Chef de Cuisine Pablo Jacinto
Born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico, Pablo Jacinto’s twenty year culinary career has grown beyond the strong Latin influences of the world renowned food haven he grew up around. Pablo’s culinary “Raíces” began to grow at an early age on his family farm, were he watched and helped his grandmother and mother prepare family meals using fresh produce from their own farm. Years later, Pablo and most of his family left their beloved Oaxaca and moved to Mexico City. In the Nation’s Capitol Pablo was exposed to public markets that contained new and exciting spices and produce, regional dishes from Mexico’s 31 states, and for the first time a very broad spectrum of international cuisines.
In 1986, Pablo along with his younger brother Erasto decided to immigrate to the United State in pursuit of the “American Dream”. Pablo settled in the Napa Valley and soon began to work alongside famous chefs like Michael Chiarello at Tra Vigne, Philippe Jeanty, and his long time mentor and friend; Chef/Owner of the Mustards Grill, Cindy Pawlcyn. While working for Pawlcyn, Pablo’s culinary passion blossomed under her support and he quickly moved up the culinary ranks. Pablo soon began showing his unwavering passion for creating hearty dishes that are intensely flavorful and interesting; Mustards soon became a launching pad for Latin inspired dishes among gourmet Napa Valley restaurants.
After a departure from Mustards Grill to expand his culinary and management skills, Pablo returned to work alongside Cindy Pawlcyn as her Executive Chef at her newly launched restaurant Miramonte in St. Helena. The name proved to be too intimidating for up valley diners and was quickly changed to Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen (CBK). Highlighted by his unique creations such as “Pablo’s Oysters” and “Pollo Loco”, CBK gave Pablo the perfect venue for showcasing his Latin-American-Californian style, which incorporated the freshest local ingredients into flavorful, creative dishes. While at (CBK); Chef Jacinto and his brother Erasto (Executive Chef of Mustards Grill) were also co-authors of Cindy Pawlcyn’s cookbook Big Small Plates.
Chef Jacinto was asked to partner with Catherine Bergen, C Casa’s owner, to create concepts for the wildly popular C Casa Taqueria, in the Napa Valley Oxbow Market. Chef Jacinto actually was asked to help and was happy to consult because this project fit Chef Jacinto’s style. The culinary techniques that blend Latino heritage, with the natural ingredients of the legendary valley became a huge hit and C Casa was born. C Casa’s menu was very well received and still is 2 years later.
Chef Jacinto has continued his quest to bring you the finest in Latin cuisine, whether it’s traveling to Argentina to sample and experiment with Latin Americans greatest beef, or visiting the country that has had the most influence in Latin America, Spain; to absorb the country’s Mediterranean roots. While Pablo remains true to his heritage, he has adopted local Napa Valley traditions and techniques in forming a unique brand of culinary leadership that he hopes will be the future of Latin cuisine.