Chef services are on-call and an optional feature. Please contact your concierge to make arrangements for you and your family: Sabrina 8335-5811 or

Chef Desiree

Have Chef Desiree prepare delicious and healthy meals for you in your Costa Rica beach villa
Have Chef Desiree prepare delicious and healthy meals for you

Chef Desiree has worked with us since 2008 and is recognized in the area for her creative Asian-American infusions found throughout her meals as Best Personal Chef in Manuel Antonio  Quepos, 2015-16!

She was born in France where her love for food began. Her Vietnamese mother taught her how to use exotic raw materials and how to be creative. Since moving to Costa Rica in 1991, she’s thrilled to use the local cornucopia of colors and flavors. She speaks French, English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Her upbeat personality will make any event edgy and unique.

Whether it’s with subtle hints of ginger or blazing and colorful peppers, her dishes simply work their magic. She has been cooking in the area for the past 15 years, and has brought unique signature dishes to many joyful events such as shrimp and mango maki rolls or black bean soup with crispy tortillas…

Chef Desiree is also available for catering weddings and other special events. Ask your concierge to arrange for Chef Desiree to cook for you. You deserve to be pampered!

Chef Desiree’s Gallo Pinto

Chef Desiree's cookbook, Vacation Takeout
Ask Chef Desiree how to get a copy of her cookbook

Gallo Pinto is the national dish of Costa Rica. Literally translated it means “spotted rooster.” This combination of white rice speckled with black beans creates a healthy complete protein rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber. If you’ve stayed at our Manuel Antonio vacation rental home and miss Gallo Pinto, our Discovery Beach House Chef Desiree shares the recipe with you below.

Serves 8


  • 3 cups of day-old rice (this ensures that the rice is solid, dry, and ready to hold its texture against the beans)
  • 2¼ cups of semi-strained soft black beans
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp or more, to taste of “Salsa Lizano.” This is a delicious liquid condiment sold throughout Costa Rica. It’s a tangy mix of tamarind and aromatics.
  • Salt to taste


  1. Saute onion and bell pepper in vegetable oil until fragrant.
  2. Add the beans and Salsa Lizano until heated. Add the rice, a little at a time, while mixing with beans and breaking up the clumps as you go along.
  3. Finish with chopped cilantro for garnish and a little more Lizano
  4. If you want to give it a kick of tropical spice, feel free to add tabasco!


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