Celebrated Chef and culinary artist Carmen Gonzalez has been spicing up kitchens and gracing dining rooms for more than 25 years. Chef Carmen’s unique blend of modern American cuisine with Latin influences has garnered national recognition while also giving her a platform to support a variety of culinary and non-culinary charitable organizations across the country.
The New York-based, Puerto Rican native has brought her creative flair and intense passion for cooking to her restaurants, media appearances and culinary alliances. Upon graduating from the New York Restaurant School, Chef Carmen honed her skills at the fabled Quilted Giraffe. In 1990, she opened the heralded restaurant Clowns in Coral Gables, Florida. Loyal foodies followed her career and her cooking from The Miami Club to Tamarind at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel. In 2003, she opened Carmen the Restaurant in Miami to critical acclaim, being named a “Best New Restaurant” by Esquire magazine. Other accolades for the restaurant included Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence 2004-2006, AAA’s coveted Four Diamond Award in 2005 and 2006, Florida Trend’s “Best New Restaurants,” and coverage in the New York Times, Miami Herald, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Food Arts and more.
In 2010, Chef Carmen was seen in the champions round on season two of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” where she raised $10,000 for her charity, ASPCA. In addition, she’s made numerous television appearances, including: The Martha Stewart Show,” “The Today Show,” Miami’s “South Florida Today” and “Deco Drive,” David Rosengarden’s “Today on Food” on the Food Network, as well as MGM Latino, Televisa, and Univision, the latter being the home for her weekly TV cooking segment.
Chef Carmen opened Carmen at the Danforth in May 2012 within Portland, Maine’s leading boutique inn, The Danforth. The restaurant served her signature cuisine utilizing the best of New England ingredients. Carmen at the Danforth was well received by the media and guests alike, awarded Best Restaurant in Maine 2012 by Eater.com and four-stars from The Portland Press Herald.
Chef Carmen’s Spanish language TV show “La Chispa de Chef Carmen Gonzalez” with MGM Latin America debuted on September 13, 2012 on Casa Club TV in the U.S. and Canal Ella, reaching more than 20 countries in over 20 million households in Latin America. Now concluding its second season, the ratings of the second season “La Chispa” exceeded the first.
Most recently, Carmen and her recipes were featured in the digital cookbook The Journey, from the IACP award-winning digital publisher, Alta Editions, released in December 2013.