Consummate Collaborations 4

6961 Avenue of the Governors
Isla Verde, Carolina
PR, 00979

Ideally located on eight acres of prime beachfront property, The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan is an exclusive sanctuary offering a host of amenities and recreational options. With more than 500 years of rich history, the city is a blend of the old and new world, teeming with unique tropical flavor and vibrant folklore. A perfect marriage of island and urban, Latin and international, this 416-room hotel

“Braised Short Rib, Recao & Kubocha Squash, Bacardi Rum & Guava BBQ Sauce”

Short Rib Braise

Yield = 6 portions

6 pc short rib, cleaned and trimmed of excess fat
1.5 gallon water
2 tbs olive oil
4 oz smoked bacon (large dice)
2 pc garlic head, cut in ½
1 pc white onion (large dice)
3 stalks celery (large dice)
2 pc carrots (peeled, large dice)
3 pc fresh recao leaf
10 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 pc star anise
8 oz Bacardi Gold Rum
4 oz guava paste
Salt and black pepper to taste

  • Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and sear in a smoking hot sauté pan on 3 sides, leaving the bottom bone side, unseared.
  • In a large stockpot, sauté the carrot, celery and onion in 2tbs of olive oil until lightly caramelized, then add in the garlic and the bacon, and continue to cook until done.
  • Add in the recao and fresh thyme, them deglaze with the rum. Once the rum has almost cooked out, add in the guava paste and star anise and stir the guava paste till it dissolves.
  • Add in the water and simmer on high heat for 45 minutes.
  • Place your short ribs into an oven safe metal pan, with the bones of the short ribs facing outward. Then pour over the braising liquid till the top of the ribs. Cover with aluminum and place in a 325 degree oven for 3 hours.
  • When the short ribs are done, you should be able to put a fork in the meat and it will almost fall apart.
  • Let cool uncovered for about an hour or till it starts to cool down. Gently pull out the short ribs and also the bones if any become separated from the meat.

Ginger – Kabocha Squash Puree

Yield = 6 portions

2 ½ lbs. kabocha squash (peeled, seeded, and medium dice)
½ lb. carrots (peeled, and medium dice)
1 lb. Yukon potato (peeled, medium dice)
4 oz. fresh ginger (peeled, cut into thin strips)
8 oz. heavy cream
4 oz hot water
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Place the squash, carrots, ginger and potatoes into a large pot and fill with cold water. Lightly salt the water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and let simmer until cooked through.
  • Strain the items from the cooking liquid. Place into a standard bar blender and puree on low adding the hot water and heavy cream into the blender to create a smooth puree. Adding salt and black pepper to taste. When completely smooth, pour the puree into a fine mesh strainer, and push through with a small ladle with a medium size bowl underneath to catch the finished puree.
  • After the squash puree has gone through the strainer, cool it down in an ice bath or set aside and use as needed.

Guava-Bacardi Barbeque Sauce

Yield = 1 ½ quarts
2 qt ketchup (any brand)
1 lb guava paste
2 oz fresh ginger juice (or a 2” piece grated fine)
8 oz Bacardi Gold Rum
1 oz liquid smoke
32 oz champagne vinegar
½ c dark molasses
1 ½ medium red onions (small dice)
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

  • Add the red onions to a hot sauce pot and sweat down without getting any color on them, about 5 minutes. Then add the ginger juice and cook till onions are fully translucent.
  • Stir in the guava paste and molasses until the paste dissolves in the liquid.
  • Pour in the ketchup and rum and lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 ½ hours, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
  • Add in the vinegar and liquid smoke and cook for 1 hour on low heat
  • Add additional salt and black pepper as needed to taste.
  • Puree in a blender until smooth. Be sure to put the top on the blender as the hot ingredients will splatter once the blender is turned on.

Sauteed Recao with Spinach and Garlic

Yield = 6 portions
48 pc Recao leaf (bottom stems discarded, leaf chopped)
1 ½ lbs. fresh baby spinach leaves
6 cloves garlic (sliced thin)
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

  • Drizzle the olive oil into a hot sauté pan, add in the garlic. Be sure to move the pan around once you the garlic in so it doesn’t burn.
  • Once you have the light perfume of garlic coming from your sauté pan (approximately 45 seconds), add in the recao and the spinach leaves.
  • Season with salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Tropical Rose Sangria

One serving = 375 ml
2 oz Beringer White Zinfandel
1 oz Bacardi Superior Light
1/2 oz Courvoisier VS
1/4 oz Chambord
1/4 oz Cointreau
1 oz Guava Nectar
1 oz Passion Fruit Nectar
1 oz Mango Juice
1 oz Papaya Juice
1 oz Ginger ale

Build all ingredients and shake lightly without ice. Add garnishes (mixed fruit) and serve on ice.

Lemon twists, lime wheels, mango chunks, blackberries.

Store in a glass 375 ml bottle and serve over ice in a rocks glass on the side.


JOSEPH STEWART, Chef de Cuisine, The Ritz-Carlton San Juan

A native of upstate New York and Johnson and Wales University, Providence, RI graduate, Chef de Cuisine Joseph Stewart has successfully transferred his culinary experience in the Northeast to the stoves at BLT Steak at The Ritz-Carlton San Juan. Chef Stewart is proud to uphold the high standards The Ritz-Carlton, and is enthusiastic to further the Hotel’s reputation as one of Puerto Rico’s top dining destinations

Chef Stewart has a keen appreciation for fresh, local ingredients and creatively incorporates them into his weekly blackboard specials to provide local flavor to BLT Steak’s signature offerings. . When Chef Stewart is creating innovative cusine the kitchen at The Ritz-Carlton, he enjoys playing with his young daughter and exploring all that Puerto Rico has to offer.

MELISSA K. RIVERA, Beverage Manager, The Ritz-Carlton San Juan

Born in Bronx, New York, and raised in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, beverage and wine expert Melissa K. Rivera now distinguishes herself as the beverage manager at The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan.

While studying Hotel Management at Puerto Rico’s “Universidad del Este”, Melissa started her hospitality career as a server and trainer in The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan Lobby Lounge. After perusing interests at the Hotel Intercontinental, Melissa returned to The Ritz-Carlton in 2006 as barback in the hotel’s fine dinning steak house and became bartender and bar trainer. Now as beverage manager Melissa is in charge of the hotel’s 4 bars and banquet’s beverage operations, focusing primarily on the Lobby Lounge, where she had her start in the industry.

Her natural talent of understanding taste and basic chemistry only expanded by earning certifications in courses such as mixology, flair tending, and specialty courses along with numerous wine seminars.