Guanacaste Nights Hero

Join us for a celebration of Guanacaste culinary traditions and the many ways our local cuisine continues to evolve. This two-day annual event features seven chefs, each with a unique take on Costa Rican cuisine, as they work together to bring the colorful ingredients of Guanacaste to life. Join us to enjoy fantastic food and pairings, live music, beautiful scenery, and the company of friends in a memorable celebration of local flavor that you won’t want to miss!

Culinary Celebration

Friday February 21st, 2020
@ Sentido Norte Restaurant, Casa Chameleon Hotels


4 – 6 pm

Sunset cocktails by the pool with hors d’oeuvres prepared by Sous Chef Warner Ortega, signature
Guanacaste Nights cocktails prepared by Sentido Norte Mixologist and live DJ playing sunset beats.

6 – 10 pm

7 course dinner at Sentido Norte Restaurant with live music

Cost per ticket

$180 USD tax and service included

$210 USD tax and service included with wine pairing

Advanced reservations required with full and final non-refundable payment at time of booking. Guest can choose to purchase with or without wine pairing


Appetizers by the pool from 4pm to 6pm

1 Guanacaste-inspired complimentary cocktail per guest prepared by mixologist, Liz Furlong.

*Additional beverages will be charged by consumption.

Formal 7 course sit down dinner at Sentido Norte Restaurant


Smart casual


Live DJ by the pool at sunset.

Live sax music during dinner.

Fiesta en la Plaza

Saturday February 22nd, 2020
@ Plaza Danta, Las Catalinas



Live music and entertainment, buffet stations with assorted traditional dishes and a station per guest Chef who will be serving bite size appetizers inspired by the tastes of Guanacaste.



Cost per ticket

$65 USD tax and service included

* Beverages will be charged by consumption.




Live music and entertainment in Plaza Danta

Stations with Guanacaste-inspired bites 

Type of seating

Unassigned seating.

Picnic and cocktail tables.



Chef Ryan Hardy

Chef Ryan Hardy

Ryan began his career in professional kitchens in 1999 at the famed Rubicon Restaurant in San Francisco, owned and operated by Drew Nieporent of Myriad Restaurant Group. He quickly climbed the ranks in the kitchen, and in 2001 Ryan took the reins of his first restaurant, Rustique Bistro, in Aspen. In less than a year, Rustique was named among Esquire Magazine’s Best New Restaurants. Ryan left to assume the head chef role for James Beard Award Winner Chef Mark Miller at the Coyote Café in Santa Fe.

Chef MawaHeadShot

Chef Mawa McQueen

Aspen Colorado’s dynamic and beloved Chef Mawa is a successful restaurateur and entrepreneur who is unapologetic about her African, French and American roots. Mawa’s passion is creating dishes that feature balanced, healthy, locally sourced, and organic food that your body craves.  Her flagship restaurant, Mawa’s Kitchen, in Aspen, is a favorite spot for both locals and seasonal visitors. The Crepe Shack, an instant hit for Mawa, opened in December 2018 in the new Snowmass Base Village Ski Resort. In 2019, food photographer, Alan “Battman” Batt, honored Mawa by selecting her to be featured in his newest cookbook Toques in Black: A Celebration of Black Chef’s that highlights 101 of the most talented chefs in America.


Chef Gilberto Briceño

Chef Briceño was has a degree from Le Cordon Bleu, but has always believed one must “get the hands dirty” to learn the most important things in life, so after school, he traveled, working in a hands-on capacity in extraordinary kitchens all over the world ranging from Spain’s Gran Hotel La Florida, Azurmendi (a 3-Star Michelin restaurant) in Basque country, Le Josephine in Paris, Boragó in Chile, Gustu in Bolivia; Lasai in Brazil, Fäviken in Sweden and more. His greatest influences are chefs who carry a philosophy of love throughout everything they do and create; these include Magnus Nilsen, Virgilio Martinez, Rodolfo Guzman, Rene Redzepi, Andoni Aduriz, Eneko Atxa and Andre Chiang, just to name a few. Briceño’s  style is simple: He investigates and identifies with the environment around him, and then integrates wild elements in creative ways. He moved to Las Catalinas in 2018 and specializes in private dining and events. 


Chef Monica Phillips

After earning a Le Cordon Bleu Grand Diplome from Ulatina in Costa Rica, Monica specialized in French Pastry at the French Pastry School of Chicago under Chefs Antonio Bachour, Martin Diez, Frank Haasnoot, and Joel Reno.  She is now the Owner and Chef of Creme Caramel in Escazu, Costa Rica.

Chef Jose Lopez

Chef Jose Lopez

Born in San Jose, Costa Rica, Chef Jose is a leading connoisseur of his country’s culinary identity–a melting pot of European, African and Meso-American influences. He has spent his career championing Costa Rica’s indigenous products, flavors, and traditions, while advocating for the preservation of its natural resources. His background includes a Grand Diplome from Le Cordon Bleu School in Paris and cooking in restaurants in Jerusalem, Valencia, Paris, and Madrid. He also opened and operated three acclaimed restaurants in Central America. Chef Jose is honored to be Casa Chameleon Hotel’s Executive Chef.

Chef Jaak Toomsalu

Chef Jaak Toomsalu

Chef Jaak is a passionate Mediterranean and seafood lover, a culinary explorer, an adventurous restaurant entrepreneur and a freelance kitchen designer. Born in Estonia, Chef Jaak studied pastry and culinary arts in the Estonian Culinary Academy before he began to explore culinary arts and traditional cooking across Europe and Mediterranean countries like France, Portugal, Greece, Italy, and Spain. He eventually returned to his roots and landed in Norway, where he lived and worked for six years before moving to Costa Rica.
Chef Demian Geneau

Chef Demian Geneau

Born and raised by French parents who immigrated to a small town on the Pacific side of British Colombia the year of his birth, Chef Geneau has always moved through life organically and began his culinary journey at Canada’s Blue Heron Inn before moving to Costa Rica in 1999. He spent the next eight years as Executive Chef of the Florblanca Hotel in Santa Teresa before launching Product C, a seafood market and restaurant that quickly became a local icon with a strong national following for its sustainable, responsible fishing and efforts to change fishing practices and politics internationally. After more than five years spearheading seminars about the ecological and financial benefits of responsible fishing, Geneau moved to Guanacaste in 2017 to open Copper & Stone, where he combines his sustainable philosophy with great respect to nature and international culinary traditions.


Book a Stay in Town


Fiesta en la Plaza at Santarena

Double room at Santarena Hotel for one night
Tickets for Fiesta en La Plaza event
For two - Package price is $325, taxes included

Tickets are sold out



Guanacaste Nights at Santarena

Double room at Santarena Hotel for two nights
Tickets for Culinary Celebration
Tickets for Fiesta en La Plaza
For two -  Package price is $850, taxes included


Tickets are sold out




Guanacaste Nights 2019 Highlights


@Sentido Norte
@Plaza Lucia