Passion & Inspiration: Saul Umaña, Culinary Director
“I have traveled and worked in Spain, Portugal, the south of France, Central America, Argentina, the Caribbean… What I learned in all of these places – all the savoring, culture and experiences — has prepared me with the right knowledge and skillset for this moment, right now, at Secas. “
Q: How long have you been at Islas Secas?
A: Since November 2020 – and not long enough!
Q: What brought you to Secas?
A: My career, and life, has been all about food, travel, culture, great experiences, exceptional moments. I love sharing my passion, honed through travels and experiences, at this incredible place. I believe that what I now can share here with my clients is special and unique.
Q: Where is your favorite place on the islands?
A: The Terraza Restaurant! Because that is where my heart is. This is where I put out all my inspiration and emotions and passion to create a great culinary experience.
Q: What is the best thing about working here?
A: As a chef, the incredible bounty from the sea that I am lucky to use, and with which I can experiment.
As a human being – it is the calm that I have found here, using the nature to explore and disconnect. Living in a new wave, more healthful, more conscious and connected with Mother Earth.
Q: What is your favorite view?
A: I have so many… but to name two: 1. the view of Pargo Island from the runaway, and 2. the amazing view of the Terraza Restaurant from anywhere! That the one that brings me calm and good feelings, always.
Q: What is your favorite animal in the archipelago?
A: Hard question! I have had the opportunity to see so many new species. Certainly witnessing the turtles swimming in front of the pontoon is something amazing, and the rays dancing in the middle of the ocean are incredible, too. It is hard to choose just one.
Q: What is your favorite time of day and why?
A: I like the early mornings because I have time to engage in sport. Then of course I love going to the restaurant to create delicious dishes.
Q: What is your favorite dish or local ingredient?
A: The fresh ones! At Secas I work and cook with incredibly fresh fish from the Pacific. Also I love to work with local and endemic ingredients like Darien rice, local heart of palm, guandu bean, and more.