Juliana Gonzalez obtained her Bachelor's in Business Administration and Marketing at the Interamerican University in San German, Puerto Rico, but gastronomy has long been her foremost interest. Childhood memories in the kitchen with her mother inspired her to make the leap to culinary school. She decided upon graduation to take her love of cooking to the next step by further pursuing an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts at Johnson and Wales University, Florida.
Gonzalez interned at La Broche by Sergi Arola (2 Michelin Stars) in Madrid, Spain. She was then sent in 2002 with the opening team for the restaurants sister location here in Miami. As Chef de Partie and Pastry Assistant, she learned the fundamentals of operating a Michelin star-level kitchen including maintaining the utmost quality of the food, staff training and kitchen administration.
In 2004, Gonzalez undertook a new culinary adventure by accepting the position of Chef de Cuisine at Mosaico Restaurant. Here she achieved the independence to elaborate on authentic recipes and she brought her own personal flair to its Spanish cuisine.
With two solid ventures at La Broche and Mosaico behind her, in 2006 Gonzalez tackled the ever-changing South Beach dining scene by joining The Restaurant at The Setai as Chef de Partie. Specializing in Asian-Trans-Ethnic Cuisine, the position exposed her to a variety of foods and preparation methods from Thailand, Japan, China and India. However, soon after joining The Restaurant, she learned that the acclaimed chef David Bouley was coming to Miami. Like anyone passionate about their craft, she seized the opportunity to work by his side.
Hired as Sous Chef, the opening of David Bouley Evolution provided Gonzalez with a chance to also adopt excellent French and Japanese techniques. Her understanding of fusion-cooking took shape at Evolution and was ultimately realized at Nobu, The Shore Club's popular Japanese and Peruvian eatery.
In 2008, Gonzalez brought her worldly, culinary sensibilities to Sushi Samba Dromo. Named Chef de Cuisine of the Lincoln Road outpost and boasting significant experience in the industry, her devotion, talent and drive enabled her to lead a solid team through three record breaking years.
In 2011 Gonzalez was inspired by her husbands recent success with Pubbelly Restaurant, and decided it was time to take a leap. She joined forces with Daniella Rezai and Manuel Suarez-Inclan with the support of the Pubbelly Crew and created Barceloneta Mercat and Bistro.
When creating the concept and menu, Juliana relied upon her past experiences in such varied kitchens and decided upon Catalan Cuisine. Her stints at La Broche and Mosaico are evident in the well crafted and creative menu she now offers in her restaurant. She has surrounded herself with an amazing team of aspiring cooks who have chosen to participate in Gonzalez' latest adventure. She is ever evolving her menu through research on trends and inspirations by chefs from throughout the world, yet her main inspiration
comes from her team as they work together with ideas and are creating some stellar dishes that are making waves in the South Beach Culinary scene. "This is only the beginning" Gonzalez says, as she is constantly thinking of new concepts and ideas she would love to bring forth and make a reality.
Learn More About Juliana Gonzalez
What is your earliest memory involving food or wine?
I grew up in the kitchen of my house, my mother cooking up a storm of good old fashioned Puerto Rican cuisine are my first memories and first inspiration.
If you've participated in the Festival before, what is your favorite SOBEWFF memory to date?
when i first arrived to Miami around 10 years ago I participated with the restaurant Mosaico at one of the main tents. i remember it was Spanish themed showcasing wines more then anything and we where one of the few restaurants participating. It was overwhelming but i look back at the challenge we faced that night and have become a better chef with the lessons I learned that day.
If this is your first year participating in SOBEWFF, what are you most looking forward to?
I'm excited to introduce Barceloneta to the Food and Beverage community that come in to town and am hoping to meet some of the amazing chefs that come in to town and have been a big part of my journey so far.
If you could cook with anyone in the world, who would it be?
April Bloomfield, i love that she is a no nononsense, talented and crazy succesfull female chef in a very male dominated industry.
I never leave home without my:
lipstick and knives