partner Chef Ricardo Castro transformed their concept into a Hyde Park destination, tantalizing diners with an evolving menu of French-inspired favorites at Piquant. Her formidable mix of skills enables her to understand the business of Piquant from all perspectives and direct its growth in the right direction over the coming years.
CHEF GUI ALINAT
Gui Alinat is an ACF Certified Executive Chef, and the author of The Chef’s Repertoire and Eat More Burn More™.
Born, raised and classically trained as a chef in France, he traveled extensively, working in restaurants around the world.
Settling in Tampa Bay in 1999, he has been catering high-end private events ever since. With an exclusive client base, and media recognition, his team became a recognized landmark in the Tampa Bay culinary scene.
Chef Gui is an experienced public speaker in the culinary field, and is hired regularly to lecture at conferences across the country.
He regularly appears on HSN and the Food Network.
His culinary style can be best described as modern, authentic cuisine with slight influences from Provence and elsewhere.
Rustic yet elegant, his food is said to embody simplicity of taste, authentic ingredients and sharp presentations. He also focuses on sound nutrition and a very natural way of cooking and eating.
He lives in Dunedin, Florida with his wife Carissa and their five children.
CHEF RICARDO CASTRO
It wasn’t so long ago that Ricardo Castro was flipping made-to-order omelets in his parent’s small San Juan, Puerto Rico home, or begging his grandmother to share the secrets of her pastries. Of course, even then Castro knew there was only one place he wanted to be – the kitchen.
With savory ambitions and an appetite for hands-on experience, Castro began first at Culinary Institute of America, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Management – the first Puerto Rican to do so. Next came the stagier circuit, working for various restaurants and hotels in New York, Puerto Rico and Florida.
He holds the Certified Executive Chef (CEC) denomination by the American Culinary Federation, has completed his MS, majoring in Management and most recently, was the former Chef Director of Culinary Arts at the Art Institute of Tampa.
Since 2013, Castro has acted as executive chef and co-owner of Piquant, which has quickly garnered high praise with its inventive menu of French-inspired favorites imbued with Castro’s sophisticated, yet playful Caribbean accent.