Costa Rica Entertainment – Jose Gillen is a tico who works in the restaurant ranked best in the whole world, Osteria Francescana, in Modena, Italy. The 34-year-old from Escazú worked in his father’s construction company until realizing he wanted a change. He wanted to follow his culinary passion.
He went to Barcelona to study at Bellart. He worked for many important chefs in Spain and then moved on to the big leagues, landing a spot at Akelarre. He further specialized, getting a master’s degree in cuisine, technique, product and creativity before getting the job at Osteria Francescana, which received 50,000 applications every six months and a typical meal for two costs over $1,000. There, 25 chefs work to feed 28 customers per night. Some of the dishes, such as “the crispy part of lasagna” take days to make. There is a three month waiting list for a table.
He remembers when “The World’s 50 Best” results were announced on TV. He was working while watching the awards live. The entire staff couldn’t wait until the end of the night to go celebrate the amazing news.
Gillen works 15 hour days and only sleeps six hours. He is exhausted but loves the work. He spends his free days with his wife. At some point, he plans to open a restaurant in Costa Rica.