Stories / Interviews

Ask a Chef: The Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica's Mario Alcocer

Hilary Deutsch

Hilary Deutsch

July 23, 2015


On Thursday, July 30, escape to paradise at the Beard House with this exquisite Costa Rican–inspired dinner from chef Mario Alcocer. After more than two decades honing his craft at Four Seasons properties in California, chef Mario Alcocer is now at the helm of the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, a premier eco-adventure destination with an innovative and luxurious tropical cuisine. We got the chance to hear more about the early stages of his career and find out who runs his late-night kitchen at home.


Who’s been your biggest inspiration?

It has changed from time to time depending on what stage of my personal and professional life I have been in. Growing up, my father inspired me to always try my best. Once I immigrated to the States and started my own family, they became my biggest source of inspiration. I have always been a forward-minded thinker and admire chefs that open their own restaurants.

What’s your guilty-pleasure food?

The late night Mexican food that my wife prepares for me. She puts in a ton of effort to cook it and I can never say no.

Tell us about the last great meal you ate. 

The Chef's Tasting Menu at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, Lung King Heen Cantonese restaurant. 

What was your first job in the industry? Who gave you your first big break?

Back in 1989, I was in California and started working half-shifts as a cook and the other half washing pots. At that time, I made myself a promise to never get fired from a job because of performance. It was a great promise since it has pushed me to always move forward.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Always have a clear idea of what you like would to accomplish in life. Set yourself short and long term goals. And never give up on your dreams.