Visiting any of Böëna’s five wilderness lodges is a truly unique experience. Each lodge is utterly different yet shares commonalities with its sister Böëna Lodges—elements such as the pristine natural surroundings, luxurious accommodations, and meticulous service.
This dedication to excellence and authenticity is expressed in the distinct culinary experience offered at every Böëna destination.
Behind each lodge’s menu is a team of passionate individuals whose dedication and training are clearly expressed in every masterfully crafted dish. And the man whose task it has been to design and direct the fluid orchestration of Böëna’s state-of-the-art kitchens is Allan Mata.
Costa Rican-born Executive Chef Allan Mata has been with Böëna since their inception. His began at Pacuare Lodge, Böëna’s first wilderness lodge. Not long after Mata’s arrival, Pacuare elevated its gastronomic offer by developing a core cuisine based on healthy, farm-to-table, organic produce. Their guide was renowned Greek Chef George Belesis, who introduced modern culinary technology to the kitchen in addition to his masterpiece recipes.
The highest quality ingredients combined with the most innovative cooking techniques guaranteed that every plate was a culinary journey for guests to savor. Under the tutelage of Belesis, Mata’s capacity and creativity quickly flourished.
But it wasn’t until Böëna acquired the Lapa Rios Lodge on the Osa Peninsula, followed by Tortuga Lodge in Tortuguero, that Mata’s innate skills and mastermind truly evolved. Despite acquiring new kitchen staff and being tasked with the challenging logistics of designing and structuring fully equipped modern kitchens from scratch, Mata flourished. And he soon set to work creating a menu that celebrated the nuances of Costa Rica’s Pacific and Caribbean coasts with the artistic culinary techniques he acquired working with Head Chef Belesis.
“Allan has accomplished what very few people have achieved in a very short period of time. That is to successfully plan, coordinate and assemble five practically new kitchens,” says Roberto Fernández, co-owner of the Böëna collection.
Soon after acquiring Lapa Rios, Böëna added the acclaimed Monteverde Lodge and Monteverde Cloud Forest Lodge to their collection of luxury eco-lodges. Allan, with the support of his mentor, Chef Belesis, was the architect behind the coordination and execution of each kitchen. He oversaw the development of individual menus with dishes that consider the local cultures and the guest’s experience while ensuring an unyielding standard of quality, a critical parameter in gastronomy.
“The passion with which Allan carries out his work is admirable. He sets an example that motivates each team of chefs and encourages them to give their best. Together they have created a culinary experience that genuinely surprises and delights our guests. They have raised the culinary bar and, in so doing, elevated what Böëna stands for. We have big dreams for Allan and the continued evolution of our gastronomy,” says Fernández.