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Chef Treviño to open Chicharron Grill Restaurant in Orlando Dec. 1

Chef Roberto Treviño, a familiar face in Puerto Rico’s culinary scene, is slated to open his latest venture, Chicharron Grill inside the Marketplace at Avalon Park in Orlando, FL., Dec. 1, his business partner, Ricardo García, confirmed to News is my Business.

“The restaurant is located inside the Avalon Marketplace; it consists of about 700-square-feet … It’s a collaboration with Avalon Marketplace and Avalon Market Group,” García said, while noting that it is a shared space that can sit about 75 customers.

“They [Avalon Marketplace] carry out mega events and that is what made the location attractive for us,” García assured. “In addition, the developer has other properties where we could possibly expand to.”

Some 15 to 20 jobs will be created, García further added.

The restaurant will initially launch with a small menu, García said, including many of the chef’s favorite dishes that he featured at Casa Lola Criollo Kitchen in Condado a few years ago.

“Roberto has had over 18 concepts in collaborations and others that he has been involved in, such as Casa Lola, Budatai, Dragonfly, Bar Gitano, Rosa Mexicano, Pizza la Pasta, just to name a few,” he said.

The menu includes a variety of Puerto Rican-inspired cuisine such as stuffed empanadas with meat, chicken, or cheese; chicken pinchos, or chicken skewers, and traditional mofongo with chicken or shrimp, among other local traditional plates.

Treviño, a California native and long-time Puerto Rico resident, left the island about six years ago and started collaborating in Downtown Orlando at the El Buda Restaurant, which was a spin-off of the Budatai Restaurant in San Juan, García explained.

Treviño established himself as one of Puerto Rico’s most celebrated chefs thanks to such well-received restaurants such as Budatai a Latin-Asian concept, Casa Lola, Dragonfly, Bar Gitano, Pizza la Pasta, El Buda and his numerous Food Network appearances — most notably when he took on the Croc’d one on Iron Chef America Season 1 and Next-Generation Iron Chef.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to bring my diverse culinary background into a community that appreciates great food and culture,” Treviño said in a press release.

“We are very excited to have Chef Treviño bring his culinary talents to the Marketplace, where we believe this concept will be a home run for the Marketplace, our community, and the foodie community as a whole,” said Derek McCracken, general manager at the Marketplace at Avalon Park. “The addition of Chicharron Grill helps us bring another cultural cuisine into the Marketplace that is not currently represented and stays true to our vision of creating a diverse culinary offering for our guests.”

While Treviño is one of the most prolific culinary representatives that Puerto Rico has had in the local and world stages — as a participant in several Food Network programs and local food fests, like Saborea — he has also had a string of notable restaurant closings.

For example, the Rosa Mexicano restaurant, a venture in which Treviño was one of the partners, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing more than $3.6 million in debt, as News is my Business reported in 2017.

In late 2016, News is my Business also reported that the Asian fusion restaurant Budatai filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing more than $400,000 in debt.

Nevertheless, García noted that El Buda restaurant in Orlando, which also closed, was not set in the best location and that is what “affected that restaurant the most.”

“But now with this new opening we are moving to a part of Florida where a lot of Hispanics and boricuas are at, which is Avalon Park,” García said. “We have over 100,000 boricuas that live around the area.”

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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